Citizen Science Summer School

For 2 weeks in June '21 - including the longest day and Summer Start of 21/06 - I participated in the remote Citizen Science Summer School from ETH and UZH.
Together with about 30 researchers, citizens and practitioners, experienced and newcomers, we went on exciting journeys of acquiring new knowledge as well as exchanging and passing on experiences, not only theoretically but also tangibly. Have I piqued your curiosity? Then take a look at the program (

In an international context, there was room for discussion of controversial issues from different perspectives of participatory approaches. The participants came from a wide range of disciplines: psychology, medicine, environmental science, biology, geography, material science, social science, media science, art, hydrology, archaeology, NGOs. Participants from Bhutan or Brazil have other hurdles to overcome than participants from Switzerland, France or Finland. And yet there are many things in common. There was a strong consensus that the way of communication is particularly important and also needs support and expertise.

Source:  Rüfenacht, S., et al. (2020). “Communication and Dissemination in Citizen Science” in The Science of Citizen Science. Springer, pp475-949.

I appreciated the outline of citizen science approaches and methods given by Muki Haklay (, who pointed out important cornerstones and gave a few examples from his vast repertoire of experience.

The possibilities of involving citizens in the research process or in the sense of "science for society" are feasible, not least as a result of new web app technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning) and Big Data. Mutual respect and transparency are fundamental.
As more and more people live in cities, the involvement of citizens will become more important.

And remember - depending on my glasses, there are different angles to look at: today as a researcher, tomorrow as a citizen, and the day after as a citizen scientist;)

Some links
Citizen Science Summer School 2021 (
Citizen Science Reading Material (
Citizen Science Library UCL - University College London (