Category: Communication & promotion

“The ACSA conference was rewarding and inspiring”

James Gullison reflects on the important messages from CitSciOz18 – and how great it was to be in Adelaide!

  • James Gullison from DuneWatch, Gold Coast

I was given the opportunity to attend and present at the 2018 Australian Citizen Science Association conference in Adelaide – an opportunity that I could not pass up on for two reasons:

The first was the chance to meet up with a group of people from all around Australia and different parts of the world to share ideas, experiences, knowledge, inspiration, a few good laughs and learn from one another. It was an opportunity to experience other people’s projects and where their passions lie.

The second reason was quite simple to me. I had never been to Adelaide and wanted to experience its indigenous culture, colonial history, art precincts, good food and wine, its amazing natural beauty and the weather.

I had an opportunity to explore some of the wonders of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Adelaide as a city is a real stand out for me with so much on offer and the heat!! Getting around was easy and I decided to head to Semaphore one evening as a mini field trip. I wanted to have an insight into how Adelaide suburbs initiate coastal management but also see the different coastal dune vegetation. I was not disappointed with what I saw, expanding dunes, busy beaches and the sunset is one I will not forget any time soon.

Taking in a sunset from the pier at Semaphore to finish off an energetic day at the conference

The first day of the conference was a great way to kick things off for the week, mainly because it meant I would have my presentation finished on day one. I will admit that public speaking is something that I still get nervous with.  Considering my job role is community engagement, you would think that I would be used to it by now. Unfortunately, I still have the butterflies prior to talking and I’m not generally relaxed until halfway through.

In all honesty, I did not know what to expect, as this was the first time I had attended a conference like this. I prepared what I could for my presentation and hoped that the question time would be kind. This talk went well without any issues, although I found a speed talk goes rather quickly when you are trying to condense so much information into a reduced period.

Shaking off the nerves to give this presentation in such a short period

I felt privileged to be able to present in a room full of people who share similar passions and are part of something bigger. Citizen science has been gaining momentum over the past few years and this conference showcased a variety of projects from all over the country and other parts of the world.  We all share one common trait; we believe we are making a difference in the projects we are involved in.

One of the highlights for me at this conference was listening to the talk given by the keynote speaker, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, about how the birth of citizen science started in this country from the humble beginnings of German botanist Ferdinand Mueller.  There was also a great message within this talk, which highlighted the importance of the work that we are all doing within our prospective project.

  • Is it good citizen science that is consistent with the exacting standards of current science experimental processes?
  • Is it a door to the world of science for the community and open for anyone to be involved?
  • What makes it worth doing?

I was happy to go through our DuneWatch project and look at these three statements to see if we are on the right path. Looking at the approach of our project and how it has been well received on the Gold Coast I’m happy to say that we tick those boxes. And this approach can also be used for other projects that were showcased at the conference. Everyone who presented their projects need to be proud of their achievements to date. We truly are at the start a big push for citizen science in this country. What some of us do not realise is that we are the leaders for this citizen science movement within our communities.

The most rewarding aspect of this conference was coming home inspired by what I had seen and learnt over the course of a few days. I felt reinvigorated and recharged and it has been a starting platform for what is shaping as a great 2018.

“The key to engaging ‘our future’ – the millennials!”

Tina Phillips travelled from New York to attend CitSciOz18 and gleaned some top tips on how to engage the younger generation.

  • Tina Phillips from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

After attending the Australian Citizen Science Association meeting, I can affirm that citizen science is alive and well in Australia! I really enjoyed visiting this beautiful country, and the backdrop of the amazing diversity of citizen science presented at the conference made it even more rewarding. I learnt a lot about Australia’s history; extraordinary biodiversity; and its warm and friendly people. I found the city of Adelaide to be more bustling than I expected and the surrounding countryside to be serene, but also exciting because of the prospect of spotting Australia’s famous marsupials.

Although the majority of projects I heard about during the conference were relatively young, there was good representation across every discipline – from botany to ornithology to astronomy to water quality and public health. Across most projects was an emphasis on minimizing barriers, maximizing data quality, and leveraging easy-to-use technology such as smartphones, wearable sensors, and (well-known) social media apps. The growth in the number of projects over the last few years has been exponential, and much of the ecological data are housed in the Atlas of Living Australia, which supports the field-based data repository needs of the citizen science community. In time, and with enough data, this repository will become invaluable for cataloging Australia’s biodiversity.

