The 9th Living Knowledge Conference 2022 took place in Groningen, Netherlands, from the 29th of June to the 1st of July.
The Living Knowledge Network, the organizer of the conference, is a vital actor in the fields of Science Communication, Community-based Research, and Citizen Science. The Network works closely with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to develop research ideas, questions, and agendas in various fields. Community-focused cooperation between civil society and people active in teaching, research, and innovation development is a core focus of the Living Knowledge Network and the Science Shops initiatives.
As diverse as this mission sounds, the LK conference is. Many topics from a wide range of fields result in a buzzing hub of exchange of ideas, presentation of new concepts, and excellent sessions. This year, two contributions of SPOTTERON got accepted for the conference, and we were happy to travel on the night trains to the Netherlands. We presented a fresh-designed poster about the technical infrastructure powering interactive Citizen Science Apps and held a presentation in a shared session about the beneficial effects integrated digital social communities have on running a project.
Being part of this fantastic community of stakeholders, scientists, and community activists was a great experience, and we even met old friends among the participants. In the conference's spirit of collaboration and learning, we are happy to have made some potentially fruitful connections with other actors in Citizen Science and public engagement. If those ideas become concrete, these new connections can result in new ways to do Citizen Science and create new approaches to reaching out to people. As usual, we brought a wide range of devices, smartphones, tablets, and laptops for people to try out digital tools for public participation and see all the features presented in the session in live Citizen Science Apps.
In addition, three organic T-shirts from our Citizen Science store have been a special give-away, each for a fan of Entomology, Herpetology, and Ornithology. It was a busy moment, too busy to shoot some photos with the lucky people, but it resulted in some happy smiles after the Poster Session. If you want to check out our "I Love Science" series, jump over to the SPOTTERON Citizen Science Store.
After the conference, we went on holiday - right above the city, there is the Northern Sea, and a chain of islands follows the coastline. The area is home to a unique ecosystem: the Nothern Sea Mudflats, or "Watt," as it is called. Learning about this ecosystem is an essential part of the tour. Twice a day, the sea retreats, and the ocean's floor is uncovered, allowing visitors and nature lovers to walk on the sea floor and discover various plant and animal species only present in that environment. We took tons of photos and contributed observations from the Langeoog island to Citizen Science Apps like "SpiderSpotter", "CoastSnap" and our community project "NatureSpots" - with more still waiting to be uploaded.
With the present danger of the high tide coming back, such expeditions are always done with a small group of people and a native guide. Uwe, our guide, introduced the ecology of the mudflat, showed the various dominant species and told the stories - what a fitting end to the journey to Groningen and participating in the Living Knowledge Conference 2022.