The Science Transformation in EuroPe through Citizens involvement in HeAlth, coNservation and enerGy rEsearch (STEP-CHANGE) project is based on the notion that citizen science (CS) can play an even broader societal and scientific role than it is generally acknowledged, particularly in those critical fields of research, such as Energy, Health and the Environment, where human and non-human factors are deeply entangled. In these areas, a set of highly contested, socially relevant research fields is emerging where CS can play a pivotal role by making science more socially robust, inclusive and democratic while strengthening the capacity of scientific investigation over emerging phenomena that cannot be easily caught within narrow disciplinary boundaries.
The STEP-CHANGE project was designed to contribute to making the most of the CS potentialities, while at the same time identifying, analysing, and tackling limitations and risks. In this regard, the project is based on the implementation of five Citizen Science Initiatives (CSIs) in the areas of Energy, Environment, Health and Infectious Diseases, through the participatory and self-reflexive analysis and evaluation of the collaborative research processes, scientific outcomes and societal impacts.
The CSIs target: 1) wildlife conservation in Slovenia (UP); 2) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the UK; 3); energy communities in Germany; 4) infectious diseases outbreak preparedness in Italy; and 5) off-grid renewable energy in agriculture in Uganda. Horizontal activities are also foreseen: Scoping process, Participatory evaluation, Mutual learning and training, Stocktaking and Communication.
The consortium involves 11 partners from seven European countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, UK) and Uganda.
The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme and runs from March 2021 until February 2024.