Lectures and conferences

EASST Conference 2018

Call for Papers: Citizen science: active citizenship vs. data commodification


There is a boom of initiatives calling for citizen involvement. Usually, participants are assigned a passive role by design, i.e. they are mainly confined to data gathering. We will explore barriers and opportunities for more systemic participation in research to create socially robust knowledge.

Digital technologies are increasingly facilitating the collective generation of data. Initiatives using crowdsourced data have mushroomed in a variety of fields such as science, politics, or industry. In scientific research, citizen science has been mostly motivated as a method to increase the scale and efficiency of data collection in a vast variety of disciplines, such as environmental science, astronomy, biology, and also social science such as political science, market research, sociology of social movements and urban planning. However, most initiatives working with citizen scientists include them only in certain steps of a research process (mainly data gathering and feedback tools), rather than systematically. Typically citizen scientists are excluded from research design, analysis, and interpretation. Despite the vast potential of active citizenship for evidence based "good governance", most of the time people are restricted to act as mere sensors, or data producers rather than data owners or advocates in their own right. Moreover, it is widely debated how sustainable the involvement of citizens via digital platforms can be, in terms of renewing or maintaining citizen enthusiasm and motivation to participate. In this panel, we aim at exploring different drivers/barriers to systemic participation of citizens in all research phases. How research should be transformed to allow active citizenship?. How can crowdsourced data initiatives, particularly in science, become sustainable? How can citizens become involved in more phases of the research process? How can be assured a fair use of the data produced? How to implement good standards in citizen science initiatives?


  • Valeria Arza (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina)
  • Josep Perelló (Universitat de Barcelona)
  • Mariano Fressoli (CONICET)
  • Katja Mayer (Technical University Munich)

2. Februar 2018, 4. Österreichische Citizen Science Konferenz, Salzburg

Barbara Kieslinger, Katja Mayer, Teresa Schäfer: Open and participatory Citizen Social Science: Wie können wir gemeinsam verlässliche sozialwissenschaftliche Daten generieren, die zur politischen Entscheidungsfindung beitragen?

BürgerInnenbeteiligung ist im Trend, bei Citizen Science, in der partizipativen Stadtplanung oder in “Good Governance” Prozessen. Andererseits wird die Nachhaltigkeit projektbasierter Einbindungsprozesse hinterfragt bzw. werden Beteiligte nur teilweise oder punktuell eingebunden. Im digitalen Raum, wo Partizipation vermehrt stattfindet, sind wir als BürgerInnen meist in passiver Rolle und nicht alleinige Eigentümer unserer Daten. Die Interpretation unsere digitalen Spuren entgleitet uns. Der Ansatz der offenen und partizipativen Citizen Social Science verbindet offline & online Aktivitäten und setzt einen Schwerpunkt auf die aktive Beteiligung in allen Phasen des Forschungsprozesses. In einem internationalen Konsortium arbeiten wir an einer offenen und partizipativen Citizen Social Science. Wir stellen das Konzept anhand verschiedener Fallbeispiele dar und diskutieren zentrale Herausforderungen, u.a. wie man in solchen Settings robuste Daten als Entscheidungsgrundlagen schaffen kann.


3. Mai 2017, 18:30, Hochschule für Politik TU München, Seminarraum H.204

Josep Perelló: „Pop-up, collective, public and urban experiments: New ways of understanding Computational Social Science Research”

Citizen Science can furnish ready-made solutions with citizens playing an active role. However, this framework is still far from being well established as a standard tool for computational social science research. Here, we present our experience in bridging gaps between computational social science and the philosophy underlying Open Science, which in our case has taken the form of what we call "pop-up experiments." These are non-permanent, highly participatory collective experiments which blend features developed by big data methodologies and behavioural experimental protocols with the ideals of Citizen Science. The main issues to consider whenever planning experiments of this type are: infrastructure, public engagement, and the knowledge return for citizens. We explain the solutions we have implemented, providing practical examples grounded in our own experience in an urban context (Barcelona, Spain).

Josep Perelló is a Professor at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Barcelona. He leads the OpenSystemsUB research group, which focuses on citizen participation and artistic practices as an alternative way of doing science. He works on complex systems, particularly in social and economic contexts.

3. Mai 2017 HfP München Raum 204
18:30 Vortrag von Prof. Josep Perelló (Open Systems, Universität Barcelona)
Pop-up, collective, public and urban experiments: New ways of understanding Computational Social Science Research 
4. und 5. Mai 2017 HfP München Raum 204
jeweils 9:00 bis 18:00
Seminar mit Dr. Katja Mayer, Prof. Jürgen Pfeffer (TU München)
am 4.Mai wird Prof. Perelló vormittags anwesend sein.
Hochschule für Politik, Richard Wagner Straße 1, 80333 München
Anmeldung bitte per Email an: katja.mayer [at] hfp.tum.de
Bild: Barcamp "Citizen Science – Gemeinsam Freies Wissen schaffen!" - 5.12.15 (CC BY-SA 4.0 (Foto: Ralf Rebmann))