Network meetings of Citizen Science and Young Science contact persons

Ein Netz roter Ameisen © Shutterstock/Daraka

The Center for Citizen Science regularly invites Citizen Science and Young Science contact persons at universities, FH, PHs and other non-university research institutions to network meetings. The aim is to exchange ideas and learn from each other about tasks and upcoming challenges in the field of Citizen Science and the cooperation between science and schools.

Since 2018, Citizen Science and Young Science contact persons meet and exchange views on various topics, ranging from "How can the Centre for Citizen Science best support contact persons?" to "How is Citizen Science understood in Austria?" and "What motivates researchers and Citizen Scientists?" to "What measures can support the reduction of science scepticism in Austria?".

Next networking event

The next network meeting will take place in March 2024. Information will be made available on the website on time.

Past networking events

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  • At the 12th network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons, several current topics and presentations were on the agenda. First, the staff of the OeAD Center for Citizen Science presented news about their own initiatives. These included the Young Science Congress 2023, the call for proposals for the Citizen Science Award 2024 and the new content on science communication.The participants reported on their institutions and highlighted their own current initiatives.

    Daniel Dörler and Florian Heigl (BOKU) then presented the plans for the Citizen Science double conference of the ECSA (European Citizen Science Association) and the Austrian Citizen Science Conference, which will take place in Vienna from April 3 to 6, 2024 under the motto "Change".

    Michalis Tzatzanis (FFG) presented the results of the "Mutual Learning Exercise" on Citizen Science, which was carried out as part of Horizon Europe in Austria and ten other EU countries.

     

    Download: Präsentation OeAD-Zentrum für Citizen Science (in German)

    Download: Präsentation Daniel Dörler/Florian Heigl (in German)

    Download: Präsentation Michalis Tzatzanis (in German)

  • At the 11th network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons, current topics and presentations were on the agenda. First, the staff of the OeAD Center for Citizen Science presented news on Young Science and Citizen Science initiatives. Among other things, the active role of OeAD in the implementation of some points from the BMBWF's TruSD: 10-Point Program for Strengthening Trust in Science and Democracy in Austria was highlighted. As part of the 10-point program, among other things, a cause study on the reasons for science skepticism in Austria was commissioned. Furthermore, the creation of a broad alliance of science ambassadors and the production of teaching materials for teachers and researchers is planned. A second measure is the creation of a collection of materials for science and democracy education in schools, which will be continuously expanded. Much of the OeAD's #YoungScienceRocks campaign has gone into this. It now comprises around 500 materials.

    This was followed by two presentations by speakers from the Young Science and Citizen Science contact network. Barbara Kieslinger from the Center for Social Innovation (ZSI) presented the European Citizen Science platform EU-Citizen.Science. The interactive online platform serves the exchange of knowledge from Citizen Science projects, tools, trainings and resources. In addition to broadly embedding Citizen Science in science and society, it aims in particular to address previously underrepresented population groups, contribute to excellent science through capacity building, and create improved data infrastructures.

    In a second presentation, Barbara Konturek from the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft's Open Innovation in Science Center (OIS Center) introduced the OIS zam: network and its initiatives. The LBG OIS Center supports scientists and organizations in planning, implementing, and evaluating open and collaborative research practices in the context of engaging citizens, stakeholders, and interested parties.

    Finally, Michalis Tzatzanis from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) gave a guest lecture in which he presented the Horizon Europe Community Austria and FFG services and also talked about funding opportunities for Citizen Science, Science Communication and Societal Engagement in European funding programs.

    Download: Presentation by the OeAD Center for Citizen Science

    Download: Presentation Barbara Kieslinger

    Download: Presentation Barbara Konturek

    Download: Presentation Michalis Tzatzanis

  • At the 10th network meeting, the Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons were invited to present new initiatives at their research institutions. It became apparent that since the Eurobarometer survey 2021, which was not very flattering for Austria with regard to the perception of science, the interest in science communication has intensified at the research institutions. Since a lot is happening in the fields of Open Science and Citizen Science in a wide variety of places and areas, the desire for even more intensive networking within the research institutions was expressed.