With session titles like #Engagingcitizens, #EmpowerWithData, #SocialResearch, #Communication, and #ShowcasingOutcomes, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of social science research being conducted in Australia.  I found it difficult to choose among sessions!  I managed to jump around – hearing about emerging research on immediate versus sustained engagement; ways to enhance social relationships within projects; education and engagement outcomes; motivation; social justice; and the importance of intrapersonal communication even in the digital age.

A particularly lively session moderated by Philip Roetman highlighted four different projects, each co-presented by a project leader and a citizen scientist. This session left me wondering why don’t we include more citizens in our conferences, and why are “cat people” so funny?

Rustem Upton–a freelance environmental educator–described the five dimensions of ongoing participation, including: contribution; interest; program organization/efficacy; contribution to a local area; and personal and social benefit. Several of these dimensions overlap with results from my own dissertation research that I refer to as “Dimensions of Engagement” (social, affective, cognitive, motivational, and behavioral). So halfway across the world, in different institutions, the cumulative nature of science often leads to parallel results.

Finally, I’d like to recap an especially enthusiastic and informative session led by Margot Law and Ellie Downing, who presented first-hand knowledge of how to engage the elusive millennial in citizen science! With an unemployment rate of 13%, millennials are looking to engage in projects that not only align with their values regarding basic human rights, the environment, and climate change, but also offer tangible skills and experiences that prepare them for the competitive job market. Given that many millennials are self-employed (#creativegeneration), they have excellent problem-solving, data analysis, reference, and communication skills, making them ideal citizen scientists. They are extremely tech savvy and highly networked and can be key figures in social media efforts. Perhaps the most important reason to engage with millennials is that they represent the transition between current and future leaders. They are our future leaders, so getting their support for citizen science now may have lasting influence in the coming years when they serve as leaders and decision makers.

So how do projects attract and retain millennials? According to Margot and Ellie, it’s important to share your passion but also make clear the project’s long-term goals. Also, the social aspect of engagement is very important to millennials, so think outside the box when it comes to project structure. For example, consider “meet-ups” instead of memberships, or host your meeting in a pub with the backdrop of beer and chips.  Or look to partner with different groups such as sports or outdoor clubs. Emphasize fun and accessibility, but maintain a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment. Give positive feedback often and regularly and try to provide certification for citizen science participation (apparently, millennials love recognition, memes, and certificates!). Most importantly, don’t make assumptions about millennials based on unfounded stereotypes, instead, respect and listen to them. Their energy, new perspectives, and fresh ideas may lead to new ways of thinking. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what drives growth and innovation?

In closing, I would like to thank all of the ACSA organizers for their generosity in time and resources, their energy and enthusiasm, and for putting together a welcoming and highly informative program. I learnt a lot, and immensely enjoyed the casual gatherings to meet and engage with new colleagues.  I left Australia with continued commitment and new inspiration for elevating and promoting the value of citizen science.

“Big insights for small community groups at CitSciOz18”

Gordon Claridge was concerned he might be the only person at the 2018 Adelaide conference from a small community group – his fears were soon allayed!

  • Gordon Claridge, President Lockyer Community Action Inc.

Lockyer Community Action is a small group and a recent entrant to the field of Citizen Science – in fact we had never thought of ourselves in citizen science terms – we just got stuck into doing koala surveys as part of our battle against a motocross development.  Then so many members liked the feeling of doing something meaningful for koala conservation that we kept on, and on, and on. I guess we never looked up from what we were doing to see the wider implications.  No wonder we were surprised and delighted when our abstract was accepted for a “long talk” presentation at CitSciOz18.

There was a bit of a reality check though, when we realised that the total costs of travel, accommodation, registration, etc. would be over $1,000 (money that our group just didn’t have).  However ACSA quickly came to our rescue and awarded us a $1,000 scholarship to allow me to attend. Thanks.

Prior to the conference I was a bit unsure what to expect.  I’d been to a number of conferences over the years as a consultant or NGO representative where it felt like the focus of most attendees seemed to be principally to network with other academic researchers. Would there be others at CitSciOz18 from small community groups?  Would the topics really be relevant to what our group is trying to achieve?  Would anyone be interested in our programs and experiences?

That uncertainty began to be dispelled from the moment I arrived at the conference location on the first morning.  People were keen to connect and to share interests, and before long we were exchanging comments like “Have you talked to so and so?  They seem to be doing something you’d be interested in.” If there isn’t a term for “mutual networking facilitation” there should be now (MNF?) – it was rampant at CitSciOz18.

