Best Benefit Ever: Shaping a Science Association’s Future
The Citizen Science Association is a newer entrant in the scientific community, officially opening its doors to members and, most importantly, ideas.
What is it? The Citizen Science Association is a newer organization that “adopts a broad definition of ‘citizen science’ and aims to build collaborations across disciplines, traditions, and geographic boundaries.” Since CSA is a fresh entrant to the association space, inaugural memberships are entirely free, which is a nice perk in and of itself. But those inaugural members also have the opportunity to play a role in CSA’s early evolution by contributing to an in-depth survey that seeks to do three things: gauge the needs and qualifications of the community, bring that information to potential funders so they can better understand CSA’s membership, and test community interest in particular activities and events.
Why it works: Newer associations have to make a positive impression, which is why CSA’s focus on soliciting input is so noteworthy. From the start, members are allowed to help determine the path the association takes in accomplishing its goal of establishing and growing a community of engaged, diverse citizen scientists. And on the flip side, CSA gets to better understand its members right out the gate, providing a better impression of what’s bound to please, or displease, its constituency.
Other benefits: Next year, CSA will be hosting its second CitSci conference. Though specific details have yet to be announced, members can be assured that the event will follow in the footsteps of CitSci2015, which featured a plethora of panels and discussions from across the field of citizen science.