The rise of citizen science: can the public help solve our biggest problems? | Universities | The Guardian

“For instance, in Kenya, University College London (UCL) scientists and their local partners are working with the Maasai to protect their environment against the climate crisis.

The researchers are co-developing a smartphone app that will help the community map the location of vital medicinal plant species and, as a result, better manage them. The app will allow the Maasai to upload the location of the plants, analyse the results and display them using icons like a thumbs up, an ant, and a red no entry sign next to invasive species, as well as pictures of the plants they want to protect….

Despite its obvious merits, citizen science still faces challenges. Researchers have a reputation for arriving in a community, exploiting it for data, and leaving it without giving any credit for its contribution….

In the end, citizen science is about shifting power from scientists to the public. A new £1.3m project called Engaging Environments led by the University of Reading, which is running in its own city as well as Birmingham and Newcastle, aims to do just that by training researchers to work with a wide range of communities to address their concerns about issues like pollution, climate change and air quality. This might be through getting sixth formers to monitor wildlife, or mosques encouraging their congregation to develop environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding single-use plastics during festivals.

This project is needed because of the social divide that exists between the public and many scientists. …

It doesn’t benefit scientists to isolate themselves from the public, either….”

Focused business models and open-data policies key to accelerating uptake of climate services | News | CORDIS | European Commission

“Focusing mainly on finance, tourism and urban planning, EU-MACS project partners examined the structures and interactions of the different obstacles to the uptake of climate services, aiming to improve the design of policy scenarios and selection of appropriate policy instruments. They discovered that public and not-for-profit climate service providers need to better plan and evaluate their positions in the climate service value chain and adopt improved business models with a focus on collaborative needs-based climate services. In addition, an open-data policy at EU and Member State levels is a key element for a flourishing climate services market. Application of the project’s proposed policy packages in EU Member States, supported by EU-level initiatives on standardisation and market deployment monitoring, should accelerate the uptake and beneficial use of climate services across many sectors. “We loosely estimate that if the additional uptake of climate services takes place across the entire EU, this would represent easily a net societal benefit of several billion euro, as well as non-monetised benefits for societal resilience,” says project coordinator Adriaan Perrels of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.”

Montreal Statement | Sustainability in the Digital Age

“OPEN AND TRANSPARENT ACCESS TO DATA AND KNOWLEDGE CRITICAL TO ACHIEVING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY

Colossal quantities of data are produced and made accessible as a result of the digital age. Nevertheless, much of the data most valuable for building a climate-safe and equitable world are either not available for public use or are simply not being collected. As AI is increasingly turning collected data into usable knowledge, steps that could ensure open access to this critical data and knowledge include:

The creation and support of multi-stakeholder, consensus-based processes to identify priority data needed in the public domain. This includes understanding:

What data, critical for environmental sustainability and social equity, already exists in private or public domains? Who is harvesting and providing such data, and who has access to them?

What critical data is missing and how can they be obtained?

What are the environmental and social costs of data collection, storage, and use?…

This entails developing standards—such as providing for data transparency, traceability, ownership, and anonymity—to ensure that data for public use is of the highest quality, and is widely accessible and usable….”

 

Montreal Statement | Sustainability in the Digital Age

“OPEN AND TRANSPARENT ACCESS TO DATA AND KNOWLEDGE CRITICAL TO ACHIEVING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL EQUITY

Colossal quantities of data are produced and made accessible as a result of the digital age. Nevertheless, much of the data most valuable for building a climate-safe and equitable world are either not available for public use or are simply not being collected. As AI is increasingly turning collected data into usable knowledge, steps that could ensure open access to this critical data and knowledge include:

The creation and support of multi-stakeholder, consensus-based processes to identify priority data needed in the public domain. This includes understanding:

What data, critical for environmental sustainability and social equity, already exists in private or public domains? Who is harvesting and providing such data, and who has access to them?

What critical data is missing and how can they be obtained?

