Programme Citizen Science
Programme Line Lead: Margaret Gold
The mission of the Citizen Science Programme Line is to support Citizen Science as a practice across the Netherlands, such that participatory processes for knowledge creation initiated by both citizen scientists and professional researchers are recognised, valued and supported as part of ‘mainstream’ research.
As decribed in the NPOS2030 Ambition Document, we have identified five key action lines within this Programme Line, which are to:
- Raise awareness of the benefits of Citizen Science approaches to science, policy, and society;
- Consolidate and further develop best practice across research domains;
- Build capacity: develop training and education resources for building capacity within research organisations and societal partnerships for Citizen Science as a practice;
- Enhance cooperation, synergies, and transdisciplinary collaboration;
- Develop and invest in supporting infrastructures: identify areas of opportunity to establish a supportive and sustainable ecosystem for Citizen Science in the Netherlands, such as via technology infrastructures, dedicated funding programmes, and policy instruments.
Share your views in the Open Consultation During the Open Consultation on the NPOS2030 Ambition Document, the CS Programme Line also welcomes your thoughts and inputs on our Key Lines of Action for Citizen Science, and our vision for Citizen Science in 2030.
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In November 2020, the report ‘Knowledge and Strengths Combined - Citizen Science in the Netherlands’, authored by the NPOS Citizen Science Working Group, was approved by the National Programme Open Science Steering Committee. In March 2021 the Citizen Science Programme was provided with coordination support to help develop the Strategy for Open Science towards 2030, and was given the mandate to proceed with establishing the first Citizen Science Practitioners Network in the Netherlands (the ‘CS-NL Network’).
The goals defined by the Working Group in this report fed into the NPOS2030 Ambition Document, and include the establishment of the CS-NL Network for the community of citizen science practitioners across the Netherlands, which will launch in 2022.
What is Citizen Science?
In citizen science initiatives, professional scientists conduct research together with members of society, or “citizen scientists”, whose efforts, knowledge and experience enhance both the quality and the impact of the research. Citizen science can be initiated by members of society as individual citizens, community members or civic organizations, as well as by researchers and academics wishing to engage with societal stakeholders and volunteers. In both cases citizen science often yields results that could not be achieved within the professional, scientific world alone.
Because citizen science comes in many forms, it is important to give a broad description of what citizen science entails, and to recognise that citizen science is often transdisciplinary in scope. Cooperation and collaboration between scientific and societal actors is essential to solving urgent and complex scientific and social problems - such as addressing the impacts of climate change, and realising the Sustainable Development Goals.
Citizen science is the key means by which Open Science practices can address two of the Guiding Principles of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, namely:
Principle 10: Open engagement of societal actors, which refers to “extended collaboration between scientists and societal actors beyond the scientific community, by opening up practices and tools that are part of the research cycle and by making the scientific process more inclusive and accessible to the broader inquiring society based on new forms of collaboration and work such as crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and scientific volunteering.”, and
Principle 11: Open dialogue with other knowledge systems, which refers to “the dialogue between different knowledge holders, that recognizes the richness of diverse knowledge systems and epistemologies and diversity of knowledge producers in line with the 2001 UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. It aims to promote the inclusion of knowledge from traditionally marginalized scholars and enhance inter-relationships and complementarities between diverse epistemologies, adherence to international human rights norms and standards, respect for knowledge sovereignty and governance, and the recognition of rights of knowledge holders to receive a fair and equitable share of benefits that may arise from the utilization of their knowledge.
Over the past decades, a great deal of inspiring pioneering work has been carried out in the Netherlands with numerous individual projects - in all shapes and sizes and within numerous scientific fields.
The CS-NL Network will work to consolidate and share this experience and know-how across the community of citizen science practitioners in the Netherlands, support the further development of best practice across all research domains, and raise awareness of the benefits of Citizen Science approaches to science, policy, and society.