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International citizen science experts meet in Barcelona

The research group OpenSystems coordinates the second assembly of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).

The research group OpenSystems coordinates the second assembly of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).

27/10/2015

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More than one hundred experts from Europe, the United States and Australia meet from 28 to 30 October in Barcelona to participate in the second assembly of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).

Josep Perelló, principal investigator of the research group OpenSystems of the University of Barcelona and coordinator of the meeting, says "by hosting the second edition of the assembly Barcelona consolidates its leadership in the field of citizen science in southern Europe".

Citizen science is a growing worldwide phenomenon that includes citizen participation in the scientific research process. Citizens contribute actively to research studies with their knowledge, tools or resources. They provide researchers with data and experimental devices, they pose new questions, and researchers and citizens together create new scientific culture.

The Museu Blau - Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona hosts some of the activities included in the assembly, closed by a guided tour of the permanent exhibition "Planeta vida", by Anna Omedes, director of the museum. The Museu del Disseny de Barcelona also hosts several sessions and events included in the assembly: for example, a round-table talk in which representatives of American and Australian citizen science associations discuss the most important challenges to be faced in the next years.

 

Citizen science safari

Among assembly activities, we highlight here the Barcelona Citizen Science Safari, which takes place on Wednesday 28 October. Participants will walk round the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Passeig Marítim where scientists involved in ten different local citizen science projects will offer demonstrations to their European colleagues.  Some of the projects that will be presented are: Riu.net, Atrapaeltigre.com, CitClops, SeaWatchers, INaturalist, and Bee-path.

The city of Barcelona has already hosted other initiatives that give visibility to citizen science: two editions of the Barcelona Citizen Science Day and the citizen science activities included within Novum, the festival of science, technology and innovation. In 2012, the Culture Institute of the Barcelona City Council created the Office of Citizen Science. It is a pioneering initiative in Europe that supports and fosters the development of citizen science projects.

Recently, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) has set up a working group on citizen science which begins its activity in November in Zurich. Its main goal is to introduce citizen sciences at member universities.

The assembly has been organised by ECSA Secretary together with Katrin Vohland and Claudia Göbel, from the Berlin Museum of Natural History; Jaume Piera, expert at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC); Luigi Ceccaroni, from 1000001 Labs; Federic Bartumeus, expert at the Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), and Bernat Claramunt, from the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF-CSIC). All of them are ECSA members.

 

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