Citizen Science: It’s not about branding the university, stupid!
What exactly happened the last 5-10 years when faith in academia and the power of knowledge seems to be at a new low? And what are universities answers to Fake News, Climate Change, Brexit, Trump and the loss of authority for the very people we hire and educate: doctors, economists, historians, biologists. And most of all journalists and politicians!
Citizen Science can’t solve all these issues, but the phenomenon does provide an emerging platform for researchers and communication professionals to explore.
Universities have long been branding themselves in order to attract researchers, funding or students. While that brings results, the question is whether it is time to add a new dimension?
Citizen Science offers a platform for universities to engage with both local and global communities in new ways while increasing social impact. Furthermore, both national and European institutions support Citizen Science thus paving the way for additional funding.
Besides providing some insights and subjects for discussion into what Citizens Science is, and how it from a strategic, communications and practical purpose could be useful for universities, the presenters lay out the foundation of a partnership between universities and public service media, that potentially is a new arena to explore.
Anne Kathrine Overgaard and Thomas Kaarsted both work at the University of Southern Denmark. Both have communication backgrounds and work as project managers in charge of the university’s Citizen Science Network.
Anne Kathrine is Head of External Projects at the Faculty of Health Science, has worked with science communication for a number of years, and holds a Masters in Corporate Communication.
Thomas is Deputy Library Director and used to be an academic publisher, has reviewed books, written for a number for newspapers, and holds a Masters in Public Governance. He is a former board member of a major regional media outlet.