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Open AccessArticle

A Self-Assessment of European Citizen Science Projects on Their Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

1
Museum für Naturkunde, Science Programme Society and Nature, 10115 Berlin, Germany
2
PSY:PLAN Institute for Architectural and Environmental Psychology, 10245 Berlin, Germany
3
Animal Behaviour, Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
4
European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jordi Colomer Feliu and Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041774
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 22 January 2021 / Accepted: 27 January 2021 / Published: 7 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and the Role in Sustainable Development)
In theoretical frameworks, it is often assumed that citizen science projects contribute to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of their participatory character and the potential for social transformation. To bring a practical perspective into the dialogue, we designed a survey to obtain direct assessments of the contribution of citizen science to the SDGs by European project participants. We launched the survey across European science networks in 2020 and evaluated 125 questionnaires. Participants reported contributing most to three of the SDGs: ‘Good health and well-being’, ‘Quality education’, and Life on Land’. Additionally, our results provide evidence that, with ongoing advocacy, citizen science projects in Europe could support all SDGs in the future. Seventy-two percent of participants indicated that their projects are involved in data acquisition and 30% stated to report data, but 19% do not pass on data at all. Our findings indicate further that European citizen science projects lack infrastructures and institutional support to facilitate data sharing. We recommend a focus on the promotion or creation of interfaces, for example, between projects and UN databases. Finally, we advise that citizen science projects, some of which operate with little funding, should not be overburdened with inflated expectations as a means of implementing the SDGs. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; public participation in science; sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainability; SDG indicators; partnerships citizen science; public participation in science; sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainability; SDG indicators; partnerships
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    Doi: 10.7479/mzy9-wp90
    Link: https://doi.naturkundemuseum.berlin/data/10.7479/mzy9-wp90
    Description: Collection of survey data: A self-assessment of European Citizen Science projects on their contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
MDPI and ACS Style

Moczek, N.; Voigt-Heucke, S.L.; Mortega, K.G.; Fabó Cartas, C.; Knobloch, J. A Self-Assessment of European Citizen Science Projects on Their Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainability 2021, 13, 1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041774

AMA Style

Moczek N, Voigt-Heucke SL, Mortega KG, Fabó Cartas C, Knobloch J. A Self-Assessment of European Citizen Science Projects on Their Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041774

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moczek, Nicola; Voigt-Heucke, Silke L.; Mortega, Kim G.; Fabó Cartas, Claudia; Knobloch, Jörn. 2021. "A Self-Assessment of European Citizen Science Projects on Their Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 1774. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041774

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