All sessions


Theme 1. Addressing global challenges

Citizen Science for health and well-being

Format: 8-minute presentation + 3 minutes Q&A each presentation; Session chair: Xavier Basagaña, Valeria Righi

Citizen science is increasingly being used in health-related research. For example, citizens can help track epidemics in real time, contribute to important scientific research about folding proteins, or explore questions such as how pollution and odours are affecting our health. In this session, we will focus on issues around data quality, methodologies and research results, and on how citizen science in health and biomedical research can be integrated into policy making.

Mobility and renewable energy for sustainable cities and communities

Format: 10-minute presentation + 5 minutes Q&A; Session chair: Kris Vanherle

One of the key challenges for our future on a healthy planet is to create sustainable cities and communities with sustainable energy and mobilityCitizen science has a great potential to involve society in this process with creative ways and true-to-life issues. How can we produce scientific knowledge in the field of mobility and transport through citizen science (projects)? And, how can this knowledge and data affect policy making on transportation and mobility?

Citizen Science for sustainable education

Format: 10-minute presentation each keynote + 6 x 3 minute recorded presentations from the call + Q&A in the chat; Session chair: Gitte Kragh, Jacob Sherson

This session will highlight how embedding citizen science and the SDGs into teaching curricula and education practices can empower people to understand, engage with and help solve local and global challenges, now and in the future. Contributions are invited from the wider citizen science and education communities for six-minute ‘lightning talks’ about innovative and impactful initiatives that focus on empowering young people to contribute to the SDGs through embedding citizen science into educational activities.

Responsible food consumption and production through Citizen Science

Format: Keynote + 5-minute speed talk on the basis of posters + discussion; Session chair: Ina Opitz, Anett Richter

While food consumption and its sustainability is in the hands of consumers, food production in Europe is largely controlled by a few global agricultural companies. The challenge of initiating and establishing responsible food consumption patterns is therefore a significant one. In this session, we will discuss the current relevance of and opportunities for citizen science in research on food consumption and production.

Citizens in biodiversity monitoring

Format: 15 minutes of introduction, 8-minute presentation + 2-minutes Q&A each presentation followed by a 25-minute long discussion; Session chair: Nike Sommerwerk, Jörg Freyhof, Martina Lutz

Sustainable life on earth requires protection and sustainable management. These need sound knowledge. Here, monitoring is an important tool and essential to reach environmental goals. In this session, we will focus on the integration of citizen research into biodiversity monitoring and thus its current and possible future contribution to national and international reporting obligations. We will also address how to enhance citizen scientists’ access to infrastructure, resources, literature, training, laboratories, as well as coordination services. This will include issues of data storage, data quality assurance and maintenance, method development, metadata creation, planning of data collection and data visualisation.

Lightning talks

Format: 5-minute talk + 2-minute discussion each; Session chair: Kim Mortega

Lightning talks are short presentations on a particular theme. In this session, projects with significant citizen science activities and achievements will have the opportunity to present their work in relation to other themes relating to the SDGs, such as disaster response, climate change, inequalities, and responsible production and consumption.

Theme 2. Concepts and methodologies for the SDGs

Evaluation of programmes and projects: instruments, outputs, outcomes

Format: 10-minute presentation + 5-minute Q&A each presentation; Session chair: Nicola Moczek, Barbara Kieslinger

There are many stimulating questions in the research on citizen science, especially in the areas of evaluation, quality and communication. Why do citizens participate in citizen science projects? What benefit do they get from it; what benefit does science and reaching the SDGs have? This session will present instruments, evaluation designs as well as results from evaluation and impact research conducted on projects and place them in the context of the promise of citizen science.

Exploring human-nature-relations: Citizen Science in the Anthropocene

Format: 10-minute introduction, 10-minute keynote, 10-minute presentation each presentation + 10-minute discussion; Session chair: Maike Weißpflug, Marie Delannoy

The Anthropocene – the current age, in which human influence on the earth’s surface and biosphere exceeds natural forces – is a widely discussed concept that blurs the boundaries between disciplines, and between non-professional and expert knowledge. This session will discuss whether and how citizen science can be a convincing research approach to the challenges of the Anthropocene. The session combines practical examples of citizen science projects with theoretical reflections on human-nature-relations.

Contribution of Citizen Science Data to Monitoring the SDGs (not part of the open call)

Format: Symposium + Q&A from participants; Session chair: Dilek Fraisl (session organised by WeObserve)

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 as a call to action to tackle the world’s greatest challenges such as poverty and climate change. With its 17 goals, 169 targets and 247 indicators, the SDGs reflect a data-driven and society-oriented framework that requires a collaborative effort from all levels of society to achieve the future we want and to leave no one behind. Crucial to their success is timely, reliable and comprehensive data that are difficult to gather using traditional sources of data alone, such as censuses and household surveys. Coupled with these traditional methods and other new sources of data such as Earth Observation (EO), and mobile phone data, citizen science has an immense potential to address these data gaps. A recent study by Fraisl et al. shows that citizen science data have the potential to contribute data to 33% of the SDG indicators. This session aims to demonstrate the value of citizen science data for tracking progress of the SDGs, drawing upon concrete examples that outline the use of citizen science data by NSOs and UN agencies. We will discuss the challenges and barriers for the uptake of citizen science data for feeding into SDG monitoring processes, and how we can bring it into the scope of official statistics through recognition by governments, national statistical offices (NSOs), the UN system, and other data producers and users, from the perspective of the representatives of all these stakeholders.

