Citizen Science and Frontier Research: ERC Annual Event 2022
07 December 2022
09:00 - 15:30
Hybrid - Brussels, Belgium
Cover image of ERC Annual Event 2022 - Citizen Science and Frontier Research

Citizen science refers to activities conducted by scientists in collaboration or consultation with the public at any stage of a research project.

It can range from citizens and local communities photographing and analysing new auroral phenomena, collecting samples of fruit flies in rural areas, to using geographical analysis and visualisation tools coupled with their local environmental knowledge, or annotating performed music structures in an online platform. 

Citizen science plays an important role in encouraging public engagement with research and tackling real-world problems. Research involving citizens and allowing them to gain more insight into the scientific process can lead to more trust in science in general. Also, our environmental, health, social, economic and political challenges require scientists, citizens, policymakers, and in general, a broader range of stakeholders, to find new ways of collaborating with each other. 

By sharing lessons learnt and best practices within and across scientific domains, the following challenges faced by both scientists and citizens will be addressed: 

  • Participation and motivation: What are the main reasons for scientists to engage with citizens and for citizens to engage in science? How do participants benefit from their experience? What are the key obstacles for widening participation? 

  • Strategies for engagement: What are the best ways to attract and sustain participation over time? How can communities of practice that encourage engagement and learning be created? What is the best way to combine physical and online tools/techniques? 

  • Quality and impact: What type of knowledge can be generated and according to which standards? Is engagement with citizens a way to enhance the quality of science, or only to enhance science impact in the wider society? What is the concrete impact on scientific practices and everyday lives of citizens? What are the key enablers for citizen science? 




Morning (ERC premises in Brussels + online) 



9:00 – 9:10 | Opening


Maria Leptin

President, European Research Council 


9:10 – 10:00 | Setting the scene: What is citizen science and why it matters? 



Maria Leptin

President, European Research Council 



Mordechai Haklay

UCL (University College London) 

  •  Presentation "Synergies of Citizen Science and Frontier research" (PDF)
Josefa Gonzalez

CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) 

  •  Presentation "Citizen Science network in adaptation genomics" (PDF)
Frans Snik

Leiden University

  • Presentation "Creating new connections" (PDF)


10:00 – 10:20 | Coffee/tea break 


10:20 – 11:30 | Sharing experiences: what methodologies, approaches, conditions work best to conduct citizen science?  



Angela Liberatore

Head of the Scientific Department, ERCEA 



Minna Palmroth

University of Helsinki 

Elaine Chew

King's College London 

Stefania Milan

University of Amsterdam 

Kris Verheyen

Ghent University 

Sarah Lebeer

University of Antwerp 


11:30 – 12:10 | Harvesting session: does citizen science help pushing the frontiers of knowledge? Does frontier knowledge matter for citizens? 




Jacob Sherson

Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences 

  •  Presentation "Harvesting session" (PDF)


12:10 – 12:15 | What’s next? by ERC  

Afternoon (online only) 



14:30 – 15:30 | Young people engaged for the planet 




Tony Lockett

Head of the Communication Unit, ERCEA



Thomas Pesquet

European Space Agency astronaut


Josefa Gonzalez

CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)

Marcus Collier

Trinity College Dublin

Eveline Crone

Vice-President, European Research Council 

Students from IES Eladio Cabañero, Tomelloso (Spain) and from Mriya School, Odessa (Ukraine)

Q&A session

Answers to questions in Slido (PDF)

Speaker’s bios
Professor in Developmental Neuroscience in Society, Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL