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Citizen Science Day and Our Inspired ‘Unnamed Movement’

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsoumplekas/5578812449/ Flickr photo by Christos Tsoumplekas

Monthly Letter from Greg (the CSA board chair) to all CSA members
March 30, 2016 • Fort Collins, Colorado

“This [unnamed] movement… is dispersed, inchoate, and fiercely independent. It … is taking shape in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, companies, deserts, fisheries, [and] slums… and is… emerging as a global… movement arising from the bottom up. No one knows its scope [or] how it functions, [but what it is] is [something] compelling: … tens of millions of people dedicated to change.”

~ Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken

As Paul Hawken so eloquently said in his book entitled “Blessed Unrest,” the so-called ‘unnamed movement’ that we can easily ascribe to citizen science is “is dispersed, inchoate, and fiercely independent. It … is taking shape in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, companies, deserts, fisheries, [and] slums… and is… emerging as a global… movement arising from the bottom up. No one knows its scope [or] how it functions, [but what it is] is [something] compelling: … tens of millions of people dedicated to change.” I find this quote very inspiring and telling about many characteristics of what we call citizen science. It touches on a few notable characteristics:

  1. The dispersed nature of citizen science
  2. How citizen science is emerging as a global movement
  3. The intractable nature of the scope of citizen science

It is these characteristics I implore each and everyone one of you to tap into when creating events of all shapes and sizes under the banner of Citizen Science Day. We have a wonderful opportunity to showcase the power of citizen science globally. As you know, the CSA is coordinating a nationwide Citizen Science Day in conjunction with the White House forum, “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People”. With support from SciStarter and in partnership with numerous national organizations, CSA is providing planning resources and promotional materials for sites around the country to host events and bring attention to citizen science impacts and opportunities.

Despite the many national and local events already taking shape, there is a great need to create, expand and highlight regional get-togethers for both professionals and the public. Help us to do so by adding your events to the SciStarter calendar, your own regional portals, and in as many places as possible to really leverage the bottom-up nature of our so-called ‘unnamed movement.’

Citizen Science Day is not just a day about collecting data. It’s a day to celebrate, to work, to create, and to innovate. It’s an open invitation to all to explore citizen science in all that it is – from those studying the phenomenon to those collecting data to those designing projects and evaluating impacts. Let’s show the world that we truly are “…something compelling… tens of millions of people dedicated to change” through science.

Happy scheming,

Sincerely, Greg Newman

Posted on: March 31, 2016  |  Category: Blog, Chair's Message, Citizen Science Association, Citizen Science Day, CSA Board, News