    In the second part, the staff of the OeAD Center for Citizen Science reported on what has been done in the OeAD against the background of the annual focus "Reducing Science Skepticism" and the campaign #YoungScienceRocks and what is planned for the future. In this context, the training series for young science and citizen science contact persons planned for 2023 and 2024 was also presented and feedback on it was sought. The training series will consist of six sessions, with three events per year (each in February, June and November). One or two experts from Germany and abroad will be invited to speak at each session. The first three sessions will be more theoretical, with an introduction to citizen science and science communication and its importance for universities and research institutions, a second session on new trends in science communication with best practice examples, and a third session on science communication to young target groups. The three units in 2024 will be practical in nature, with project leaders from the newly funded Sparkling Science projects invited as speakers, among others.

    Download: Presentation by the OeAD Center for Citizen Science

  • At the 9th network meeting, we talked about reducing the science scepticism that persists in Austria and presented the OeAD campaign #YoungScienceRocks.

    Building on the discussion about the Eurobarometer survey EU citizen's knowledge and attitudes towards science and technology from the last network meeting, the young science and citizen science contact persons reflected on the science communication activities at their own research institutions. It became apparent that there are numerous offerings at the contact persons' research institutions to attract people from all segments of the population to the research institutions. However, in light of the Eurobarometer survey, the extent to which existing science communication measures are sufficient was also questioned.

    Download: Presentation by the OeAD Center for Citizen Science

  • At the last network meeting in 2021, we looked back together at the (almost) past year and ahead to 2022. What has happened at the institutions of the contact persons? What at the OeAD Center for Citizen Science and Young Science? What are the lessons learned? And what new initiatives are planned for the coming year?

    As a basis for further discussion on possible topics, goals and expectations for science education in 2022, we also took a look at the new Eurobarometer survey EU citizen’s knowledge and attitudes towards Science and Technology. The representative survey in 27 EU countries and 11 other countries (candidate countries) in April and May 2021 again showed that Austria is among the laggards in Europe in terms of public perception of science and technology. For example, more than half of the respondents in this country (53%) said that it was not important to know about science in everyday life. One-third perceive researchers as "dishonest," and just under a quarter are undecided about this statement. Accordingly, there is still much to be done in the area of science communication in Austria.

    Presentation of the OeAD Center for Citizen Science (in German)

  • The 7th network meeting revolved around the topic of target groups that have not yet been reached or have hardly been reached at all - a topic that is of great interest to many institutions. To learn what is happening at Austrian institutions in this regard, Citizen Science and Young Science contact persons were invited to talk about their experiences. The meeting started with a short thematic input from the OeAD Centre for Citizen Science, followed by a small survey on "Who or what are hard-to-reach target groups?". As numerous as the participants were, so were their answers. They ranged from children to patients to people with little education. In the next step, the contact persons shared their experiences from the initiatives carried out at their institutions and told how they tried to reach these target groups. This provided a good overview of the Austrian approaches in the field of "hard-to-reach groups".

    Download Presentation of the OeAD-Center for Citizen Science

  • On 25 March 2021, the 6th network meeting for young science and citizen science contact persons took place, which was aimed exclusively at contact persons at universities of teacher education. The focus was on the topic of "Citizen Science in teacher training and continuing education" and the question of how citizen science can be anchored at universities of teacher education.

    First of all, it was discussed why citizen science is important in teacher training and further education. The answers were manifold. Citizen Science is an innovative learning approach that makes it possible to introduce children and young people to science and research in a democratic way. By integrating citizen science into school lessons, different competences can be built up in all actors involved - pupils, teachers and researchers. (Prospective) teachers can act as multipliers of the first order and build bridges between schools and research institutions. They should work on citizen science projects, because in this way networks can be established for later cooperation and the foundations laid for future research-education partnerships. Citizen Science should be taught as a matter of course at school; the Citizen Science Award can be a starting point here. At the same time, especially after the long phases of distance learning in the context of the Corona pandemic, citizen science offers the opportunity to experience and learn something tangible, e.g. through research projects in nature.

    Afterwards, docking points at teacher training colleges, best practice examples for the successful integration of citizen science in teacher training and further education were discussed and ideas for a possible citizen science course were collected.

  • On December 17, 2020, the OeAD Center for Citizen Science invited to the 5th network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons.

    For the second time, the network meeting took place online and enjoyed great interest from contact persons from all over Austria. The meeting focussed on two topics. While the first part was dedicated to an exchange of experiences about the work of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons in times of Corona, in the second part contact persons discussed how Citizen Science could be anchored in teacher training and further education. Reports on practical experiences at Austrian research institutions made this part of the meeting particularly inspiring and offered suggestions for future collaborations.

