Citizen science allows everyone to contribute to a deeper understanding of the world around us. Likewise, multiple perspectives are necessary for understanding citizen science practice — how to build and run projects, how to support participation, how to grow project impacts.
We want to address concerns about the phrase “spaces reserved for scholarly presentations” in the Call for Proposals for CSA2017 — specifically what this phrase means and who it includes. Just as citizen science opens up understandings about who can do science, we hope CSA2017 can open up understandings of who can advance meaningful scholarship in this field.
What makes a presentation “scholarly” is an intentional effort to reflect on practice, research, or innovative ideas in a way that helps others see new possibilities and/or improve their own work. Such presentations help other practitioners understand citizen science more completely, and can improve their knowledge or their ability to organize, manage, research, evaluate, increase diversity of participants, or otherwise improve citizen science practice. Ideas shared in such presentations should help bring our membership and this field of science forward.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to submit such a “scholarly” presentation. These presentations might be based on formal research or evaluation, but can be just as powerful when they emerge from lessons learned in practice. In either case a presentation might be conceptual in nature, or be informed by experiences or problems encountered in the field. Scholarship can meaningfully be advanced by practitioners, researchers, evaluators, participants, and many others involved in citizen science.
Please join us in taking this bi-annual opportunity to reflect on our work, to ask questions of ourselves and our methods that we don’t often have time to ask as we rush through the day-to-day of our projects, and to do so in a way that intentionally helps others learn from our experiences.