Citizen observatories: the landscape, tools and data innovations for sustainable development

Format: Speed talks; Session chair: Valantis Tsiakos (session organised by WeObserve)

This session invites contributions from Citizen Observatories (COs) and projects that identify as such, to join for an interactive ‘meet-and-greet’ session and to showcase CO tools and innovations that support sustainable development. This session will provide an overview of the current landscape of COs and present innovations from them, such as new methodologies and conceptual models, as well as data innovations from hackathons, innovation and open data challenges. Alongside selected contributions, the WeObserve project will present a co-design toolkit to generate ideas for new COs for public participation, environmental monitoring and disaster management in the context of the SDG framework, as well as results from the WeObserve Open Data Challenge.

Transformative potential of citizen science and citizen observatories for mobilising action towards achieving the SDGs (not part of the open call)

Format: 5 speed talks and a 45-minute panel discussion; Session chair: Uta Wehn (session organised by WeObserve)

This session concludes the WeObserve thread of the conference. Achieving the SDGs requires behaviour change of individuals as well as organisations on unprecedented scales. This session will address the transformative potential of CS and COs towards the SDG agenda. It will position CS and CO as integral policy measures and support measures for disaster management and emergency response and not ‘just’ as instruments for monitoring policy attainment.

Participatory Citizen Social Sciences towards the SDGs

Format: Round table with a moderated debate after a short statement (5 min) about conducting citizen social science research on SDGs; Session chair: Stefan Thomas, David Scheller

In this session, we want to discuss the following questions: What are the specificities and necessities when it comes to citizen social science in the field of SDGs? Do we need a truly participatory and collaborative methodology framework beyond the current debate in CS? Is there a difference between citizen social science and citizen science more generally? Is such a subset within the frame of a general citizen science necessary? What has to be considered if we conduct CSS towards the SDGs?

Theme 3. Policies, platforms and networks to achieve the SDGs

Citizen Science platforms as a way to impact on the SDGs

Format: 5-minute introduction by the moderator + 4 speakers with 10-minute presentation each + Q&A; Session chair: Colombe Warin

This session will focus on the importance of sharing knowledge, training materials and resources about citizen science, and of taking stock of the experiences of national platforms as a way of working towards the SDGs. It will also consider the multiplier effect of having one central platform at the European level, EU-Citizen.Science, and the importance of platforms in international collaborations towards the SDGs.

Citizen Science Policy – A panel discussion (not part of the open call)

Format: Panel discussion & hot chair; Session chair: Aletta Bonn, Susanne Hecker

The panel discussion will engage high-level experts from policy, science and museums as science-society interfaces at the national and EU level. We will debate how citizen science can provide building blocks for attaining SDGs policy goals, and discuss what opportunities and challenges exist for policy and science funders to support citizen science. The audience will have the opportunity to engage with panellists through a ‚hot chair‘ session. As an outcome, we hope to elicit a vision for fostering citizen science and SDGs into 2030.

Who is engaged in Citizen Science – and who could or should be?

Format: 10-minute presentation + 5-minutes Q&A each keynote; 5-minutes presentation each presentation + 15-minutes panel discussion; Session chair: Jens Jetzkowitz

Citizen science is an established approach in the scientific landscape, and one that is intentionally used for many purposes: developing novel ways to conduct research and innovation, collect and analyse data, empowering citizens to participate with their own ideas in the democratic knowledge society, and communicating principles of scientific thinking to non-academics. To sharpen our understanding of the potential, but also the limitations, of citizen science, this session will bring together speakers to compare normative claims with factual circumstances, and discuss which groups in society are active in citizen science, and which are not. Answers to these questions will lead us to a differentiated assessment of the goals citizen science projects can achieve.

Partnerships towards the goals – Making sustainable change sustainable with Citizen Science

Format: 10-minute presentations from the call each + discussion; Session chair: Jörn Knobloch

A combination of scientific knowledge, governance and institutional changes, socially inclusive participation, and close international collaboration and mutual learning is required for the sustainable transformation to a sustainable society. Citizen science has the potential as a best practice solution for this process. The characteristics of citizen science as a mode of social self-enlightenment allows it to anchor the knowledge needed for change and to increase the public support of social transformation. To secure this in the long term, a shared framework for equal cooperation must be developed, in cooperation with other R&I stakeholders such as public authorities, businesses and industry, and research and academic institutions. The session will outline the conditions as well as future directions of this framework and address critical issues, such as the tension between autonomy and use of citizen science, the mediation between scientific independence and participatory expectations, and the benefits of an open science policy.

Opening Social Science & Humanities research towards society: Required institutional settings

Format: 15-minute input presentation + 45-minutes panel discussion with three speakers from CSS initiatives; Session chair: Justus Henke, Sylvi Mauermeister, Claudia Göbel

What roles does citizen science in the social sciences and humanities have for working towards the SDGs? This session focuses on the organisational settings in which Citizen Social Sciences take place. We are interested in cooperation between different stakeholder groups, especially between scientific institutions and civil society. Such cooperation is important for addressing the SDGs, but how does this work in practice? Which analytical concepts are needed? By bringing together research results and experiences of practitioners, we seek to provide an empirical basis for discussing success factors and challenges for addressing the SDGs through Citizen Social Sciences.