Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
DOI / URL link
Title (Primary) The threefold potential of environmental citizen science - generating knowledge, creating learning opportunities and enabling civic participation
Author Turrini, T.; Dörler, D.; Richter, A.; Heigl, F.; Bonn, A.;
Journal Biological Conservation
Year 2018
Department iDiv; ESS;
Volume 225
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T12;
Supplements https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S000632071731947X-mmc1.pdf
Keywords Environmental citizen science; Public participation in scientific research; Environmental education; Learning; Civic participation; Citizen science funding
UFZ wide themes RU1;
Abstract Citizen science offers significant innovation potential in science, society and policy. To foster environmental and conservation goals, citizen science can (i) generate new knowledge, (ii) enhance awareness raising and facilitate in-depth learning as well as (iii) enable civic participation. Here, we investigate how these aims are realised in citizen science projects and assess needs and challenges for advancing citizen science and stimulating future initiatives. To this end, we conducted a quantitative, web-based survey with 143 experts from the environmental and educational sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Our findings show that citizen science project managers pursue goals related to all three areas of potential impact. Interestingly, enabling civic participation was considered slightly less important in relation to generating new knowledge and creating learning opportunities. Different areas of necessary action emerge from our analysis. To fully realize the potential of citizen science for generating knowledge, priority should be given to enhance capacities to more effectively share research results with the scientific community through publication, also in scientific journals. Systematic evaluation is needed to gain a better understanding of citizen science learning outcomes, for which criteria need to be developed. Fostering project formats that allow participants to get involved in the whole research process – from posing the study question to implementing results – could enhance the transformative aspect of citizen science at a societal level. Important structural aspects that need to be addressed include adjustments in funding schemes, facilitation of communication between citizens and academia-based scientists, and offers for training, guidance and networking.
ID 20119
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=20119
Turrini, T., Dörler, D., Richter, A., Heigl, F., Bonn, A. (2018):
The threefold potential of environmental citizen science - generating knowledge, creating learning opportunities and enabling civic participation
Biol. Conserv. 225 , 176 - 186