Communities tackling issues that matter using 'Citizen Science'

04 June 2014


The successes of conventional citizen science are well-documented, but what happens when the citizens themselves take control, and decide which projects to launch?

In his seminar at the Oxford Martin School, Professor Muki Haklay explained how 'bottom-up' citizen science has evolved to enable communities to tackle the issues most important to them, ranging from fighting for better air quality in London to monitoring illegal logging in the Congo Basin.

Professor Haklay, Co-Director of the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group at UCL, spoke about the principles of the 'bottom-up' approach, explaining that it took into account local needs, practices and cultures, and was initiated with "free, prior and informed consent". Software development, he said, was developed with participation from those running the project, to ensure their needs were properly met, and the fact that projects were affordable and easy to run meant many people were able to be involved.