Blog Post

Celebrating – and inspiring – growth and change for this Association

CSA is celebrating a milestone year. It was ten years ago this past August that 300 people, from across many communities, perspectives, and disciplines, sat down together to launch this association.

CSA logo of two letter C's, one reversed and slightly offset facing the other. Each C is made of three lines in shades that change gradually from orange to red. Overlayed on the logo, on top of the C on the right, is a computer graphic of a birthday hat. The hat is teal with purple polka dots, and has a purple bow on the top. The hat is rakishly tilted to the right.

It has now been a full decade since this organization emerged – ten monumental years, for both the world and for this field. The vision and values remain steadfast for a member-driven association that connects people and best practices for contributory, collaborative, and co-created sciences. This is an ideal time to build on that, by reflecting on lessons learned and igniting new ideas for an association that will serve this field for decades to come.

To this end, CSA’s Board is inviting input into strategic thinking and planning for the next phase of this association’s growth. The core of this process will be a series of three short surveys regarding the identity (March), the products and services (April), and (in May) the future of this Association. The survey links will be added here as they open – your input is welcome.

Share your thoughts on the IDENTITY of this movement and this association.

One significant element of this process also involves rethinking the name of this association. Over the past year, CSA has hosted conversations about terminologies in this field. As a community, there have been discussions of concerns about terms and of opportunities for a more expansive understanding of practices. It has become clear that having the term “Citizen Science” as part of CSA’s name stands in the way of the vision and opportunity to connect practices across boundaries.

A name change is a significant investment of resources and trust, and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For that reason, a discussion of potential new names is now underway in CSA’s member space, CSA Connect. Members are invited to propose new names that meet some basic criteria (including that names avoid using a single “term” such as citizen science), and to engage in generative conversations about proposed names. Based on the criteria, the discussions, and on information from the Identity survey, CSA’s Board will select names to be voted on by the membership in May. Results will be announced during the closing celebration of C*Sci2023 (May 22-26 in Tempe, Arizona).

This entire process – from the series of surveys to the considerations of new names – is an opportunity to re-commit, re-engage, and re-inspire this movement and community. This field of work exists specifically because of the vision that big things can happen by spanning boundaries, enabling the exchange of knowledge and ideas for shared science and action. Building on our first ten years together, your input can help inspire ideas for change that celebrate history, honor vision, and expand opportunity to improve how this association reflects the breadth and depth of this field, movement, and community.

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