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COMPAIR Joined EuroGeo Workshop to Improve CitSci Uptake in Decision Ecosystems



In recent years citizen science has become widely recognised for its potential beyond science, e.g., to provide data to official assessment and accounting systems, helping to close spatial and temporal data gaps, or to provide methods to enhance public participation in the scientific and policy discourse, amongst others.


Lighthouse projects across the globe have demonstrated that citizen science data can serve SDG monitoring (Ghana), outweigh official data sources for official air quality reporting (Flanders) or lead to urban re-design of public spaces to reduce noise pollution (Barcelona).


At the same time, citizen science practices are debated for their legitimacy, in a narrow sense related to data quality, in a wider sense related to their potential of calling existing accountability systems and power structures into question.


To reflect and offer COMPAIR's view on these developments, Harris Alexopoulos from the University of the Aegean attended the EuroGEO workshop (#EGW2022), which was held in Athens on 8 December 2022.


In his presentation, Harris explained how COMPAIR will tackle the issue of data quality (by implementing advanced cloud calibration algorithms) and power structures (by working with local charities to engage people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds). He also gave a sneak preview of the CO2 Simulation Dashboard that the team at the Aegean university are developing to

  • Help citizens understand how their carbon footprint is affected by daily activities

  • Provide recommendations for CO2 footprint reduction

  • Allow citizens to participate in policy making

  • Understand what actions citizens they are willing to make, as well as actions they are willing to accept from the government



Through a panel discussion that followed, participants were able to get a better sense of how to improve citizen science uptake in official data and decision ecosystems. Perhaps the workshop's biggest achievement was that it enhanced knowledge exchange and allowed participating projects (COMPAIR, SOCIO-BEE, CitiObs, GREENAGE, Urban ReLeaf) to jointly sketch trends and key leverage points towards facilitating the uptake of citizen science data and practice in authoritative data flows and policy making.

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