By the second day it was clear that most people found the lunch break too short – there were just so many people to connect with and so little time.

My concerns about whether there would be presentations on community group projects from which we could learn and with whom we might share information were soon shown to be unfounded.   Not only were there somewhat similar organisations to ours, but also there were some activities being facilitated by or fostered within government agencies that were, in reality, grass roots action.

But, perhaps equally important for the long-term development of Lockyer Community Action’s programs, were presentations on the last day that dealt with the methodology and sociology of citizen science.  These presentations on Friday raised a whole raft of important considerations, “lessons learned” and food for thought, and left me hungry for more of the same. I can’t wait to see these on the ACSA YouTube Channel.  And, by the way, I’ve taken on board the advice that labelling an activity citizen science can be off-putting for people who are daunted by science.

A range of presentations on data collection and storage also broadened my thinking about this aspect of citizen science.  Lockyer Community Action has, from the outset, had the view that information only becomes truly useful when it is publicly accessible.  All of our “confirmed presence” koala records are submitted to the Queensland Government’s WildNet database.  Some records (from our ‘Other Wildlife’ Program) are also put into Bowerbird, from where they migrate to the Atlas of Living Australia once ID is confirmed.  Now I know there are other options.

Peter Brenton (Atlas of Living Australia) made the point well when he said that data needs to have a life beyond the project and putting it into accessible databases for aggregation and use in larger studies generates ongoing usefulness, including through contributions to conservation – something that applies equally to both citizen science data and to data stored in research institutions.  Peter’s presentations really opened my eyes to the value-adding potential of databases, as well as to the wide range of contributions that ALA is making to facilitating and value-adding to citizen science projects.

For me, an unexpected insight that emerged only after sitting through a range of presentations on citizen science projects of different types was how much an individual’s view of what citizen science is can be influenced by the type of project they have been exposed to.  This was particularly noticeable where the involvement had been with large contributory projects run by large institutions.  The impressions given were often that the citizen science had been “done” by the bureaucrats and that lessons learned from such projects applied to all models of citizen science.  A somewhat similar situation emerged in group discussions on database management – people saw the data management process largely from the point of view of their role in relation to the database – whether as data managers, contributors or users – and managers sometimes seemed to have difficulty in taking on board other views.  There are definite lessons there for anyone leading a citizen science program – beware of having only the view from your own role or your own type of project; make efforts to put yourself in the shoes of all those different categories of people involved in the program, and of those you are seeking to influence with your outcomes.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift.  It was a fantastic conference, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend CitSciOz18 and for all the insights gained there.

#CitSci2017 Reflections: Exploring Citizen Science, Technology, & Acoustics Globally

Jessie Oliver is a member of ACSA and sits on the ACSA management committee. She is also a PhD student at the Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane Australia. She attended the Citizen Science Association Conference in May of 2017 with the assistance of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant.

Reflections by Jessie Oliver (@JessieLOliver via twitter):

In early 2017, I had the good fortune of meeting Alasdair Davies when he ventured to Brisbane Australia, where we both participated in a workshop about technology use for conservation. My role at the workshop was to share my knowledge of how scientists and members of the public, or citizen scientists, were working collaboratively to make innovative discoveries that have benefitted conservation efforts. While there, I shared information regarding local, national, and global efforts aiming to increase capacity, uptake, and outcomes of citizen science, technology use, and conservation actions. I absolutely had my heart set on attending the Citizen Science Association Conference in 2017 that was set to take place in Saint Paul Minnesota, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to given the substantial funding required to get to the U.S. from Australia.

Why did I want to go so far away? I wanted to run an accepted symposium that would explore how citizen science varies in different regions of the world. I hoped to discuss with a panel of citizen science leaders, how scientific practices, cultural, societal, and political factors are shaping the spread, uptake, and diversification of citizen science in four key regions of the world. I also hoped to attend so that I could meet people with expertise in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) technology design strategies, environmental acoustics, and citizen science. Doing so also had the potential to further my own research, investigating how to design engaging citizen science technology to review environmental acoustic recordings, which I also wanted to present as a poster.

