UKEOF Study to understand motivations for citizen science.

Here in York we’ve had a busy summer, and some of our work (at least…) has paid off. In a project led by Hilary Geoghegan of the University of Reading, I’ve been awarded, along with Rachel Pateman and Sarah West here at SEI and Glyn Everett at UWE, a contract to undertake a study of motivations in citizen science comissioned by UKEOF (who published the influential ‘Guide to Citizen Science‘). We’re excited to be working together as this project brings together some previous collaborations. The project builds on a seminar that Hilary and I led for the British Ecological Society Special Interest Group on Citizen Science back in June on participants in citizen science where we changed the historical focus on how to do citizen science, to the people involved in citizen science. What motivates them? what impact it has on them and what impact do they have on the projects that they are involved in? Our new contract also builds on some of the recent DEFRA funded research that Sarah, Rachel and I have been doing on data returns in citizen science and trying to understand what motivates people to return data in different types of projects.

We’ll not only be looking at what motivates participants in citizen science, but what motivates people who initiate citizen science (whether they are from the academic community, an NGO or others) and what motivates policy makers to be involved. We’ll also be looking at some of the de-motivators, or why some people who could use citizen science don’t. We’ll be looking at citizen science across a range of subject areas, from pollination, to ecology, to climate change to tree health and across scales from local site specific projects to national ones.

Keep an eye out here for updates on our findings and outputs.

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