Sharing results through CITIZEN SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS
Scientific conference is a well-known ‘traditional’ event for researchers to present and discuss results of their work with other researchers. However, this type of event is rarely accessible for the general public and it can also be very expensive!
Citizen scientific conference
A citizen scientific conference is an event where everyone is invited and also where both scientists and citizens are considered the presenters and organizers. The premise is that everyone should be invited regardless of their position and it is a free-entrance event. During the conference, scientists present the results of the study they have conducted with citizens. Citizens are also invited to be part of the conference. For example they can present in a scientific poster session. The posters can be about the main topic investigated and citizens can decide what to present about this topic: data they have collected by themselves, peculiar observations made during the experiment they have explored, lessons learned of their personal experience throughout the project, etc.
Students as speakers in a citizen scientific congress
The Atenció project aimed to harness the collaboration between high school students and researchers to assess whether air pollution in high schools can affect adolescents' cognitive functions. Students in 34 schools designed and runned scientific experiments to collect data on the factors that may affect attention. A citizen scientific conference was organized to present and disseminate the results of the project. All participating high schools were invited to the event. Students were asked to prepare posters about the studies they contributed to design and run.
To disseminate the preliminary results with all the participants.
To empower students in presenting and communicating scientific experiments.
Choose a venue. This type of event could be organized in a community venue such as a library, a civic center or in academic settings. For the Atenció project, the event was organized at the auditorium of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB).
Invite citizens speakers. A few months before the event, students and scientists were asked to prepare a poster for the conference about their personal scientific project.
Prepare a program of the day. The program of the conference was prepared and published on the project website, accessible to everyone. We made sure to include in the program a slot where participating students were invited to speak.
The conference. Over 100 people attended the event and students in teams from 10 high schools participated as speakers.