Dismantling unhelpful binaries in citizen science

‘Dismantling unhelpful binaries in citizen science’ at the #CitSciOzOnline conference

The Early-Mid Career Researcher (EMCR) 1/2 day symposium united citizen science-aligned researchers in Australia to interrogate and explore research and practice in citizen science across the country. Featuring keynotes, lighting talks, Q&A, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities, the #CitSciOzOnline Conference is the starting point for a community of practice in citizen science research; uniting interdisciplinary researchers, citizens, and others from outside of institutional settings.

Debbie Gonzalez Canada, who is researching participation in digital environmental monitoring, discussed unhelpful binaries in citizen science at the conference. The binaries are: 1) volunteers vs organizers; 2) dabblers vs super contributors; 3) individual vs group activities; 4) nature connection vs disconnection, and 5) digital vs traditional (aka “new vs old”). Thought some of these problematic binaries are not new for people in the field of public participation in research, it is surprising how they keep on being used, how they keep on shaping citizen science practice and obscuring (our) understanding. The presentation was informed by initial insights coming from qualitative fieldwork about how the experiences and practices of environmental monitoring volunteers are shaped by digital tools such as smartphone apps.

You can watch the 5 minutes presentation here:

The slides can be download here: Dismantling unhelpful binaries in citizen science:
5 research insights in 5 minutes

The #CitSciOzOnline Conference will continue every Wednesday during October 2020 and you can register for the event by following this link.

October 14th 7PM – 9PM – Disaster Response Stream followed by the Resilience Session

This theme will celebrate and explore the unique platform that citizen science provides for the collection of diverse and comparative data and how the unification of global citizens through science can improve our ability to recover from extreme events. Following on from this session, join us for an informal chat about resilience which has been trending in 2020- but what does it mean in practice?

October 21st 7PM – 9PM – Connections and Partnerships Stream followed by Coffee & Networking session

Connections are at the core of citizen science, which brings together a diverse array of people to share science and creativity through collaboration. This theme will focus on powerful examples of citizen science as a way to connect and foster impact. Stick around afterwards for a virtual coffee and some citizen science networking!

October 28th 7PM – 9PM – Innovation Stream followed by CitSci Soiree

New approaches and technology are pushing the boundaries of the ways that citizen science can contribute to a range of social and ecological outcomes. This theme will unite cutting edge enabling technologies with citizen science approaches and highlight opportunities for new research. After the stream join the ACSA MC team for a networking session to wind down the event.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work and pay respects to elders – past, present and emerging. We aim to work together with Traditional Custodians to develop solutions to environmental problems in genuine partnership, respecting and appreciating their knowledge, culture, history and world views.