Collabinar: Data Quality and Citizen Science

February 18, 2020

Data Quality and Citizen Science: Critically analyzing data stories and gaps

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM PST
1460 Drew Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616

Lindsay Poirier, a cultural anthropologist of data cultures, expertise, and infrastructure, will lead an interactive presentation analyzing data quality, stories, and gaps, particularly in the context of community and citizen science.  How do we discern what constitutes “quality” data as diverse stakeholders play their part in shaping it? Across the globe, citizen engagement with practices of data collection, analysis, and visualization has helped to contextualize complex social and environmental issues — balancing the quantitative narratives powerful actors compose with community-based standpoints. All data is situated in particular perspectives and the stories that emerge from data are informed by the aims and commitments of those producing it, along with the cultural contexts of its production. What gets counted, how data standards are defined, and how information gets presented graphically all involve decisions about what issues matter and why.

A few key questions we discussed:

  • How do we define data quality in the context of citizen science?
  • How can we visually render gaps in data alongside data narratives?
  • How might citizen scientists repurpose data, produced in contexts opposed to their commitments, towards alternative ends?
  • How should we train the next generation of critical citizen data practitioners?

Our second optional hour was dedicated to practical project discussions concerning data quality and citizen science. We discussed youth engagement with data and community action through the Center’s “Our Forests” project in Nevada County, and attendees brought a relevant project or challenge for workshopping.

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About the CCS Collabinar Series
The CCS Collabinar invites our partners from across the globe to bring us their most exciting challenges and opportunities in community and citizen science. Each event supports mutual learning, and advances projects and partnerships. To stay informed about upcoming Collabinars, please sign up here.

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