This JRC technical report synthesises the results of our work on using new data sources for policy-making. It reflects a recent shift from more general considerations in the area of Big Data to a more dedicated investigation of Citizen Science, and it summarizes the state of play. With this contribution, we start promoting Citizen Science as an integral component of public participation in policy in Europe.
The particular need to focus on the citizen dimension emerged due to (i) the increasing interest in the topic from policy Directorate-Generals (DGs) of the European Commission (EC), (ii) the considerable socio-economic impact policy making has on citizens’ life and society as a whole, and (iii) the clear potentiality of citizens’ contributions to increase the relevance of policy making and the effectiveness of policies when addressing societal challenges. We explicitly concentrate on Citizen Science (or public participation in scientific research) as a way to engage people in practical work, and to develop a mutual understanding between the participants from civil society, research institutions and the public sector by working together on a topic that is of common interest.