The Citizen Science team hosted the 2nd South-East Citizen Science Meetup at the Angela Marmont Centre last Friday. As an effort to bring together researchers and practitioners in the field, the ExCiteS research group (UCL) had held the first Citizen Science meetup in London back in January 2019, as part of the Doing It Together Science (DITOs) project. The informal concept of meetups brought together a wide range of citizen science expertise and so we decided to host the next meet up at the Natural History Museum.
Despite public transport chaos and lots of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff going on during the Doctor Who themed NHM Lates event taking place at the same time, our speakers provided us with valuable insights into their research and citizen science projects.
Dr Jessica Wardlaw, our Interim Citizen Science Manager, gave an overview of our citizen science activities at the Museum. Jess explained the Museum’s rationale for engaging in Citizen Science and highlighted our current research project LEARN CitSci in which we study youth participation in Citizen Science.
The speaker with the longest journey to London on the day was Claire Ramjan. She is a PhD student at the University of Stirling and came down all the way from Scotland to share her research approach to study the development of environmental citizenship in various school groups.
If there had been an award for the best prop, Imogen Cavadino and her inflatable slugs would definitely have won it. Imogen – a PhD student at RHS Garden Wisley and the University of Newcastle – introduced us to the RHS Cellar Slug Survey, explained how they embedded the survey in iRecord and where they currently have hot spots and gaps in their survey.
From these local and national projects, Kesella Scott-Somme broadened the scope by telling us about Freshwater Watch, a global network for water monitoring.
After these inspiring short-talks, all participants had the opportunity to network over drinks and nibbles and discussed a wide range of topics such as community engagement, proposals for the upcoming ECSA conference and the common struggle for funding.
The positive feedback from participants supports our impression that informal meetups are a great way to bring together a “local” Citizen Science community. If you are interested in hosting a South-West Citizen Science meetup, please do get in touch with us, we’re happy to help!