2024 CAPS Symposia June 5

Symposia Details:

Wednesday, June 5th at 12:30 EDT (UTC -4)

The role of new technologies

Logo for the 2024 Conference for Advancing Participatory Sciences

As we continuously work to improve our existing projects and programs, we also need to think about what comes next. New technologies, innovations, and approaches are being implemented to augment and enhance the efforts of volunteer contributors, as well as increasing accessibility to scientific tools and processes. Speakers in this topic area are conducting or planning cutting-edge technology, innovations, or approaches that can challenge and inspire the way that we think about our own practices.

The 2024 Conference for Advancing Participatory Sciences (CAPS 2024) will feature multiple speakers on this topic across two concurrent symposia, addressing the following questions:

Both virtual sessions occur on Wednesday, June 5th, at 12:30 pm EDT (UTC -4) and will be open to all CAPS 2024 attendees. 

Participatory Science Conference 2024 Symposia poster

Wednesday symposia session A:

How are new technologies opening up scientific resources for broader use?

This panel will look at how traditionally exclusive scientific processes and equipment are being made available for broader use through open science and open hardware initiatives. Speakers will discuss how their platforms and projects are helping communities to answer their own questions or produce and use their own software and equipment. This symposium will highlight the transformative potential of open science to both improve accessibility, and also reshape the process of science.


Co-founder of the citizen science wildlife monitoring network, MammalWeb, in operation since 2015.

Pen is an advocate for the use of open source technologies in research, including serving in the leadership of the Gathering of Open Science Hardware.

Callie Chappell is a postdoctoral fellow in bioengineering and policy at Stanford University, where they leads the BIO4E project. Their work seeks to advance biology for everyone by creating publicly accessible labs at the local level, such as in public libraries (LABraries), as well as professional pathways (LABrarians) and curricula for a national community biology training program.

Greg Austic is an open technology advocate and co-founder and member of Our Sci LLC. The organization’s goal is to support the development of research capacity in communities through hardware, software, and training.

Wednesday symposia session B:

How are new technologies complementing the work of volunteer contributions in participatory projects, and at what cost?

New technologies are augmenting and enhancing the work of volunteer contributions in many participatory science projects which presents new opportunities, but also ethical considerations that must be attended to. Speakers in this panel discuss how new technologies are being used to make data collection easier, projects more engaging, and opening up new ways to meet volunteers where they are at. Gain inspiration for how your project might adapt new technologies to meet your project needs.


Carrie has worked for iNaturalist since 2018 to connect people to biodiversity through technology and advance science and conservation.

She has a PhD in ecology and has been professionally involved in participatory sciences since 2009.

Grant Van Horn is an assistant professor in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a visiting researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His work focuses on creating real-world machine learning systems that integrate human expertise, state-of-the-art machine learning methodologies, and large-scale datasets. Past project include Merlin Sound ID, Merlin Photo ID, Seek, and the iNaturalist computer vision system.

Marisa Ponti is an associate professor in informatics at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research includes topics related to governing the digital transformation and human-centered AI. She is also the editor of the forthcoming special issue in Citizen Science: Theory and Practice on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Citizen Science.

Attila Szantner is CEO and co-founder of the Swiss citizen science / video game innovator start-up Massively Multiplayer Online Science (mmos.ch), recipient of the Innovation Award of the University of Geneva. Attila has dedicated his last decade to bring scientific research and videogames closer together, setting up major collaborations between academia and the videogame industry engaging almost 7 million players to manifest the enormous potential in games to be a force for good, a benefit for the broader society and a powerhouse to help scientific research.