Citizen Science has been bubbling beneath the surface for some time and is reaching now a growing presence and influence in the scientific and participation scenario, locally and in the global context.

Focusing on the international scene, Clàudia Fabó Cartas and Prof. Muki Haklay conversate in this new podcast episode on the level of recognition and relevance of citizen science, its growth, the institutions promoting it, the challenges to be faced, and its expected futures.

Access the podcast here.

Looking at the European Union sphere, both Fabó and Haklay point out the rapid boost of Citizen Science due to its recognition by national and international funding bodies, in academic publications, and so on. This goes along with a positive attitude towards science among citizens and a growing interest among the scientific communities and the general public in involving non-scientist in research and innovation. And despite it all, Citizen Science is still largely unknown to many science communicators, researchers, and scientists.

Celebrating this interest in citizen participation in science, both interviewees lead the conversation toward the need for training and consciousness on how to do Citizen Science to ensure interoperability, quality of data, mutual trust, commitment, and ethical practices. Many challenges arise due to its novelty regarding how science has been conducted traditionally. Likewise, there are many reasons for fostering Citizen Science.

As Fabó outlines, democratic societies very much rely on science and research, scientific data, and evidence to inform the decisions that affect governmental policies and, at the end of the day, the lives of all of us. Therefore, Citizen Science promotes democracy when citizens participate in the process of scientific research and science projects respond to societal needs and priorities. In this sense, the interviewees point out the advocacy role of the European Union institutions with the embeddedness of public engagement in science in EU programmes, sending a signal that influences member states, higher education institutions, and the wide variety of stakeholders forming the research and innovation systems.