Workshop WG2: Citizen Science as a tool for education/promotion of scientific literacy in evolution

Workshop WG2: Citizen Science as a tool for education/promotion of scientific literacy in evolution

Type: Joint Workshop of three COST Actions
Location: Berlin, Germany (Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin
Date: January 13-14, 2020
Duration: 2 days
Status: planned

  • Dr Miriam Brandt, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Laure Kloetzer, Institute of Psychology and Education, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Deadline for applications: open until November 15st, 2019
Participants:   7 from EuroScitizen, 5-6 from Alien CSI, 5-6 from Citizen Science COST Action


Joint Workshop of three COST Actions:



The goal of this workshop is to investigate the potential of Citizen Science as a tool for promoting scientific literacy using evolution as a model. Participants from three COST Actions (EuroScitizen, Citizen Science and Alien CSI) will convene for two days to develop an “inspiration/best practices guideon how to communicate evolution in Citizen Science projects.

Evolution is one of the most important fields in science and has great relevance for current challenges like climate change, drug resistance and food security. However, the concept of evolution is not well understood in the general public. One tool with potential to improve scientific literacy in general and the understanding of evolution in particular is Citizen Science. Citizen Science is used, for example, to improve knowledge on invasive alien species and create societal engagement with this steadily growing problem. However, to date there are very few Citizen Science projects with an explicit evolutionary focus.

The joint workshop thus addresses an important topic at the interface of the three COST Actions EuroScitizen, Citizen Science and Alien-CSI. The meeting aims to

  1. define what constitutes “good” citizen science in evolutionary biology,
  2. develop a set of inspirational ideas/best practices to incorporating evolutionary concepts in  citizen science projects. How can these be used to promote scientific literacy in evolution? How can this success be evaluated?

The resulting compendium will provide inspiration and guidance on how to incorporate evolutionary concepts into Citizen Science projects. It is meant to encourage scientists, museums, NGOs and other stakeholders to either set up new Citizen Science projects or use existing projects to communicate evolutionary topics.

How to Apply

The deadline for applications is November 15st, 2019.

Please note:  we can only reimburse up to 5 participants
Applicants are requested to:

  • Fill out the application form
  • Prepare and upload a 250-word motivation letter, expressing their interest in the workshop.
  • Prepare and upload a short CV - max 2 pages. In the same document containing the CV, if applicable, describe also their role/contribution in/to the COST Action 15212 (e.g., Working Group Member, contributor to a publication, etc.).

Please upload your CV and motivation letter in the application form!

The organizing committee will assess the eligible contributions following these criteria:

  • Expertise relevant to this workshop (max. 5 score points).
  • Interest of the submitted contribution to the WG and Action goals (max. 5 score points)

Profiles of people we are especially looking for:

  • Evolutionary biologists 
  • Evolution education specialists
  • Experience with evolution citizen science projects

Draft agenda

Day 1 (9:00 – 18:00)



Input from 3-4 citizen science projects with an evolutionary focus and/or aiming for a learning output.

Discussion: What were the main challenges? What would you have done differently? What were the barriers to overcome?

After coffee

World Café 1:

Focusing on challenges for citizen science projects with a learning outcome

After lunch

World Café 2:

What are the challenges in communicating evolution? => how can we use citizen science to address these challenges?

After coffee

Work in small groups (2-3 people) on one challenge each

Research and collate existing best practices / resources, develop recommendations

Day 2 (9:00 – 16:00)


Identify emerging questions / challenges and how to incorporate them

After coffee

Work on recommendations, assigning tasks for the compendium

After lunch

Work on compendium

Future directions / next steps

Monday, January 13, 2020 - 09:00 to Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 16:00
Museum für Naturkunde
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin