citizen science

Citizen science (CS; also known as crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as "public participation in scientific research", participatory monitoring and participatory action research.

 

In this blog series Hidde Kamst examines different ways of using technology in cities, and the corresponding roles these imply for citizens.

 

UCL, partner in the EU project 'Doing it together science', published an extensive work on citizen science.

 

GammaSense develops a citizens measurement network to measure gamma radiation.

 

We talk to people of Amsterdam who have a short or long time experience with measuring particulate matter (PM) at home. This time: Nico van Gog.

 

The first online platform to let children build their own sensors, Smart Kids Lab, is now also available in English. In this way children, at home or school, can learn in a playful way to measure their surroundings.

 

The Making Sense-team has published the book 'Citizen Sensing, a toolkit', which describes all methods, lessons and best practices.

 

According to popular media we are living in a post-fact society. As we moved beyond a society in which facts and truth are used to prove a point, we arrived in a society which doesn't even care about what is truth or not.

 

On the Wednesday before Xmas, an enthusiastic group of people gathered at the Waag to assemble an air quality sensor, together with the national RIVM institute.

 

Which technological applications make it possible for citizens to actively contribute to collecting (environmental) data? This was the topic of a workshop organized by the Dutch Overlegorgaan Infrastructuur en Milieu (OIM) that took place on 14 November.

 

A team from Waag has realised the installation 'Garden as Lab' that will travel trough the country with a selection of DIY tests.

 

Waag came with Amsterdam Smart City during the “Discovery Days” (Ontdekdagen) at the Marineterrein. The day's programme was marked by the themes surrounding the Smart Kids Lab: collecting data from your environment with homemade meters. Facilitated by the beautiful mobile workshop environment of the Science Bus we researched water, earth, light, and sound.

 

At Waag we don’t encounter with architects that often. So the chance to visit REsite festival in Prague that discusses the future of the city with architects on stage, in the crowd and even future architects in the organization was a great opportunity.

 

For our project Smart Kids Lab, I visited the school de Regenboog ('The Rainbow') in Amsterdam (Gein).

 

Suzanne van Lier & Joke de Hoogh, teachers at the elementary school de Regenboog in Amsterdam, told us about the experience with Smart Kids Lab in her lessons. Smart Kids Lab is part of Making Sense, a European project that stimulates citizens to measure the quality of their environment.

 

Suzanne van Lier & Joke de Hoogh, teachers at the elementary school de Regenboog in Amsterdam, told us about the experience with Smart Kids Lab in her lessons.

 

How do you measure your own environment with simple household instruments? This is what our project Smart Kids Lab is all about. Waag approached a number of schools in Amsterdam to try out the tests that were developed.

 

The October Digital Museum Lab meet up was held at Cinekid MediaLab as we expected the interactive installations there to be inspirational not only for kids, parents and teachers but also for museum professionals.

 

One of the instructions we made for the Smart Kids Lab teaches you how to make your own DIY meter for 'particulated matter' with a milk carton and vaseline. I conducted this experiment myself and placed the pieces of carton at our offices at Pintohuis (in the centre of Amsterdam).

 

On 12 October 2016, we officially open the Smart Kids Lab at the Cinekid Festival. From the lab, we also present the first online platform to let children build their own sensors. In this way children, at home or school, can learn in a playful way to measure their surroundings. The online platform offers Dutch children a number of tests, varying from homemade tools to measure particulated matter or the clarity of water. They can upload their results to the website and compare the results with those of other kids throughout the country.

 

In collaboration with GGD Amsterdam, the KNMI, the Long Fonds, Wageningen University, and ECN Netherlands, we rolled out a programme in which citizens cooperated with experts and worked together for several months while learning how to measure their environments with low-cost technologies: Urban AirQ.

 

From June 20th to 22nd, we held three Smart Citizens crash courses about measuring air, water quality and noise pollution at the temporary FabCity Campus in Amsterdam.

 

Over the course of five days, twenty eager participants from Rio became Smart Citizens. Pieter van Boheemen and Taco van Dijk from Waag teached them how to appropriate low-cost, open source technologies to make sense of their environment, helping them to care, share and act.

 

In Singapore, an experiment has started to measure air pollution by analyzing photos with artificial intelligence.

 

The official Dutch institute that is measuring air quality, RIVM, has made a handy brochure for those interested in measuring air quality themselves, titled 'Meten voor een gezonde stad' (pdf). It explains the role of citizen science and clearly explains what substances have an influence on air quality. It does so in Dutch.

 

A concluding publication has been published by the partners in the European cultural cooperation project Eclectis. Every partner in the project has contributed to this publication.

 

On 18 November 2014, I gave a presentation about the Amsterdam Smart Citizen project at the 'Intelligent Living Space- Big Data en Smart City Seminar' in Taipei, Taiwan.

 

As part of the Smart Citizen kit project, the artists of Cascoland showed during "Fresh air!" in a public event on June 16th at the Nieuwmarkt what Coughing Shrubs are, how stressed a plant can be, and served a herby soup.

 

On 16 June 2014 we evaluated the results of our experiment with the Smart Citizen Kit in Amsterdam together with the participants.

 

On 13 May 2014 we had Hans Berkhout of RIVM as a guest of the Smart Citizen project in Amsterdam.

 

A thousand volunteers in Antwerp (Belgium) will have a strawberry plant at their homes the next two months. The University of Antwerp want to measure small particles in the air through the leaves of the plants.

 

On February 25, 2014 the first Smart Citizen Kit Install Party took place: a 'man only' event with tech-savvy people.

 

Eclectis Amsterdam was a workshop program for young people (high school students, age 13 and 14, from the Hyperion Lyceum) held in September 2013. We published an illustrated research report about the findings of this week.

 

Cities are the dominant and most successful organisations of human endeavour. This intense form of cohabitation has developed over thousands of years, attracting an increasingly larger part of the human population. While they have vibrantly developed in terms of size, density and quality of life, technology has sped up, leading to problems and possibilities that we still have to fully apprehend.

 

FutureEverything Publications has published a new booklet titled 'Smart Citizens'. This publication aims to shift the debate on the future of cities towards the central place of citizens, and of decentralised, open urban infrastructures. It provides a global perspective on how cities can create the policies, structures and tools to engender a more innovative and participatory society.

 

From 16 till 20 September, our part in the European project ECLECTIS took place in Amsterdam North. During this week, zeven international artists worked with 150 pupils of the Hyperion Lyceum to research the their environment and experiment with technology.

 

We, citizens of all cities, take the fate of the places we live in into our own hands. We care about the buildings and the parks, the shops, the schools, the roads and the trees. But above all, we care about the quality of the life we live in our cities.

 

Quantified Self (QS) stands, in short, for measuring yourself. Using tools to translate your behaviour in data. On Monday March 4th Waag hosted the Amsterdam meetup.

 

Wednesday the 27th of June, Waag was all about science. Citizen Science to be exact. Together with Utrecht University and 7scenes, Waag organized an inspiring three-day conference: ‘Citizen Scientist on the Move’.