    The meeting once again showed how important an exchange is, especially in times of Corona and how online meetings enable people to move closer together, even over spatial distances. Thanks to all participants for their keen interest and exciting inputs!

    Presentation of the Center for Citizen Science

  • The fourth network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons took place online for the first time on September 14, 2020. The topic "Corona" was omnipresent and also left its mark on the Young Science and Citizen Science sector. Therefore the contact persons reflected together

    • what (new) challenges they have encountered in their daily work
    • to what extent Citizen Science or the cooperation between science and school at their research institution was (sufficiently) supported
    • where they saw development potential and opportunities
    • how they perceived their own role and
    • how the Center for Citizen Science was able to provide the best possible support.

    It became particularly apparent that many of the contact persons had had similar experiences, making such an exchange all the more important.

    Download: Presentation of the Center for Citizen Science

  • The third network meeting took place at the Austrian Citizen Science Conference 2019 in Obergurgl, Tyrol. During the meeting, the results of the workshop out „(Missing) Citizen Science Incentives & Recognition - What motivates & what hinders researchers?" of the previous day were used and extended by the topic "Motivations of Citizen Scientists". Together they reflected on how various ideas for motivating those involved in the institutions can be put into practice.

    Download: Presentation of the Center for Citizen

  • On February 25, 2019, the Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons met at the invitation of the Center for Citizen Science for the second joint network meeting. The focus of the meeting was to clarify terms relating to the cooperation between science, schools and society as well as the implementation of Citizen Science and Young Science in practice.

    In the first part, the two scientists Daniel Dörler and Florian Heigl from the Citizen Science Network Austria (CSNA) highlighted in their keynote "How is Citizen Science understood in Austria" the international spread of the term "Citizen Science" (CS) and showed how the terminology differs worldwide and which partly similar concepts exist alongside it. For example, "Citizen Science" is used in the USA and Great Britain, but in Brazil it is called "Ciência cidadã" and in Belgium "Burgerwetenschap". In addition, one encounters scientific approaches such as Volunteer Monitoring, Community Science or Participatory Action Research, some of which have a number of overlaps with CS. If one delves further into the CS concept, one encounters Open Science, Science Communication and Public Engagement, which are partial aspects of CS, but are not in themselves synonymous with CS. At present, the difficulty, but also the opportunity, is that there is no uniform CS definition yet and the concept is constantly evolving. In order to nevertheless create a CS framework for the projects on their platform, the two researchers presented CS quality criteria that were developed in a CSNA working group. It should be noted that these are the first criteria of this kind and yet have already attracted international attention.

    In the second part of the event, four Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons explained how the topics "Young Science" and "Citizen Science" are integrated into the daily work at their institutions. These brief inputs served as inspiration for the subsequent working groups, which exchanged views on various questions, including How are Young Science & Citizen Science lived at the institutions? What works (less)? What motivates or inhibits those people already active?

    The organisers look back on a productive network meeting.

    Download: Keynote "How is Citizen Science understood in Austria?
    Download: Presentation of the Center for Citizen Science

  • On September 19, the first network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons took place in Vienna at Palais Harrach. Nearly 30 representatives from universities, universities of applied sciences, universities of education and museums met for a first meeting and exchange of experiences.

    The Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons reported on numerous experiences of their institution during the meeting and introduction round. Among others, they mentioned participations in several initiatives such as the Long Night of Research, the Children's University, Science goes School, Teacher goes FH and Citizen Science projects. Very soon it became clear that some institutions are already very active in the area of cooperation between science and schools and/or society, while others have only little experience. In order to help the institutions in this respect, the Center for Citizen Science then presented a number of offers such as the Citizen Science Award or the Young Science Ambassadors, which can be used by the institutions as tools to fulfill their "social responsibility".

    Subsequently, the participants worked out ideas in three working groups on the topics "How can successful cooperation within the institutions and with the Center for Citizen Science work?" and "What challenges and stumbling blocks could there be? The participants suggested, among other things, to organise network meetings twice a year and to exchange ideas, for example, at the Austrian Citizen Science Conference. These are ideas that reflect the interest and motivation of this community.

    During the meeting many things were discussed which should be further developed at future network meetings.

    Download: Presentation of the Center for Citizen Science