Citizen Science in Swafs Work Programme

Research and Innovation are key drivers of growth and prosperity. The new wave of technology-oriented science will have a deep impact on our economies and, as a result, citizens' daily life.

Many feel concerned with the most advanced scientific and technological breakthroughs. The fast-pace scientific development, especially in computer science and digital technology, is widening asymmetries between individuals with different tools to access and interact with science. Puzzlement and fear are emergent outcomes of this process. 

Horizon 2020 addresses this concern through the SWAFS Work Programme 2018-2020 (WP18-20). It supports the evolution of science and society through laying down a 3Os strategy, which outlines three strategic priorities: Open innovation, Open science, Open to the world.

The 3Os strategy is upheld by five strategic orientations:

  1. Accelerating and catalysing processes of institutional change,
  2. Stepping up the support to Gender Equality in Research & Innovation policy,
  3. Building the territorial dimension of SwafS partnerships,
  4. Exploring and supporting citizen science, and
  5. Building the knowledge base for SwafS.

 Citizen Science

Citizen Science is an emergent concept in both the policy agenda of the European Commission and the research community. It is one of the five strategic orientations of the new Work Programme 2018-2020 of "Science with and for Society" (SwafS) in Horizon 2020 and also increasingly seen as an integral part of both Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Science.

Even the White Paper on Citizen Science for Europe produced by the project Socientize agrees on the fact that there is no single definition of "Citizen Science". According to one of the multiple definitions, Citizen Science refers to the general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge or with their tools and resources. It generally involves scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with professional scientists and scientific institutions ( (2017, October) Policy Brief no 3. CITIZEN SCIENCE POLICIES IN THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION: research agendas towards issues of concern to citizens. Retrieved from ).