Making Sense Barcelona
Making Sense BY-NC-SA

Premiere documentary: a Citizen Science Revolution

Can a cheap sensor change the reality of a city? And what about dozens of sensors? In the spring of 2016, in a European project, different groups of citizens in Barcelona, ​​Pristina and Amsterdam started organizing themselves. They were concerned about their local environment: noise pollution, air quality and gamma radiation in their neighborhood. They started collecting data with cheap sensors to map the extent of the problems. Then they looked for solutions.

In the documentary a Citizen Science Revolution, we follow these groups and take a unique look behind the scenes of this European research project with the question: how do we involve communities in mapping their living environment, and how do we turn this into action?

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During this premiere evening we like to watch the documentary together with the entire network of people and organizations active in citizen science. What have we learned? Where do we want to go with citizen science in the future? Which opportunities should we use? The evening will be moderated by Frank Kresin, who coordinated the Making Sense project.

The entrance is free.


19:30 Walk-in
20:00 Introduction Citizens Science - Frank Kresin
20:15 Current activities in Citizens Science Waag - Ivonne Jansen-Dings
20:30 Screening documentary: A Citizen Science Revolution
21:30 Interview on the future of citizen science, by Frank Kresin
22:00 Discussion and drinks


Our environment is changing rapidly. The quality of this environment is under severe pressure in various places around the world. In recent years, various open hardware and data platforms have been developed with which citizens can map the quality of the living environment. We see this technology becoming cheaper and better. Citizens are able to measure the air quality themselves in their own streets or jointly report the noise nuisance. This creates countless new opportunities for action and change. Citizens around the world get involved in citizen science and gain more insight into their environment and are inspired by more sustainable behavior.

Last year the project Making Sense was successfully completed. The documentary: A Citizen Science Revolution gives a unique look behind the scenes of this project. In this two-year European research project, several communities in Europe were able to map their environment with affordable sensor technology. These data led to new insights, new conversations with governments and clear actions for citizens.

The documentary shows the different cultural contexts, communities and pilots of Making Sense in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prishtina. Communities of concerned citizens are faced with a variety of cultural and political problems. Yet there are also many similarities. Whether it is about improving air quality in Pristina or the fight against noise pollution in Barcelona; the question "how do you collect meaningful data" or "how do you create impact with your results", you see answered from different perspectives. The project won several awards, including a prestigious 'honorary mention' at Ars Electronica this year.

For Waag, Making Sense was a continuation and expansion of earlier activities on this theme. In 2014, Waag started the Smart Citizens Lab, in which citizens are enabled in various ways to map their living environment. Since then the community of Smart Citizens has grown considerably.




Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam


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Making Sense has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 688620.