You can imagine my surprise when, several weeks later, I received an email informing me that I had been chosen by Alasdair to be awarded a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant! Being afforded such an amazing opportunity, I quickly got to work organising a fireside-chat style symposium with the following panellists:

This symposium highlighted key differences between citizen science regionally and what factors drive this variation. Language is certainly a key factor for how project information and resources are disseminated across Europe, having to contend with far more languages than Australia, China, and the United States. While all these regions are relatively similar in geographic size, the distribution and overall populations are vastly different. Australia, for instance, has vast expanses with relatively few people, and a population of only about 24 million primarily concentrated in five cities. At the time of the conference, the U.S., Europe, and Australia all had formed young citizen science associations working to facilitate networking between citizen scientists, scientists, and other stakeholders. China, by contrast, had several projects across the nation, but had yet to establish a network to actively bring stakeholders of different projects together, although this is now underway. Environmental and biodiversity-focused sciences were shown to dominate citizen science relative to other sciences for all regions featured.

WeDigBio is an example of how increases in technological infrastructure now allow people from a variety of regions to also contribute to global projects both in person and online. Access to these technologies, however, varied by region.  In the latter half of the symposium, ample time was allocated for audience questions and discussion, and this proved incredibly useful, allowing for inclusion of perspectives from regions such as Japan, Iran, Iraq, New Zealand and South America. This exchange of information led to a greater appreciation for the need to carefully identify and understand what factors are likely to influence the regional development of citizen science.

There was an amazing amount of networking and learning to be had as well. In terms of my own technology design research, I was absolutely thrilled to meet and discuss my research with people such as Jenny Preece, who research citizen science and HCI technology design! These discussions later inspired me to organise a workshop at the #OzCHI2017 Conference in Brisbane, which brought citizen scientists and scientists together with designers to explore technology development needs for saving species like glossy black cockatoos, koalas, wombats, and shorebirds! I was also delighted to find that my #CitSci2017 poster exploring how to design engaging technologies for citizen scientists to review acoustic data, was also well received by former colleagues from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I met many of the citizen science leaders I had corresponded with remotely while working for the TV series The Crowd & The Crowd. My attendance and work with the show also prompted an invite to a conference meeting  regarding a Global Mosquito Alert Consortium, and I subsequently joined the global working group.

Many of the connections and lessons learned from the conference have continued to positively impact my citizen science work in Australia and abroad. This conference was incredibly well run with very interesting, empowering, and informative ways to convey information beyond the standard talk formats. My experiences there directly fed into my work on our organising committee for the last Australian Citizen Science Conference (#CitSciOz18) as well. While in the U.S. I often shared experiences regarding the development and happenings of ACSA, which later led to speaking invitations to share this knowledge at events. Most recently, for example, I spoke remotely from Brisbane at #CitSciNZ2018 Symposium, which was led by Monica Peters in New Zealand.

Relationships I have forged as a result my receiving the Shuttleworth Flash Grant continue to be fruitful. Next, I am planning to travel to Geneva in early June to attend the European Citizen Science Conference (#ECSA2018) and participate in several meetings and workshops before and after the conference as well. One of those meetings is at the UN office in Geneva to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the potential for citizen science to contribute to these goals globally, and the role that the nascent Citizen Science Global Partnership will play. It’s wonderful to reflect a year later and realize that Shuttleworth Foundation helped to catapult all aspects of my citizen science work to new heights, and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity!

#CitSciOz18 – An Australian Story

By Michelle Neil

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly two months since the 2nd Australian Citizen Science Association Conference, #CitSciOz18 in Adelaide, South Australia. For six days I was constantly on the go – averaging around 3-4 hours of sleep per night.

#CitSciOz18 featured international keynote speakers Dr. Caren Cooper and Amy Robinson Sterling, along with Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr. Alan Finkel and Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science 2017 co-recipient Dr. Emilie Ens.  The aim of the conference was to showcase best practice in citizen science and share project outcomes from across Australia and the world. Every continent of the world, except Antarctica was represented too. North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa were all there as well as our mates from “across the ditch”, New Zealand. 

Opened by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel spoke about how a German migrant planted citizen science in Australian and why it worked. This was followed by plenaries, short talks, long talks, a podcast with The Wholesome Show, a public talk with Dr Caren Cooper and Amy Robinson Sterling (and little old me), radio interviews, live streaming talks to the ACSA Facebook page and twitter, watching Crowd and the Cloud episode, networking, poster session, chairing a session myself on the Friday afternoon, early morning (4am!) bat catching and tagging near Adelaide Zoo, plus post-conference tours to see Echidna CSI, #greatkoalacount, Wild Orchid Watch (#WOW), ReefWatchSA, breakfasts with new friends and old, lunches, dinners, great food, awesome people, lots of laughs and, of course, relaxing at the local wineries! 

