On October 7th 2020 I was invited to be a keynote in The Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA) CitSciOzOnline Early-Mid Career Researcher (EMCR) 1/2 day symposium. The aim of the symposium was to unite citizen science-aligned researchers in Australia to interrogate and explore research and practice in citizen science across the country. It featured keynotes, lightning talks, Q&A, interactive sessions, and networking opportunities, to build a community of practice in citizen science research.
Research can change the world, but how it is undertaken is not always beneficial. First Nations critiques of Western science have suggested that many aspects of research resemble colonial processes and are extractive, taking raw contextualised material from people, and making them abstract and universal for the benefit of researchers or institutions. Building on participatory action research and community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods, where researchers collaborate with community partners to investigate issues, citizen science offers a new iteration of co-producing knowledge and participating in the scientific archive outside the university. However, there are also concerns that a participatory agenda is the outcome of reduced funding, and that underfunded research institutions are using unpaid labour to produce knowledge for no cost. This presentation covers principles for working with community partners in authentic, collaborative, sensitive and culturally safe ways.