In the past 2 years, the SOCIENTIZE project has mapped ongoing activities, institutions, funding programs and initiatives on citizen engagement in science. A Green Paper and a large-scale consultation led the way to the White paper on Citizen Science in Europe launched during the final conference of the project.
Citizen Science refers to the general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science, either with their intellectual effort, through observation or with their tools and resources. For the last two years, the SOCIENTIZE project has coordinated many agents involved in the citizen science process, setting the basis for this new open science paradigm. The project has setup a network where infrastructure providers and researchers recruit volunteers from the general public to perform science at home.
Through SOCIENTIZE, individual citizens have contributed to scientific studies with their own knowledge and resources, participating in an active way. They have been donors by connecting their own computing resources, such as smart phones, desktop computers or other devices to science infrastructure, and also actors when they actively participated in the scientific process.
The final conference of SOCIENTIZE took place on 22 September in Brussels and stressed the value of citizen science: "1000 brains is better than one. Collective thinking is the key". The White paper on Citizen Science in Europe delivered then, presents the challenges of citizen science at European level for researchers, the industry, policy-makers and civil society. Public engagement, openness, effectiveness, trust and education are some of its keywords. It is an important input to the debate and process of mainstreaming citizen science in Europe.