OSDG hosts a conference on citizen science and SDGs with Interuniversity Research Institute INAECU

September 30, 2021

On 30 September 2021, OSDG joined forces with the Intercollegiate Research Institute for Higher Education and Science INAECU, consisting of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid(UC3M) and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM).

Together, we organised a one-day virtual conference in Spanish, entitled “Citizen Science in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” (Ciencia ciudadana en apoyo a los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible). The event was joined by numerous citizen science experts and practitioners, researchers, higher education managers and university consultants, librarians, and fellow OSDG community platform citizen scientists.

Citizen science approaches to achieve the SDGs

The event began with an introduction that brought together international experts related to open science and the SDGs. OSDG team member Núria Bautista-Puig, R&I Technical Support at UC3M, presented our citizen science project – the OSDG Community platform. We reviewed existing results of the initiative, and discussed how technology, science, and innovation can contribute to the SDGs through the participation of multiple actors. You can discover more in a 10-minute presentation, available on our YouTube channel.

The conference continued with the presentation “What can we expect from the Sustainable Development Goals”, delivered by Javier Benayas, Full Professor at UAM and member of INAECU.

"Unlike the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), since their creation, the SDGs, measure progress through different indicators at different levels – countries, cities and now, universities.

Using a traffic light system for showing its progress, we are alerted to which diseases or SDGs are more serious and need to be addressed”, says Javier Benayas.

Elías Sanz Casado, Full Professor at UC3M and Director of INAECU, invited the audience to discuss methods of “Citizen science for sustainability".

"Citizen science can help achieve the SDGs by solving real problems; empowering citizens and facilitating the learning and training processes of the participants", says Elías Sanz Casado.

Participatory discussions on challenges behind the SDGs

At the end of the conference, we held a short group discussion on the approaches to and the key dilemmas and challenges being faced in achieving the Global Goals, outlined in the 2030 Agenda.

We divided participants into breakout rooms to discuss several topics, namely “Improving the measurement of the SDGs”, hosted by María Luisa Lascurain (Associate Professor at the UC3M and member of INAECU), “Involving different actors to achieve the SDGs. Global differences between regions”, moderated by Patricia Alonso Álvarez (R&I Technical Support at UC3M), and “Difficulties in aligning science, technology and innovation with the SDGs”, presented by Flor Sánchez Fernández (Professor at UAM and member of INAECU).

After the breakout sessions, participants gathered to discuss the results and reflect on their different perspectives on SDG.

“The conference for the Spanish-speaking community of citizen science experts and researchers on the SDGs was a great success, and we hope that it’s the first of many future events”, says Núria Bautista-Puig.

You can watch all of the presentations on our Youtube channel.