Citizen Science in Cyprus: Conducting, producing and utilizing research

A Citizen Science piloting event was organized on the 24th of June 2022 by the University of Cyprus Library in collaboration with the Public Library of Strovolos.

Within the framework of the CeOS_SE project, the event entitled “Citizen Science: Active citizens in conducting, producing and utilizing research” was organized in order to increase awareness within the local community for Citizen Science as one of the critical components of Open Science.

The event, which was open to all interested citizens, librarians, researchers and students, focused mainly on an introductory overview of terms and basic knowledge of Open Science and Citizen Science through examples from the cultural heritage field.

The event was highly supported and addressed by the Mayor of Strovolos municipality and the Library deputy director of the University of Cyprus Library. They both stated the importance of this collaboration and the benefits projects like CEOS_SE bring to local communities.

Then an introductory presentation was given by Ms. Sylvia Koukounidou of the University of Cyprus Library in which the project CeOS_SE was presented, as well as everything that citizens should know about Citizen Science and Open Science.

Next, Ms Marina Vryonidou presented the project “About Strovolos – The creation of an archive of the social history of a city”, where with the active involvement of citizens they collected and created a cultural heritage archive to be further used by the citizens and other stakeholders for research and other uses.

Dr. George Artopoulos from the Cyprus Institute made a presentation entitled “Use of digital methods for access to common resources to activate and reintegrate urban heritage into the life of the modern city”, in which he presented virtual environments and digital simulation for the study of architectural heritage and the creative exploration of historical narratives. He also presented how, with the use of technology and data collection, citizens can be part of research and decision-making for urban development.

Finally, Dr. Christos Laoudias from the KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence presented “Crowdsourcing for Citizen Science: Applications of the KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in mobile phones for data collection”. His very interesting presentation was focused on how through crowdsourcing many apps are created for health or urban problem-solving e.g. FixCyprus and CovTracer app.

You can view the speakers’ slides on our Zenodo channel here.

The almost 40 participants’ level of knowledge of Citizen Science but also their satisfaction with the event were measured with the use of anonymous evaluation forms. 22 questionnaires were completed and the participants said that they were familiar with the term Citizen Science. 9 of them stated that they haven’t participated in similar activities related to Citizen Science in the past and all of them, without exception, stated that they had learned new things from the event and that they would use the knowledge they gained in the future. The majority of the participants stated that they were completely satisfied with the event, and that they would like to attend more related events.

For more information regarding the Citizen Science activities that CeOS_SE is piloting in Southeastern Europe, take a look at our collection of previous blogs.