Folkeforskning – en berikende dialog for alle?/ The Enriching Dialogues of Citizen Science – Challenges and Possibilities
Throughout the time that museums have existed, the public has contributed to creating new knowledge. Museum collections and archives have been enriched with the help of many people’s efforts, interests and voluntary work – from submission of finds to preservation and sharing of local knowledge and traditions.
Register here to participate in person. The seminar will also be streamed.
The term ‘citizen science’ draws attention to various aspects of such joint knowledge building – including the roles and relationships between different participants. Sometimes researchers get help to collect, analyse and disseminate data. At other times, interested parties can identify and explore different questions by themselves or together with researchers.
Our digital life provides new opportunities for citizen science. New technologies and the internet make it possible to engage many participants. Recent examples from Norway and elsewhere vary in both form and fields of study. In biology, for instance, citizen science initiatives have contributed to determination of species and observations of birds or marine animals. Transcriptions of church books, documentation of medieval building graffiti, and metal detecting are some other areas where the public has participated in knowledge building in recent years.
The broader role of museums in society depends on our relationships with the public. At its best, citizen science highlights opportunities that exist for open, dialogical, and democratic conversations and collaborations across society – with museums as active participants. There is great potential for further collaboration, knowledge development and sharing.
Citizen science can open the knowledge jar of Sarepta, but there are also challenges here that are worth discussing. How can technological solutions facilitate collaboration? Who is knocking at the door, who is invited inside, and who is left outside? What do such collaborations require of resources at the museum?
How do we ensure ethical choices, good selection principles and independent research? What do museums intend with citizen science, and what do citizen scientists expect from museums?
The seminar sets out to explore various aspects of citizen science, from the perspective of different disciplines:
- The levels, arenas and effects of citizen science (what, how, why/why not; citizen science as part of everyday engagement at the museum)
- Digital solutions and resources
- User-oriented approaches, design-driven innovations in museums
- Fieldwork activities (mapping, documenting and disseminating visual and material data)
- Collection work and dialogical relations in the postcolonial museum
- The complex ethics of citizen science (data collection and democratization, breadth of perspectives, mutual respect, accessibility and openness)
- Citizen science and public dissemination
The seminar will be held in English, with some introductions/ comments (marked below) in Norwegian. Please note that the programme is not final, changes may occur and speakers will be added. Some presentations will be digital.
Thursday, April 28: 0900 - 1730
- by head of the dissemination council at the Museum of Cultural History, Kristel Zilmer
- by museum director Håkon Glørstad
Citizen Science as seen from the Ministry of Climate and Environment (Klima- og miljødepartementet). Innledning v. Terje Hovland
Citizen Science at the Museum of Cultural History - short introduction by Tone Wang)
Short break, coffee
1000: First session
Community engagement and data collection in historic environments / Engasjement og datainnsamling i historisk setting
Moderator: Kristel Zilmer
Letting the lunatics run the asylum? The citizen science approaches of the Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey. (digital)
Abstract: The Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey was established in 2009, with the intention of undertaking the first large-scale and systematic surveys of historical graffiti inscriptions in English medieval churches. The project was an entirely volunteer led community archaeology undertaking, that evolved to become one of the largest and most successful citizen science projects ever carried out in the historic environment in the UK. Whilst the project received a great deal of national and international recognition, including winning a number of national awards, it wasn't without its shortcomings. This short paper outlines the original approaches taken to the research, examines how they evolved over time as a direct reaction to volunteer involvement, and highlights some of the lessons learnt concerning the undertaking of large-scale citizen science projects in the historic environment.
Matthew J. Champion is a freelance archaeologist, Director of the Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
Chiara Bonacchi and Elisa Broccoli:
Citizen science in heritage: from memory institutions to urban heritage planning and conservation. (digital)
Chiara Bonacchi is Chancellor's Fellow in Heritage, Text and Data Mining and Senior Lecturer in Heritage, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Elisa Broccoli is Research Fellow on the JPI Deep Cities project, working with both the University of Florence and the University of Stirling’s teams, she is also Honorary Research Fellow, University of Stirling
1200: Second session:
Digital solutions. Crowd sourcing in Citizen Science/ Digitale løsninger for nettdugnad/ crowd soucring i folkeforskning
Moderator: Steinar Kristensen
Vignette: Espen Uleberg og Kjetil Loftsgarden.
