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Public Lab and UC Davis partner to explore community science and civic engagement

Public Lab and the UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science are happy to announce a new project, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

This project seeks to answer a central question: can doing science support deeper involvement in civic participation and democracy? This is an opportunity to examine the experiences of individuals and groups, working together both in-person and online, to address environmental challenges that affect people. The team will examine whether and how the experiences of people using community science methods in their work lead to increased confidence in scientific concepts, and increased civic engagement.

This project will address the following questions:

  1. Under what conditions, and through what mechanisms, can engagement in science lead individuals and community groups to become involved in larger social or environmental issues and civic actions?
  2. What aspects of the Public Lab model are replicable and scalable, and what audiences are most appropriate to reach with this model?

While the Public Lab community is unique in many respects, we hope that insights from this project can demonstrate a methodology that can be applied and generalized across different audiences and contexts. For example, while this project will focus on adult participation, the team will use results of the research to begin strategizing resources aimed at K-12 audiences.

About Public Lab

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community — supported by a 501(c)3 non-profit — which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment. Visit PublicLab.org and follow @PublicLab.

About the Center for Community and Citizen Science

The Center for Community and Citizen Science, based at the UC Davis School of Education, is a home to programs and partnerships that revolutionize how—and with whom—science gets done. Based on a foundation of research excellence, the Center helps scientists, communities, and citizens collaborate on science to address environmental problems as a part of civic life. Visit education.ucdavis.edu/ccs and follow @UCDavisCCS.

This project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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