Photo: Christmasstockings.com licensed CC 3.0
What a monumental year for citizen science! After decades, if not generations, of collective uphill battles to validate the field–to prove to the establishment that citizen science is serious science–we finally felt the Earth move under our feet!
This year, the Citizen Science Association formally organized, established an inaugural Board (note that today is the last day to nominate new Board members!), hosted our first conference and launched a journal! We formed alliances with international partners to globally support this field and participated in quite a few exciting developments with the White House:
- Senator Coons introduced the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2015 to encourage and increase the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science within the federal government.
- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Domestic Policy Council hosted a forum titled “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, For the People, By the People,” to shine a spotlight on Federal agencies taking initiative with citizen science.
- At the White House event, we announced an effort to coordinate the first-of-its-kind nationwide Citizen Science Day!
- More than 40 US federal agencies formed a Federal Community of Practice on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing and we provided guidance on their online Toolkit.
This level of recognition and support has validated citizen science and crowdsourcing. In fact, no single administration has done more to fuel federal interest in, and enthusiasm for, citizen science!
This field, however, transcends any one administration, election cycles, legislative agendas, and budget priorities. We recognize that it will take a focused, unwaivering, long-term, peer-driven commitment to steer this ship through calm seas and stormy weather. We are, after all, still in largely unchartered territory.
This is why the Citizen Science Association exists. We are here to support each other in good times and in bad. To connect each other to resources, peers, tools, transdisciplinary expertise, and, well, sometime just moral support along the way.
We don’t need to tell you that the future holds unprecedented potential for citizen science. Thanks for all you’ve done to bring us to this level. If you’re not already a member, sign up to join us in this journey.
Here’s to building the future of this field, together! Happy new year!