Citizen Science from a communications perspective

Cecilia Billgren Askwall - Sweden

Cissi Askwall is the Secretary General of the Swedish non-profit association Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science) since 2011. She worked previously as a news journalist and producer at Swedish Radio and the national news agency TT. She has also been Head of Communications at VA and at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. She is Vice President of the European Science Engagement Association, EUSEA, member of the research committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Forestry, KSLA, as well as member of several international expert and advisory groups. She has a diploma in journalism, and has also studied political science, psychology and theology.

Session introduction

Citizen Science is an increasingly used practice to communicate science and promote dialogue and openness between science and society.

In this workshop you will learn more about what citizen science is, how it has developed, and how communication is key to the success of a citizen science project.

We will also share experiences and discuss how you and your university can initiate and support citizen science practices.

Session in-depth

The workshop will give an introduction to the rapidly growing field of citizen science (CS), present how it all started, describe how CS projects are performed, and why CS is embraced by many researchers as well as communicators. The participants will then be divided into smaller groups and share their own experiences, discussing the pros and cons with CS, with a particular focus on the communication aspects of CS projects.

The workshop will close with a joint discussion on how communicators can support CS within their universities.

Throughout the workshop, the online voting tool Mentimeter will be used, allowing feedback from participants to be instantly displayed on the main screen.

The results will be shared with the participants after the event and also be summarised in a news article to be published on the VA website. They will also be available for EUPRIO to use as it wishes.

The aim of the workshop is to introduce the concept of CS, to make communicators more aware of the crucial role that communication plays in all parts of such projects, and inspire them to initiate and support CS in their universities.