The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) evolves
Inspired by the approach of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) in Great Britain, European institutions, museums, universities, and other interested entities came together in order to exchange ideas and advocate the idea of citizen science in Europe. While the term citizen science is well known in the US, and easily entered the UK, it now becomes a real movement throughout Europe, combining traditional activities of learned societies with modern internet or smartphone based approaches, adding links to different communities such as science shops, hackathons, or open science festivals.
The idea to develop the loose network into a more institutionalized organization was driven by the observation that structures with clear responsibilities may ease communication and strengthen the citizen science approach. Within ECSA as developing entity, several working groups develop suggestions and guidelines for different topics, for example a collation of best practices to run a citizen science project, of different ways of communication, on data tools and technology as well as of internal governance.
ECSA now is registered in Germany as a non profit association, the secretariat is currently in Berlin, at the Museum für Naturkunde. The next General Assembly is scheduled for November 26th 2014 in Berlin, the last one took place in April 2014 in Copenhagen, back to back with the Living Knowledge Conference. Main topics will be to finalize the strategic discussion in order to develop a working programme and funding strategy for ECSA as well as to discuss the progress achieved by the different working groups.
More information is available at the webpage: http://ecsa.biodiv.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de/
Updated information December 2015:
ECSA is registered in Germany as a non profit association, the secretariat is in Berlin, at the Museum für Naturkunde. After having already three successful General Meetings, in Copenhagen, Berlin, Barcelona, which very much led to institutional development including an agreed strategy, principles, and governance procedures, the next General Assembly is scheduled for May 2016 in Berlin as part of the first international Citizen Science Conference of ECSA.
More information is available at the webpage: http://www.ecsa.citizen-science.net/