In 2020, the TRANSFORM Catalan regional cluster organised four webinars to foster knowledge exchange, open discussions and experimentations about RRI & citizen science.
In this series of participatory webinars, the Catalan Think Tank – composed of representatives from public administrations, research organisations and businesses – have learned, contributed and shared knowledge on how to integrate RRI into innovative public policies and projects, specifically through citizen science. Moreover, the collaborative dynamics set up and put in motion through these activities are expected to foster the development of more citizen science projects in Catalonia.
The webinars were designed to combine theory and practice, with participatory dynamics so to let participants reflect on their opinions and knowledge as well as begin to put their acquired knowledge into practice. One of the objectives was to start co-designing a citizen science project that would respond to an existing socio-environmental challenge.
Three organisations set out three challenges covering various sectors – health, the aquatic environment and waste management. A co-design process was set up to start defining citizen science projects responding to these challenges, always from the perspective of collaboration between quadruple helix agents (public authorities, academia/research, businesses, citizens). The development of these projects will be supported by the Catalan cluster as part of the TRANSFORM project activities in Catalonia.
The feedback received from participants was very positive and they enthusiastically expressed their interest in continuous participation in the Catalan Think Tank throughout the project. We are currently defining the calendar and contents of the next sessions, in order to respond to the interests of the participants as well as to the needs of the TRANSFORM project.
The following section showcases feedback collected from participants at the end of the webinar series.
Question: What do you think you have gained from participating in the webinars?
“A theoretical framework of RRI and citizen science, applied knowledge on projects and motivation/reflection to apply citizen science mechanism to future projects, apart from tools and methodologies to conduct online working groups.”
– Anonymous answer
Question: How motivated are you to incorporate citizen science into your projects?
“Very much so. Citizen science is the key to bringing about confidence in people and research that is being carried out, as well as promoting participation and commitment of society to research. At the same time, it is an exponential mechanism for acquiring relevant data to carry out good research and a way of socialising knowledge.”
– Anonymous answer