Citizen Science

What is citizen science?

As we face global challenges, we want to find local ways to make a difference.

Every year, volunteers from all over the world contribute millions of hours to science. In Australia alone, hundreds of citizen science projects exist with over 100,000 citizen scientists contributing to scientific data collection, classification, and analysis. Citizen science has been commonly used to help scientists monitor animal and plant populations but has not been used often in public health research.

Citizen science occurs when ordinary people like you help to conduct scientific research.

It is a collaboration between researchers and those of you who are curious, concerned, and motivated to make a difference. It involves public participation in scientific research with the aim to increase scientific knowledge.

By participating in citizen science projects, you can contribute to the collection and analysis of data at volumes that researchers alone simply do not have the capacity to achieve.

Citizen scientists in this project

Our citizen scientists are community champions and community participants!

They will gather data by doing audits of their towns’ streets, including taking photos of aspects that support or prevent being active and then will talk about the findings at a workshop to make sense of what they see and find. Although they will have a large role in data collection, they will also be invited to other stages of the research process.

The figure below shows how our citizen scientists are involved in the walkability project:

Training resources