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4th Austrian Citizen Science Conference about "Generation Citizen Science"

On three days, from 1st to 3rd February 2018, researchers and citizens met in Salzburg to discuss various aspects of citizen science.

Helmut Jungwirth (University of Graz) started off the conference by trying to answer the question "Science should not be laughed about, should it?" and went on to discuss science communication. The rest of the day offered a wide range of topics: from "Learning in citizen science" to "Citizen science in the context of critical art and culture mediation with young people" to "Evaluating citizen science projects in practice".

On the second day, the motto of the "Generation Citizen Science" conference was highlighted, particularly with regard to the cooperation between science and schools. The Center for Citizen Science organized a workshop on "Cooperation between science and school: Highlights and challenges - 1 theme - 2 perspectives", in which teachers and researchers discussed the factors of successful collaboration in separate groups. After brief inputs from both sides, the participants identified a wide range of aspects that should be considered in the course of a project from submission to completion. In a second session, the results were brought together with two researchers and two teachers in a round table.

On the last day of the conference, during the action day researchers went into town and invited Salzburg's inhabitans to participate in research at various locations. In the Unipark, scientific projects provided an insight into their research work with citizens. In the Miele kitchen, visitors learned about chemistry and the physics of cooking through small cooking experiments. A little further on, passengers got on the O-Bus and examined their everyday objects under a microscope magnifying up to 200 times. Café Tomaselli, which is a well known coffee house in the city, was also part of the action day and invited guests to take part in the academic pub and talk in a pleasant atmosphere with experts on topics such as allergies, linguistic research and nutrition.

An interesting detail: The conference was organized for the first time jointly by citizen science platforms from German-speaking countries - Österreich forscht, Schweiz forscht, Bürger schaffen Wissen in Germany and the Center for Citizen Science acted as co-organisers in addition to the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the city of Salzburg. The main organiser was the University of Salzburg.

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