Citizen science communication

Project partners

PhD fellow, MSc Niels Jørgen Gommesen, University of Southern Denmark; Professor, dr.phil. Kirsten Drotner, University of Southern Denmark; and Natural History Museum of Denmark

Project period

1 March 2018 - 28 February 2021

An increasing number of museums apply citizen science as an umbrella term for their involvement of non scientists in scientific activities. Not least museums of science and natural history involve citizens to shape and share big data on e.g. habitats of birds and flowers, data that scientists would be unable to generate themselves. Still, little is known about the importance for citizen science of the very communicative processes across citizens and scientists and amongst the citizens involved. This project aims to contribute to our understanding of communication for successful citizen science. The aim is realized through theoretical development and empirical co-design and evaluation of citizen science communication. Focus is a concrete citizen-science project where non-scientists map the Danish soundscape in collaboration with scientists at the Center for Macroecololgy, Evolution and Climate located at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. The Our Museum project co-designs and evaluates a web application with an interactive map that citizens can apply to geolocate, generate and share urban and rural sound files from around the country. Design-based research methods are applied involving amateur scientists, families and non users. Through its systematic theoretical and empirical development of citizen science communication, the project helps advance a fuller understanding of museums’ future citizen science engagements.