Lise Evjen, redaktør Kulturminnesøk, and Anders Olsson, tjenesteansvarlig Kulturminnesøk, Riksantikvaren/ Directorate for Cultural Heritage:
Citizens searching for Cultural Heritage - Participation, Engagement and Enrichments in Kulturminnesøk
Andrés Dobat, Århus University:
Citizen science or ‘just’ a creative community?
Metal detecting in Denmark and the Danish finds recording platform DIME
Short break, coffee
Collections and dialogues. Collaboration in the context of repatriations and exhibition making
Introduction: Gro Ween, in collaboration with the SENKU-seminars
In March 2019, the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands released, Return of Cultural Objects: Principles and Process that publicised its intention to consider claims for return of cultural objects under three criteria, an initiative that seeks to pro-actively address the complex and entangled histories of its collections. The initiative emerged as part of a changing set of conditions across Europe and within museums as both nations and institutions have drawn historical precedents and developed provenance to attempt new understandings of what can and should be achieved as regards questions of restitution, repatriation and return. Considering the varied initiatives underway in the Dutch context, national historical precedents, and considering different European governance structures, this presentation will seek to situate this initiative in the evolving debate. Benefitting from current research on military collections current it will also address the question of provenance methodologies, variously underway across Europe, many of which substantially from those that have been used to consider the question of spoliation. Although provenance research creates a finer grained understanding of the micro-histories of object transfer, it begs questions regarding the nature and use of evidence when questions of legality, but most particularly legitimacy, are at stake.
BIO Henrietta Lidchi is Head of Research and Collections at the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Leiden, the Netherlands. Prior to working in the Netherlands she worked at the British Museum and at National Museums Scotland. Her research includes Native American art and material culture looking at collections histories and museum practices of collecting and display, as well as contemporary artistic practices. Her publications include: Surviving Desires: Making and Selling Jewellery in the American Southwest (British Museum/University of Oklahoma Press); Visual Currencies (National Museums Scotland Press); Imagining the Arctic (British Museum/University of Washington Press) and more recently Dividing the Spoils: Military collections and the British Empire (Manchester University Press) co-edited with Stuart Allan.
Short break, coffee
NB, adjustment to the programme: The third session will start at 1510:
Moderator: Gro Ween
Per Ditlef Fredriksen, IAKH:
Dialogical approaches to archaeological research
Jozie Kettle, Public Engagement with Research Officer, Pitt Rivers Museum: Dialogical approaches to public engagement with research in museums
1730: end day one.
Friday, April 29: 0900-1500
from 0830: coffee
0900: Fourth session
Design driven innovation as method – user oriented museum work/ designdrevet innovasjon som metodikk – brukerorientert museumsarbeid
(this session will be held in Norwegian)
Moderator: Eili Lindøe
Hanne Cecilia Bjørka, leder for D-box - om innovasjon i offentlig sektor.
Anne Elisabeth Bull, leder for designdrevet næringsutvikling i DOGA
Gerd-Elise Mørland, avdelingsdirektør for formidling ved Munchmuseet:
Å engasjere nye publikumsgrupper - et prosjekteksempel.
Marit Gjermundrød, Konstituert kommunikasjonsdirektør, Museene i Akershus:
Om prosjektet "Meråpent museum".
Short break, coffee
1045: Fifth session:
Citizen Scientists as resource in Cultural Heritage management
Moderator: Anne Lene Melheim
Irmelin Axelsen, Museum of Cultural History, Oslo:
Citizen science in action: metal detecting and archaeological heritage management in Norway
Nele Kangert, Estonian National Heritage Board:
Ten years since legalising metal detecting in Estonia. What have we learned?
Introduced by Kristel Zilmer
Anna E. Kijas: “SUCHO: A Grass-roots Approach to Archiving Digital Cultural Heritage” (digital)
Description: Within a few days following the invasion of Ukraine, Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) was formed as a grass-roots approach to identify and archive at-risk sites, digital content, and data in Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions. In this presentation I will identify the methods and technology we are employing, provide examples from sites we have archived, and highlight ways in which individuals and organizations can help support this and other efforts.
Speaker info: Anna E. Kijas, Tufts University; SUCHO Project Co-Admin
The enriching dialogues of Citizen Science
Moderator: Kristel Zilmer
Thomas Evensen, Forskningsrådet, Orienterering: Norges forskningsråd og folkeforskning
Lene Melheim, Head of department of Archaeology, Museum of Cultural Heritage: Comments on the seminar
Museum director Håkon Glørstad's comments on the seminar: Folkeforskning – en berikende dialog for alle?/ The Enriching Dialogues of Citizen Science – Challenges and Possibilities
1500 End day 2