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New publication on Citizen Science Initiatives, Networks, Platforms and Funds

The German brochure “Citizen Science: Initiativen, Netzwerke, Plattformen, Förderungen” offers an overview of national and international networks, associations and funding opportunities for citizen science, without claiming to be exhaustive. While looking at the field from a comparative perspective, the publication puts a special focus on the Austrian context. As such, Austria looks back to a long history of public support for citizen science. Especially, the successful Sparkling Science program, which already started in 2007 as an initiative by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, serves as a role model for involving young people in scientific research. Up until now, almost 300 research projects from all kinds of disciplines have been funded under Sparkling Science with a total funding volume of nearly 35 Mio Euro. The program was intended to bridge the gap between schools and academia by inviting pupils to work on a par with professional researchers, by e.g. collecting and analysing data, conducting polls or collaborating in the conception of research questions. Furthermore, the Top Citizen Science funding initiative and the Citizen Science Award back Austrian citizen science projects since 2015 with grants or non-financial support.

Besides funding opportunities, there are a couple of initiatives and networks which contribute to the flourishing of citizen science in Austria. First and foremost, the bottom-up initiative “Österreich forscht”, respectively the Citizen Science Network Austria (CSNA), and the publicly funded Center for Citizen Science have contributed to the development of the field in Austria and the strengthening of the latter as a location for science and research. However, Austria is just one among a number of countries – Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland or the US, just to mention a few –, where citizen science is fostered through bottom-up and top-down initiatives. In addition, on an international scale, several networks have been established, e.g. the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), the Australian Citizen Science Association (ECSA), or Citizen Science Asia.

Altogether, the brochure offers an overview of different initiatives and maps on the international citizen science landscape, and closes with recommendations for the support of citizen science in Austria. The brochure is freely available for download HERE.

Alternatively reprints can be ordered free of charge from the Center for Citizen Science by writing an email to citizenscience@oead.at

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