Session: #156

Theme & Session Format

6. Material culture studies and societies
Session format:
Session with keynote presentation and discussion

Title & Content

Users of Heritage: Critical Appraisal of the Adoption of Citizen Science in Digital Processes of Archaeological Knowledge Production
We approach the growing trend of citizen science approaches in the curation and creation of archaeological knowledge. Citizen scientists are not limited to those that upload data about discoveries of archaeological material to established databases, and increasingly engagements in physical interventions with archaeological sites and artefacts are similarly being identified as citizen science activity. However, the digital realm of citizen science provides a focal point for this session.

Contributors to this session are requested to take a broad perspective to citizen science approaches, which may include developing their discussions in the context on particular case studies, or by taking a broader approach to the ethical and disciplinary questions that this form of public participation in archaeological heritage presents.

We therefore ask the following questions:

-What are the ethical parameters that need to be considered in the development and design of platforms for digital citizen science with regard to archaeological heritage? For example, whose needs are to be prioritised by these platforms, and who has and/or maintains control?
-Can we be certain (or is it desirable) that there is an interactive flow between academia and citizen scientists, or is it more important that the data is made primarily available for scientific research purposes?
-Within the European context of the Faro Convention, to what extent does digital archaeological citizen science contribute to the increase and enhancement of public participation with archaeological heritage?

Contributors should keep the above questions in mind while considering different motivations for engaging in citizen science and the roles and goals of different actors such as members of the public, heritage managers and academic researchers, the different levels of control allowed to these often diverse groups, and the questions who has responsibility for ensuring the sustainability these platforms and initiatives - WHO should manage archaeological citizen science?
Citizen Science, Digital Approaches, Archaeological Knowledge Production, Public Engagement, Participatory Approaches, Sustainable Heritage Management
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Main organiser:
Suzie Thomas (Finland) 1
Eljas Oksanen (Finland) 2
Anna Wessman (Norway) 3
1. University of Antwerp
2. University of Helsinki
3. University Museum of Bergen