Citizen science (the involvement of the public in scientific processes) is gaining momentum across multiple disciplines, increasing multi-scale data production on Earth Sciences that is extending the frontiers of knowledge. Successful participatory science enterprises and citizen observatories can potentially be scaled-up in order to contribute to larger policy strategies and actions (e.g. the European Earth Observation monitoring systems), for example to be integrated in GEOSS and Copernicus. Making credible contributions to science can empower citizens to actively participate as citizen stewards in decision making, helping to bridge scientific disciplines and promote vibrant, liveable and sustainable environments for inhabitants across rural and urban localities.
Often, citizen science is seen in the context of Open Science, which is a broad movement embracing Open Data, Open Technology, Open Access, Open Educational Resources, Open Source, Open Methodology, and Open Peer Review. Before 2003, the term Open Access was related only to free access to peer-reviewed literature (e.g., Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002). In 2003 and during the “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities”, the definition was considered to have a wider scope that includes raw research data, metadata, source materials, and scholarly multimedia material. Increasingly, access to research data has become a core issue in the advance of science. Both open science and citizen science pose great challenges for researchers to facilitate effective participatory science, yet they are of critical importance to modern research and decision-makers.
We want to ask and find answers to the following questions:
Which approaches and tools can be used in Earth and planetary observation?
What are the biggest challenges in bridging between scientific disciplines and how to overcome them?
What kind of participatory citizen scientist involvement (e.g. how are citizen scientists involved in research, which kind of groups are involved) and open science strategies exist?
How to ensure transparency in project results and analyses?
What kind of critical perspectives on the limitations, challenges, and ethical considerations exist?
How can citizen science and open science approaches and initiatives be supported on different levels (e.g. institutional, organizational, national)?