In fact there were there were over 120 talks, posters and workshops falling within the conference themes of  #EngagingCitizens (20), #EmpowerWithData (19), #ShowcasingOutcomes (16), #Partnerships (15), #FieldProjects (14), #SocialResearch (8), #Education (6) and #Communication (4).  The conference was also mentioned more than 2000 times over the three conference days on Twitter as well as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.  

 Where did it start? 

The planning process for #CitSciOz18 started well over a year ago. One of the first things the Conference Committee decided on was to try and make the conference as sustainable as possible. Plastic pens were out. Backpacks were out. People have their own backpacks and pens after all. Conference “swag”* as it is usually called was out. We even vetoed keep cups – who doesn’t have a few of them lying around? 

Instead it was decided to do a bamboo pen and paper for the conference and, as an added bonus, a t-shirt for all our members. The t-shirts, designed by Ellie Downing and Amy Slocombe with input from the Conference Committee, were a huge hit.  Featuring the tools of citizen science these shirts will soon be available on the ACSA website for anyone to buy. Perhaps at our next conference we might make badges or patches delegates can sew on to the t-shirt? Let us know if we missed anything and perhaps that could be the first badge! 

 

The official Australian Citizen Science Association shirt – it’s all about the tools of citizen science! Have we missed any? Photo: Michelle Neil

What’s Next? 

Last week I received all of the conference talks via email – audio and video in one continuous stream from 4 different lecture spaces at the University of South Australia. It is probably the largest download my computer has ever had to do. My next job as the volunteer social media moderator for ACSA is to edit all of the 100+ hours of speeches into their individual talks and upload them on to the new ACSA YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy.  

In early May the Conference Committee will meet to go over the conference feedback, discuss what we could do better next time and also start the decision process for #CitSciOz20. We hope to make the next conference bigger and better. Want to tell us how we can do better or even what we did well? Drop us a line. Interested in going to #CitSciOz20? Sign up for the newsletter. We promise we don’t spam! 

If you would like to read more about #CitSciOz18 grab a cuppa and put your feet up to read my colleague Jessie Oliver’s fantastic blog here. I recommend it for a truly great read!  You can also look at the #CitSciOz18 Twitter Moments too! 

As one of our delegates, Phyll Bartram from Kangaroo Island Victor Harbour Dolphin Watch said:  

“Sounds like…Looks like…. Feels like….CitSciOz18! What a buzz!!!!!! 💛” 

 

*swag has another meaning in Australia as some of our overseas guests found out. In Australia it means bedroll or sleeping bag or to travel with one’s personal belongings in a bundle. I have since found out it was originally an economic term which stood for Silver, Wine, Art and Gold.  I learn something new every day with #CitizenScience! 

Michelle Neil is the Australian Citizen Science Association’s volunteer social media moderator. Having worked in analytical chemistry for over a decade Michelle finds herself in an interesting place – a scientist as well as a citizen scientist, with a passion for science communication. @michelle_neil  

ACSA t-shirts are here!

What will you be wearing to #CitSciOz18? Your brand new ACSA t-shirt of course!

Free for all ACSA Members, this groovy black and orange t-shirt features the ‘tools of citizen science’, and will be available for collection at the conference registration desk from Wednesday 7th February! A variety of sizes will be available for you to choose from. For those ACSA members not coming to the conference, your t-shirt will be mailed out to you. Additional t-shirts can be purchased for $20 each!

 

ACSA heads to the United Nations

By Erin Roger, ACSA Chair

I’d heard about the traffic gridlock in Nairobi- but I guess I never really understood how bad it could be. I am stuck in traffic heading back to my hotel and going nowhere fast.

A public bus or ‘sacco’ in Nairobi traffic

But let me re-wind.

I’m in Nairobi as one of around 20 people who are part of an international citizen science delegation attending the United Nations Science-Policy-Business Forum from December 2nd-3rd at the UN Complex. The UN complex in Gigiri is an oasis of green set on 140 acres and filled with indigenous tree species and Sykes’ monkeys. The focus of the Forum is pollution and how to bring together and encourage collaboration between science, policy and business to address global scale challenges. Our mission as a delegation is to ensure citizen science has a voice throughout the Forum and to place it firmly in the minds of forum participants as a tool to help address sustainability goals.

