Challenging the understanding of roles and ownership in citizen social science: the coact experience

Reflecting a result of co-evaluation.

Bereich: Forschungspolitik & Entwicklung

Datum: 5. - 7. Juli 2022

While citizen science and the participation of non-professional scientists in authentic scientific endeavors is growing in popularity across disciplines, these practices are still mostly associated with natural science. Typically, projects are designed by professional researchers who offer a portfolio of participation to the wider public. Roles and responsibilities tend to be assigned by the project owners, i.e., the scientists. However, participatory research practices also have strong roots in the social sciences, where lay people have long been involved in co- researching their own challenges within their socio-political contexts and contributing to changes in public policies. In the tradition of community-based participatory research and participatory action research, and as part of the H2020 project CoAct, we aim to advance citizen social science as a transdisciplinary research approach and enhance its methodological repertoire.
CoAct addresses global social concerns - including youth employment, mental healthcare, and environmental justice - via local participatory research actions. Local citizen social science research teams consisting of affected citizens, thematic and political stakeholders, and multidisciplinary academic researchers have been established to address the specific concerns and to implement concrete actions and strategies to tackle them. This contribution is based on the experiences collected during the first two years implementing three citizen social science case actions in CoAct, where affected citizens are not only co-researching but also co-evaluating. In this process, key areas of tension were changing and emerging roles, different interests - such as problem solving vs scientific publication output - different expectations and their management, as well as structural contexts impacting feelings of ownership over the project, its processes and outcomes. Nevertheless, we encountered great potential to work with people from all strata of society, including those often underrepresented in citizen science activities, as the topics of concern are related to their own lived experiences.

Typ: Veranstaltungen anderer Institutionen

Organisator: EASST

Veranstaltungsort: Madrid


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Tags: citizen social science, co-evaluation, evaluation, participation, participatory research

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