5 possible themes for a national community

Working with researchers, organisations, practitioners, and communities as part of Opening up science for all!, we collectively identified the following 5 themes that need to be part of any discussion around future work in the area of (a national community for) public engagement and citizen science in the UK. The themes were distilled from small groups discussions at a project partner meeting in April 2018.

Disruption and risk-taking

Identifying disruptive practices to:

  • challenge negative or out-dated individual/organisational assumptions and perceptions around participatory forms of public engagement (esp. citizen science);
  • introduce new disciplines and forms of knowledge and expertise; and
  • accommodate new participants that have not yet been involved in citizen science around environmental research

Communication  and networking

Developing traditional and innovative online and face-to-face communicative tools and techniques to facilitate:

  • greater cross-disciplinary learning and training on participatory forms of public engagement;
  • improved access to shared assets such as best practice; and
  • fast track networking and the brokerage of existing and new relationships around citizen science

Collaboration and sharing

Exploring current and potential forms of collaboration between individuals and organisations in order to:

  • share best practice and success stories;
  • facilitate new collaborative endeavours; and
  • extend beyond contributory to collaborative and more co-created forms of citizen science

Innovation and horizon-scanning

Maintaining a critical eye on contemporary practice to:

  • collectively develop existing and new forms of participatory public engagement;
  • embed ways of thinking, being and doing from beyond traditional science engagement endeavours.

In particular, this relates to how environmental research and knowledge is used by a range of different people, and how people’s different relationships to and knowledge of the natural environment are valued

Championing  and advocacy

Designing processes and structures to support and expand the profile of citizen science in the UK in relation to exciting combinations of academic science, policy and evidence, engagement practice, and public involvement, as well as challenging and co-creating new forms of participatory research and science