Encouraging interest in science for youth is vital to address the shortage of scientific vocations in Europe. School science attitudes tend to be positive in primary school but decline through secondary school education. There is a mismatch between the school science curriculum and the scientific issues of interest to young people. While the experiments designed for school labs provide an excellent introduction to the scientific method’s foundations, they hardly offer opportunities to understand all the scientific research steps truly. We would like to change that and suggest that citizen science is a powerful tool to foster wider participation in science.

What are the main existing barriers?
The main barriers for the implementation of citizen science projects that involve the teachers and their pupils in all the phases of a scientific study are:

  • The unfounded concerns raised by the scientific community about the quality of the obtained data and results.
  • Most teachers have never participated in scientific investigations. It is therefore challenging for them to approach scientists for co-designing a scientific research project.
  • Curriculum constraints.

ECSA activities and milestones

What are our aims?
The RAISE-CS project will tackle the issues and needs mentioned above in the frame of the relatively recent research field

of microplastic pollution that is causing global ecological and human health concerns. The overall goal of the RAISE-CS project is twofold:

  • To lay the groundwork for implementing an EU-wide citizen science programme run in a robust and harmonised manner by secondary schools, and;
  • To root citizen science in the European reference framework of key competences for lifelong learning with the view to integrating this practice in secondary schools curricula and use the sailboat as a motivation factor and a tool to develop interpersonal and soft skills

To reach this goal, we have set the following specific objectives :

  • To demonstrate that secondary schools can generate reliable and useful data and knowledge within the research field of microplastic pollution;
  • To associate citizen science with the eight key competences for lifelong learning and integrate the activities in a cross-disciplinary manner.
  • To empower science teachers to connect and actively collaborate with the scientific community.
  • To build a strategic roadmap for implementing an EU-wide scale microplastic pollution monitoring carried out by secondary schools in collaboration with the scientific community and other relevant stakeholders. we will write a reference document offering a strategic approach and process that is potentially transferable for developing EU-wide citizen science programmes for schools related to other themes.
François Jost Project officer
Simona Cerrato Communications and Community Manager

SOCIO-BEE proposes that community engagement and social innovation combined with Citizen Science (CS)  through emerging technologies and playful interaction can bridge the gap between:

  • the capacity of communities toadopt more sustainable behaviours, breaking the cognitive myopia,
  • between the citizen intentions and the realbehaviour to act in favour of the environment (in this project, to reduce air pollution). Furthermore, community  engagement can raise other citizens’ awareness of climate change and their own responses to it, through  experimentation, better monitoring, and observation of the environment.

The Knowledge Powerhouse for Citizen Science on Law and Ethics is part of a task dissemination from SOCIO-BEE and aims to communicate the project’s work as well as existing resources in relation to law and ethics and subsequent lessons learnt to the general public, encouraging the uptake of citizen science, by creating a publicly available knowledge hub hosted on the project’s website.

ECSA activities and milestones

The SOCIO-BEE project aims to design, deploy and validate a next-generation CS platform for citizens’ wearable-based modules for air quality observation, supported by local decision-makers and action groups.

SOCIO-BEE aims to realize sustainable, scalable, and replicable/spreadable experiments, who are co-created. SOCIO-BEE will develop and  implement a co-creation module for facilitating citizen science.Users will be able to select among several customizable campaigning blueprints each of which will entail such  tools for delivering engagement programmes and campaigns that genuinely enable communities to influence decision  making for reducing pollution levels in cities and creating trust between stakeholders.

Why the Bees?

This SOCIO-BEE idea is emphasised in this project  through the metaphor of bees’ behaviour (with queens, worker and drone bees), interested stakeholders  (honey bears) and the Citizen Science hives that will be tested in three different pilot sites and with different  population: young adults, elderly people and everyday commuters.

Collecting high-resolution air quality data through opportunistic sensing ensuring replicability.

Citizens, policymakers, voluntary sector and businesses as stewards of air pollution reduction policies.

Carolina Doran. Project officer
Paul Sorrell. Community and Communications officer

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) are a class of AI models able to create media contents – audio and video – resembling reality. Although there are different promising areas of application of GANs – e.g. audio-graphic productions, human-computer interactions, satire, artistic creative expression – their current and foreseen misleading uses are just as numerous and worrying. The main concern is related to the so-called “deepfakes”, fake images or videos simulating real events with extreme precision. If trained on a face, GANs can make it move and speak in a hyper-realistic way. This technology poses an urgent political threat since GANs could be – and have already been – used to spread fake news and disinformation.
This raises an urgent challenge to democratic governance and regulation: to improve GANs accountability, transparency, and trustworthiness. Nevertheless, GANs also constitute an opportunity to enhance democratic awareness and expand active and inclusive citizenship.


SOLARIS reacts to these challenges in two ways. On the one hand, we analyse political risks associated with these technologies, to prevent negative implications for EU democracies. As a result, SOLARIS will establish regulatory innovations to detect and mitigate deepfake risks. On the other hand, we assess the opportunities raised by GANs for reinvigorating the democratic engagement of citizens. We will co-create, involving citizen science, value-based GANs contents to enhance democratic engagement. SOLARIS involves three use cases: the first aims at understanding the psychological aspects of GANs perceived trustworthiness. The second simulates the circulation of threatening GANs contents on social media, to detect risks and design mitigation strategies. The third co-creates value-based GANs contents to boost awareness on key global democratic topics (e.g: climate change, gender dimension, human migration), to ultimately enhance active and inclusive digital citizenship.

Franzisca Zibert Project officer

How to increase social inclusion for young people? How do people experience social inclusion? These are the questions addressed by YouCount through the youth citizen social science approach: it involves equal collaboration between young citizen scientists and academic researchers.

Copyright by European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).
All rights reserved.

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Copyright by European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). All rights reserved.

Webdesign by Goldweiss