What are the environmental and social costs of data collection, storage, and use?…

This entails developing standards—such as providing for data transparency, traceability, ownership, and anonymity—to ensure that data for public use is of the highest quality, and is widely accessible and usable….”

 

Announcing Launch of the Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age | FutureEarth

“Future Earth is pleased to announce the launch of the Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age. The collective statement from an international group of business, government, and science leaders highlights that we cannot achieve a climate-safe, sustainable, and equitable future without ensuring a secure, safe, and trusted digital world for all….

2. Ensure open and transparent access to data and knowledge critical to achieving sustainability and equity; …”

Announcing Launch of the Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age | FutureEarth

“Future Earth is pleased to announce the launch of the Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age. The collective statement from an international group of business, government, and science leaders highlights that we cannot achieve a climate-safe, sustainable, and equitable future without ensuring a secure, safe, and trusted digital world for all….

2. Ensure open and transparent access to data and knowledge critical to achieving sustainability and equity; …”

American Meteorological Society

“Notice: Normally, all AMS journal articles are freely available one year after publication date. As part of AMS’s response to COVID-19, currently all AMS journal articles are freely available, effective 25 March through 30 September 2020. We hope this may be helpful to researchers and students and others in our communities who may have challenges with their usual access methods, as well as helpful to the librarians who serve them.”

In Canada, Inuit Communities Are Shaping Research Priorities

“Bell’s own claim to fame is SmartICE. Created in collaboration with the Nunatsiavut government, SmartICE integrates traditional ice knowledge with real-time data gathered from sensors embedded in and pulled across sea ice. Piloted in Nain beginning in 2012, SmartICE aims to generate a reliable map of travel hazards, accessible by desktop or smartphone.

SmartICE isn’t alone. Over the past decade, the Nunatsiavut government has redirected outside researchers’ efforts toward Inuit priorities, including mental health, marine pollution in wild foods, housing shortages, and, of course, sea ice. In doing so, Nunatsiavut has been an early contributor to the change now spreading across Canada’s four Inuit regions, which altogether encompass more than 1.4 million square miles, from the Alaskan border to the Atlantic. The consequences could transform the conduct of Canadian and international researchers in the north — a part of the world that holds vital clues about the future of a warming planet, but where the legacy of science-as-usual remains shadowed by centuries of mistrust, anger, and exploitation….

Six years before Nunatsiavut formed, the majority-Inuit territory of Nunavut was created in Canada’s high Arctic, and Canada’s other two Inuit regions are today moving toward limited self-government. All four regions come together as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a group that represents Canadian Inuit interests federally. In 2018, ITK launched the National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR), aiming to elevate research self-determination and give Inuit communities greater say in the research that takes place in their homeland….

As with SmartICE, his research involves deploying buoys to develop more accurate predictive models of sea-ice coverage. In order to work in Nunatsiavut, he shares data freely with community members, and tends to place buoys where the community requests….”

IFLA — Heritage cannot wait in the face of climate change: IFLA welcomes signatures to open letter on World IP Day

“IFLA, and partner organisations have launched an open letter to mark World Intellectual Property Day, 26 April 2020, underlining the need for copyright laws to support, rather than hinder, efforts to safeguard heritage in the face of climate change. Without action, nationally and internatinally, heritage institutions risk beng unable preserve their collections for the future. The letter is open for further endorsements….”

EPA’s independent science board says ‘secret science’ proposal may ‘reduce scientific integrity’ | TheHill

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent board of science advisers had harsh words for an agency plan to limit the types of studies it considers when crafting regulations, saying the EPA had failed to justify the need for the policy.

The policy was first proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2018 to battle “secret science.” He argued that in order to increase transparency, the agency should limit consideration of studies that don’t share their underlying data….

The SAB’s review is consistent with longstanding criticism of the proposal, as science and medical groups have argued it will lead the EPA to ignore important public health research that must protect the privacy of human subjects….”