In 2015, the United Nations launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, reduce inequality, tackle climate change, and improve health and education, by the year 2030. Tackling these SDGs requires innovative solutions and there is a widespread awareness of the potential of crowdsourcing. Launched in May 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the Crowd4SDG consortium, that include 6 partners*, immediately set about applying their hands-on research and innovation methodologies to improving the quality and quantity of data about Covid-19 available to scientists and decision makers. A long-term focus of the Crowd4SDG project is on SDG 13, Climate Action. The aim is to explore new ways of applying citizen science for monitoring the impacts of extreme climate events and strengthening resilience of communities to climate related disasters. To do this, Crowd4SDG will engage with 150 participants and initiate 30 citizen science projects through online coaching events and in-person challenge-based innovation (CBI) events.
As part of this consortium, the CRI will lead the “Research on Citizen Science” work package, an initiative spearheaded by CRI researchers Ariel Lindner, Marc Santolini, and Johannes Jaeger. The nature of knowledge generated by citizen science raises the question of how to measure its success, both in terms of knowledge production as well as learning experience and societal impact. The team will focus on developing and quantifying new metrics that may more adequately capture the multifaceted, collaborative, and interdisciplinary nature of citizen science projects. In particular, these metrics will consider the diversity of interactions within teams of citizen and/or professional researchers, collected using digital traces on collaboration platforms as well as real-life team interactions using bluetooth sensors. This study will unravel to an unprecedented level of details how citizen science operates and what features underlie the performance of citizen collaborations.
* Partners are : CRI - Université de Paris (France), Université de Genève, United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and European Organization for Nuclear Research (Switzerland), Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain), Politecnico di Milano (Italy)