Rosa Arias

Candidate for the Board of Directors

“An European citizen born in Barcelona, I had the first idea of a citizen science project back in 2012, while I was coordinating a network of (very expensive) climate observatories installed in 8 national parks in Spain. Given the high number of visitors coming to the parks everyday, I thought that it would be great to provide the families with low cost sensors or simple monitoring apps to take pictures and collect data related to climate change. And given my background in Chemical Engineering, and as an expert in odour pollution monitoring, I thought that this could even be better, since we all have incorporated the best sensor to monitor smells: the human nose! And that’s how OdourCollect was born, even before knowing what the term “citizen science” means.

To make the story short, I managed to win the H2020 D-NOSES Project, even before the EC launched the specific calls to support CS, to test the methodology (now we have a Spanish standard, UNE 77270:2023 Building collaborative odour maps through citizen science, validating it) and to influence policies. After presenting the results in the EU Parliament, we managed to introduce a paragraph in the Zero Pollution Action Plan, through an Amendment from the Committee of the Regions, advocating for the importance of protecting European citizens from odour pollution and to use CS for its monitoring.
The project allowed me to fund my own company, Science for Change, as a way to exploit D-NOSES results, and we started to work on projects that reinforce our capabilities and help others do so following our experience – since, as you know, implementing CS is not an easy task. Now, we like to say that we co-create everything, we expanded our work to any research field, including SSH, the arts and health, we have our own IT team to develop monitoring tools, we lead the inclusivity work at the ECS Project and we lead the IMPETUS Accelerator to train and support new CS practitioners. We are also co-coordinating the EU Competence centre on science communication to reach quadruple helix stakeholders and the media… and finally, we love to work on the science to policy interface to push for positive societal impact to address complex challenges.
During the last 3 years as a Board member of ECSA, I tried to increase the support to the practice at European, national, regional and local levels. I participated as an expert for the Mutual Learning Exercise from the Policy Support Facility of the EC. I have pushed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Living Labs community for win-win support and connection. And I am doing the same with the science communication community through the COALESCE project to advocate together for our common goals. I hope I can continue my work to expand our interconnections with our sister communities, now that the EC is asking for an umbrella term to support related practices, so that we can create a common strategy for continuous support in the next framework programme (FP10) and beyond.”

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