In June, we launched a questionnaire on science communication in citizen science projects across the EU and UK (you can read more about the launch here). After collecting a successful first round of answers, we already have some interesting results, albeit preliminary.

A significant amount of the answers we collected during June and July came from projects based in Spain, Portugal and Italy. While this result was in part foreseeable, given the stronger networks of the NEWSERA partners in these countries, it provides us with a precious source of data on Southern Europe countries, that are often under-represented in the literature.

However, this result also motivates us to increase our efforts to reach Northern Europe and the UK, where in general citizen science networks are more spread and better established.

From a preliminary analysis of the communication strategies of the first round of respondents, we found that more that a third of the projects employ multi-channel communication strategies. However, all of the projects that employ a single-channel communication strategy use social media as their communication channel, with Facebook as the most popular choice.

Citizen science projects have also shown their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost half of the projects adapted their data collection activities in order to continue them during lockdown. Additionally, more than 35% of projects were able to organize their public events through online platforms. Most of the projects that moved online not only did not lose their attendance rate, but in some cases they even increased it.

This preliminary findings give us a sneak peak into the ecosystem of citizen science in the EU and the UK, that we’ll study more in depth with new rounds of the survey and the complete analysis of the data collected.