STSM: Understanding engagement mechanisms of citizen science for participatory policy

STSM: Understanding engagement mechanisms  of citizen science for participatory policy

Prof. Marisa Ponti | Gothenburg University | 09.04. to 13.04.2018 | 5 Days
Host: Dr. Sven Schade and Dr. Alexandre Polvora | Hostinstitution: JRC Ispra and JRC Brussels
Understanding engagement mechanisms of citizen science for participatory policy

Purpose of the STSM

 (a). Background: Citizen science (CS) needs to be considered beyond the narrow framing of public engagement in scientific research. The European Commission has stated clearly this need in relation to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), which is an element of the EU Horizon 2020 program. RRI calls for researchers, industry, policymakers, NGOs, and members of the general public to "work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes, with the values, needs, and expectations of European society" (Hacklay, 2015). Since RRI calls for an inclusive and participatory research process, it opens up opportunities for the integration of citizen science across the research landscape. Citizen Science can contribute to the Commission’s goal of RRI, as it can reinforce public engagement and can redirect research agendas towards issues of concern to citizens. Furthermore, citizens are seen as potentially playing a central and transversal role to play in supporting research and innovation outcomes and policy agendas that are help tackle societal problems. Therefore, citizen science can play an important role across many areas of policy in providing evidence that helps understand the risks and benefits of different policy choices. The applicant conducts research on citizen science and participation and has participated in the activities of Working Group (WG) 4 in COST Action CA 15212.

(b). Aims and Objectives: The primary aim of this Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) was to develop a collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) in Ispra (IT) and Brussels (BE), particularly with researchers closely related to citizen science and other public engagement frameworks in science and technology. This involved the JRC internal project ENGAGE-DEMO (Ispra with Dr. Ângela Guimarães Pereira from JRC.I2 (Foresight, Behavioural Insights and Design for Policy) and Dr. Sven Schade from JRC.B.6, and Brussels with Alexandre Pólvora from JRC.I2), but also other JRC projects within this field, currently attached to Science and Technology Studies and the TNT Makerspace (Ispra, with Dr. Ângela Guimarães Pereira and Dr. Paulo Rosa from JRC.I2) to the Citizen Science Platform (with Dr. Sven Schade from JRC.B.6), and to the EU Policy Lab (Brussels, with Alexandre Pólvora and Dr. Susana Nascimento from JRC.I.2). This collaboration was aimed to promote and advance the COST Action CA 15212, in order to combine expertise to address questions such as how citizen science engagement and its community-building strategies can be incorporated in policy advice and policymaking, or which issues and dimensions should be considered for this participatory policy approach to become a reality at EU level. The medium-term objective of the STSM  is to feed into the deliverable 5: “Scientific paper to contribute to the understanding of the role of CS for social innovation”, which is related to Task 3 of the Action’s Working Group 4: “Develop a framework of participation based on a review of evaluation methods of the contextual and environmental factors that mediate the effectiveness of different participatory practices.”

The whole report can be found here: