Empowering citizens to participate in scientific endeavours: Tools and approaches from the Citizen Inquiry group

Herodotou, Christothea (2018). Empowering citizens to participate in scientific endeavours: Tools and approaches from the Citizen Inquiry group. In: European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) Conference, 3-5 Jun 2018, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

The vision of the Citizen Inquiry group is to educate citizens in scientific thinking and empower them in initiating or joining citizen science projects across disciplines both social and natural sciences. Citizen inquiry researchers have designed and evaluated a set of web-based and mobile tools to scaffold learning, participation, and communication between citizens. These include the 'nQuire-it' platform and accompanying mobile applications (Sense-it and Spot-it) supporting the creation of citizen science projects and the process of data collection; 'nQuire' supporting mass citizen science experiments in collaboration with the BBC Tomorrow's world initiative; 'iSpotnature' scaffolding inquiry learning by identifying wildlife; 'Situ8' supporting contextual learning by annotating physical places, and 'BeeWatch' providing contextual feedback through AI technology. It is envisioned that appropriate tools and supportive online communities can enable citizens to practice and develop scientific thinking skills while also democratise research by allowing the public to contribute to all the stages of the scientific research.

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