I am a PhD student working across Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) and the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR), at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Originally trained as an Ecologist at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, and following this with a masters in Science Communication at Imperial College London, I has developed 10 years of experience in public engagement around environmental sustainability and ecology. Before joining the University of Dundee in October 2016, I spent two years delivering national citizen science projects at the Natural History Museum, London.
Citizen Science is a burgeoning practice that invites the public to participate in real scientific research. The extent to which the public are involved in the research varies, but the predominant practice is for the public to be solely involved in data collection activity, known as ‘contributory’ citizen science. My research interest, however, lies in the area of citizen science known as ‘co-created’ where the public are involved in most, if not all, stages of the scientific process. My PhD is exploring the potential this method has to empower communities to tackle issues locally, as defined by them. I am particularly interested in how we can build capacity within communities to take part in a process of this nature, and how we can facilitate a relationship between scientists and the public, that is mutually beneficial.