ECSA stands for the European Citizen Science Association. It is an NGO that aims at encouraging the general public to participate in different scientific processes. They do this by launching a variety of science projects as well as by conducting researches on citizen science.
There are more than 200 people and organizations coming from 28 countries that take part in the ECSA projects. The idea of ECSA started in 2013 during the EU Green Week. Since then, the organization has grown a lot. Now they are considered to be the European reference network of Citizen Science initiatives.
The mission that all ECSA members have is to make citizens actively participate in science projects and thus make a secure connection between science and citizens. They rely on the sustainability of Citizen Science and believe that it will improve the environment, biodiversity, and climate change policy not only in Europe but globally.
The ECSA Conferences
The steering committee of ECSA decided to organize conferences every other year. Each congress would take place in a different member country. The first ECSA conference took place in 2016 in Berlin, the second one – in 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland, and the third one will be in Trieste, Italy.
The topic of the first ECSA conference was Citizen Science – Innovation in Open Science, Society, and Policy. It lasted from 19th to 21st May 2016.
The Second ECSA Conference
The second ECSA conference started with a Citizen Science Festival on 3rd June 2018 in Geneva. Both local people and ECSA participants were invited to enjoy different citizen science projects. On the 4th and 5th of June, there were a lot of interactive sessions that grabbed the attention of around 400 participants from all over the world. On the 6th, there were internal working group meetings.
The conference in Geneva had around 15 partners and supporters, some of which were Doing It Together Science, Swiss Academies of Arts and Science, and Ville De Geneva.
The event took place in the center of Geneva in the historic Maison Communale de Plainpalais. The building dates back from the beginning of the 20th century, and now it belongs to the City of Geneva.
The ECSA European Citizen Science Contest
To encourage more participants from the general public to join the organization, ECSA has initiated a Science Contest. The winning project of the contest for 2018 is called ‘Mein Rhein.’ It is an international citizen science project run by a teacher of geography, Jell Kabbes.
Jell Kabbes built several schools along the Rhine as the river is a perfect location for research. The students of these schools have the opportunity to research the biodiversity, the water quality, and the fish migration in the river.
The Upcoming Third ECSA Conference
The third ECSA congress is going to take place in 2020 in Trieste, Italy. The location will be in the heart of Trieste. The registration for the conference will be open in December 2019. There will be 500 members taking part in the third congress.