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The Canodrome hosts a masterclass on public policy and citizen science

28 September 2021

Science. The Citizen Science Office of Barcelona and the ACTION project have organized this conference aimed at people from the political and administrative spheres.

A masterclass on public policy and citizen science was held today at the Canòdrom, Ateneu d'Innovació Digital i Democràtica. The conference "Policy masterclass citizen science in sustainability transitions: why and how?" has been organised by the Citizen Science Office of Barcelona and the European project ACTION.

Citizen science is understood as scientific research in which non-specialists actively participate in some stage of the process: hypothesis formulation, experimental design, sampling and data collection, or obtaining results. Many citizen science initiatives seek answers and solutions to local or nearby problems in order to take action to mitigate them. In this context, today’s masterclass at the Canòdrom aimed to train professionals from politics, government, associations and other entities to integrate citizen science in their field of action.

In recent years, the benefits that citizen science brings to public policy have been gaining recognition. However, citizen science is still largely unknown in the political arena, its adoption is still slow, and there is often a lack of knowledge and other resources among political actors to integrate citizen science into policy-making. The session therefore aimed to raise awareness, provide tools and knowledge, and strategically position citizen science as a method for addressing social and political priorities.

 

Some key ideas

The masterclass was based on the expectations of the different actors involved, both from public administrations and from the ecosystem of participatory research and innovation. A common denominator has been the need to establish effective connections between the research community and policymakers that contribute to the development of citizen science as a facilitating methodology to address specific challenges.

During the session, the need to jointly develop processes to identify the needs and challenges of citizens in order to find solutions through research, among other disciplines, was discussed. Emphasis was also placed on working especially on connections focused on the territory, as well as facilitating transversal collaborations between the different sectors and agents. This is a set of milestones that requires an emphasis on mutual trust and commitment based on the solidity and transparency of scientific evidence.

 

Organisation

The Barcelona Office of Citizen Science is a platform promoted by the Department of Science and Universities of Barcelona City Council whose mission is to support research projects that, under this paradigm, are carried out in the city and the metropolitan area.

The Office has organized this masterclass together with the ACTION project, co-funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of ACTION is to create a citizen science accelerator to boost citizen science activities to combat and prevent the main forms of pollution in the European Union.