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Open AccessArticle

Citizen Science in Germany as Research and Sustainability Education: Analysis of the Main Forms and Foci and Its Relation to the Sustainable Development Goals

Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability (Transzent), Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6044;
Received: 3 July 2020 / Accepted: 24 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
Many citizen science projects are in the thematic area of species observation and natural environment monitoring but, in recent years, projects in other areas and disciplines have increasingly been using citizen science approaches. It is assumed that citizen science could potentially contribute to an increase in environmental awareness and to advancing knowledge about environmental change and sustainability issues. In this article, we present a review of 127 citizen science projects listed on the German platform, “Bürger schaffen Wissen”, with the aim of analysing whether the main focus of most projects is on the scientific results or on educational aspects and how citizen science projects are connected to the SDGs. The results show that many citizen science projects overlap with SDG 4 Quality Education. Of these projects, a larger proportion entail higher levels of involvement than those projects with a stronger focus on the scientific results, in which the participation of the citizen scientists is mainly standardised and at low levels. An even greater number of projects in the sample are linked to SDG 15 Life on Land and, thereby, are in line with the traditional focus of citizen science. Additionally, the analysis reveals that forms of education used in citizen science projects are much more diverse than those included in SDG 4. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); sustainability citizen science; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); sustainability
MDPI and ACS Style

Schleicher, K.; Schmidt, C. Citizen Science in Germany as Research and Sustainability Education: Analysis of the Main Forms and Foci and Its Relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6044.

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