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Our Communication Officer, Chris Styles, presents an online poster at the C*Sci Conference 2023.

On May 17th, we had the fantastic opportunity to learn more about the international efforts of citizen science initiatives at this year’s C*Sci conference. Organised by a fantastic team The Citizen Science Association (CSA), who aims to bring together contributors from diverse research backgrounds, united by a common objective: to propel knowledge forward through collaborative research and monitoring conducted in partnership with the public.

Since the C*Sci conference has moved to a hybrid model, the organisers have strived to ensure that those attending the event virtually share the experience and networking opportunities, with their bespoke online platform, where events are streamed, content shared, and everyone is able to communicate and connect with other like-minded individuals and projects.

Our very own communication and dissemination officer, Chris Styles from EUSEA, was in attendance at the launch of the virtual portion of the C*Sci conference.

Which kicked off with a fascinating keynote presentation from Dr. Russanne Low a senior scientist with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, and Dr. Rodrigo Arantes Reis an associate professor at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Brazil, who spoke about their long-term collaborative work using citizen science to communicate and educate the young people in Brazil about mosquito-borne diseases, and how they got them involved in data collection through the PICCE citizen science program and the creation of their bespoke smartphone app – GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper.

– “I want to be a scientist when I grow up”

– “You already are!”

Dr Lowe shared a heartwarming exchange between some young female students who participated in the project.

Following this inspiration key note- Online participants were then broken up into break-out rooms for the online poster sessions, where the Step Change poster presented their poster alongside other inspirational biomedical and health citizen science projects.

During this session we heard about initiatives working to incorporate citizen science with space biology and cardiovascular disease, discovering toxic ingredients in household items, searching for novel viruses in animals in New York City, and the Anecdata citizen science platform.

Alongside these great projects, Chris shared some background about the Step Change project, as well as some of the observations we have drawn throughout the implantation of our CSIs and the important inputs from our mutual learning exercises.

The final event of this opening session of the virtual portion of the C*Sci conference was a symposium presentation by Dr. Brittney Beck and her colleagues at California State University, Bakersfield, “I Feel Less Powerless”. Where they shared the results of a year-long environmental justice citizen science fellowship for high school students in the San Joaquin Valley of California. 

As the online and in-person events continue, so does this discourse. With networking and knowledge-sharing activities and opportunities happening all this week and next. And we will keep you updated with all the interesting discussions we have. 

Click here to learn more about our early observations from the Step Change project, recommendations, and resources for effective citizen science implantation.