The UN complex in Gigiri Nairobi is set on 140 acres

The opening plenary with African drumming kicking off the forum was a privilege to attend. Moderated by Axel Threfall the opening was filled with hopeful words encouraging attendees to use the time to shape our own engagement and to think of the UN as the facilitator of the process. Anne Bowser, from the Woodrow Wilson Centre and on the CSA Board of Directors, led the charge for the citizen science delegation at the plenary, inviting Forum delegates to attend the citizen science session held later that day and announcing the bold target of 1 billion people engaged in citizen science by 2020.

The citizen science delegation then split up to make sure our voices were heard in all the sessions throughout the Forum. We also organised our own session titled ‘Future of Citizen Science’, which featured panels and talks from citizen science representatives from around the world. The challenge set for this well-attended session was to tackle ‘how to scale the impact of citizen science’. You can read another perspective on the forum and citizen science session, as well as see a final statement video via Scott Edmunds’ (GIGI) Blog post. Scott was one of the citizen science delegates from Hong Kong.

Some of the members of the citizen science delegation in front of the Forum’s banner

The Forum closed with a challenge for all attendees to set pledges and goals and to push the pollution agenda forward. It was reiterated that everyone’s voice counts and that it is critical for science, policy, and business to collaborate.  The message from the President of the UN General Assembly resonated with me. Miroslav Lajcak highlighted the ‘importance of government policy being informed by science and for it to be made in the best interest of the people. Furthermore, it is no longer business savvy to place profit above the environment and that dialogue between us is the most powerful tool we have’. Powerful words.

The closing concluded with pledges from forum attendees, including the launch of a new gap analysis on the science policy interface by the UN. Johannes Vogel, who is currently Chair of the Executive Board of the European Citizen Science Association (our citizen science delegation lead), made the final pledge of the forum. Johannes urged us to move forward as a society together and underscored that in order to meet the problems of today, professional science alone cannot provide the necessary evidence. He reiterated our ambition of ‘1 billion global citizens engaged in citizen science by 2020’ and launched the Global Secretariat that will convene a standing committee to work with the UN. He also indicated the intent of forming an African Citizen Science Association. African drumming concluded the forum.

Members of the citizen science delegation at the closing plenary of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum

My final day in Nairobi as a delegate was spent at the United States International University (USIU). USIU is a beautiful campus and I was surprised by the number of common plants that I see in Sydney, such as bottlebrush and interestingly lots of lantana! At the meeting, faculty and students, as well as members of the citizen science delegation including CitSci Asia, ECSA, ACSA and CSA representatives, agreed on draft governance arrangements for the Global Citizen Science Partnership that was announced by Johannes Vogel at the closing plenary. It was agreed that ACSA will have a seat on the steering committee, so I will be able to provide regular updates about this exciting and fantastic initiative. It was also agreed that USIU would serve as the host institution to help establish the African Citizen Science Association. The other associations would support by offering to help with connections to other people and organisations that are active in the citizen science space and to share lessons learnt from our experience in setting up respective associations.

Meeting at the United States International University Nairobi between USIU faculty, staff, students and members of the UN citizen science delegation

Back in Nairobi traffic, my Uber was making slow progress, but I had much to reflect on. It was an absolute privilege to attend both the Forum and the meeting of Associations (and prospective Associations) at USIU. What an experience to meet all the fantastic citizen science delegates, learn about another culture and country, as well as help advance and advocate for citizen science on a global scale. Stay tuned for reports from ACSA detailing how the network is advancing the commitments made to the UN. My thanks to Anne Bowser, Martin Brocklehurst, and Johannes Vogel for leading the delegation. In the words of Martin Brocklehurst, ‘It is an event that in retrospect will, in my opinion, be seen as a watershed in the growth of the global citizen science movement’. Exciting times indeed!

The Forum was closed with inspiring African drumming for all the delegates

 

Caren Cooper’s new book: Citizen Science

Caren Cooper, one of our exciting keynote speakers for #CitSciOz18, has a new book out “Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery“. Released in the USA about a year ago, it is now available in the UK, and ACSA is excited to have been sent three free copies from the London publisher…which we will be offering as conference prizes!

Professor Muki Haklay, University College London, has written a blog post reviewing the book, which you can read here.

Have you read the book? Let us know your thoughts!

We look forward to hearing more from Caren at #CitSciOz18 in February 2018.