On February 25, 2019, the Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons from universities, PHs, FHs and non-university research institutions met at the invitation of the Center for Citizen Science for the second joint network meeting. The focus of the meeting was on the clarification of terms around the cooperation of science, school and society as well as the implementation of Citizen and Young Science in practice.
In the first part, the two scientists Daniel Dörler and Florian Heigl from the Citizen Science Network Austria (CSNA) highlighted the international spread of the term "Citizen Science" (CS) in their keynote speech "How is Citizen Science understood in Austria" and showed how the terminology differs worldwide and which partly similar concepts exist alongside it. “Citizen Science" is used in the USA and Great Britain, but in Brazil it is referred to as "Ciência cidadã" and in Belgium as "Burgerwetenschap". Furthermore, there are scientific approaches such as Volunteer Monitoring, Community Science or Participatory Action Research, some of which overlap with CS. If one delves further into the CS concept, one encounters open science, science communication and public engagement, which represent partial aspects of CS, but cannot be equated with CS on their own. Currently, the difficulty, but also the chance, lies in the fact that there is still no uniform CS definition and that the concept is constantly evolving. Nevertheless, in order to create a CS framework for the projects on their platform, the two researchers presented CS quality criteria, which were developed within the framework of a CSNA working group. It should be noted that these are the first criteria of their kind and yet have already attracted international attention.
In the second part of the event, four Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons explained what role the topics "Young Science" and "Citizen Science" play in the daily work at their institutions. These brief inputs served as inspiration for the following working groups, which exchanged views on various questions such as “What motivates researchers and other actors to engage in Young Science & Citizen Science?”.
The organisers look back on a productive network meeting and would like to take this opportunity to thank the University of Salzburg in particular for its hospitality. Together with the Young Science and Citizen Science contacts, they look forward to continuing to promote cooperation between science, schools and society in the future. A continuation will follow at the 5th Austrian Citizen Science Conference, where the topic of the motivation of researchers and citizen scientists will be examined at the 3rd network meeting.
The follow-up report of the 2nd network meeting of Young Science and Citizen Science contact persons can be found HERE.