The European Joint Research Centre (JRC) aims to shape a wide range of EU policies by providing independent scientific guidance to the European Commission, and is composed of seven scientific facilities based in Belgium (Brussels and Geel), Germany (Karlsruhe), Italy (Ispra), the Netherlands (Petten) and Spain (Seville).
It is interesting to see the growing interest in citizen science, as was demonstrated in the workshop “Emerging ICT for Citizens’ Veillance: Theoretical and Practical Insights”, which was held in the JRC’s facilities in Ispra from 20-21 of March and where I had the pleasure to attend. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together scholars, policy-makers and citizen science enthusiasts to reflect on their experience with citizen-driven projects in relation with citizens’ vigilance and explore potential ICT solutions to protect common goods and fundamental rights.
The first day set up the theoretical background, with three high quality presentations trying to explore the values and rights of citizens with regards to their privacy and security in the digital world. The second day was constructed with presentations from research groups and NGO’s demonstrating their projects and their experiences. As part of that session, I had the chance to present our research group and Sapelli, the mobile data collection platform we are developing to be used in various citizen-science initiatives. My presentation of the day can be found here:
I am glad to realise that European Commission is exploring the citizen science realm as an alternative approach for knowledge production towards protection of common goods. However, as was discussed during the workshop, one of the big challenges is data privacy and control. Fundamental questions as to who has ownership of and access to the data and under which circumstances need to be answered before the European Commission can effectively incorporate citizen science methodologies for data collection and knowledge creation.
Photo: Ecologistes en Acció del País Valencià, Molts Mons, Casal Popular de Castelló, Basurama, and Workshop participants. Cartography: Basurama License: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 Resolution: 8,0 cm/pixel Coordinates: 39.94690, 0.00344