Social Computation & Participatory Science

Merging social media mining, artificial intelligence and citizen science to mobilise new data and new communities for environmental stewardship.

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Research topics

Environmental Monitoring

Mining environmental observations from social media.

Research Impact Analysis

Mapping information flows for environmental and sustainability topics.

Citizen Science

Mobilising online communities for environmental monitoring.

Background

scitingly is a personal science initiative to harness social media for environmental monitoring, create public awareness for critical environmental challenges and mobilise communities for citizen science.

Using social media to gather new environmental observations is at the core of this effort; the millions of casually contributed nature observations on platforms like Twitter can augment traditional environmental monitoring and unearth critical warnings for environmental threats.

Most importantly however, the ad-hoc micro-communities forming in Twitter conversations around those casual environmental observations are essentially — albeit unknowingly — embryonic citizen science communities that could be mobilized for an active engagement in environmental challenges.

Finally, given the exponential transformations that are required in the next decade to address the climate crisis, it is crucial that critical research is communicated effectively and can support an informed public debate. “Publish and forget” is thus not an option. Environmental researchers and research organizations must be able to understand and continuously monitor the public online impact of their research. To that end I am working on tools to analyze Twitter conversations on environmental and sustainability topics. Results of the most recent project I participated in show that the backlash on social media can completely drown out even the main message of a long-running, well-funded research project promoted through a professional communications effort.

scitingly aims to provide an effort to combine these three areas and utilise the benefits of social media as an inherently democratic communication and networking tool.

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Stefan Daume

Independent Researcher, Data Wrangler and Professional Citizen Scientist

About me

I hold a degree in Forest Sciences which somehow seamlessly led to another degree in Artifical Intelligence. After an extended period working for IT startups and learning how to build software professionally, I returned to academia for a PhD combining ecology, data science and social media to contribute to new solutions addressing environmental challenges.

I am now an independent researcher with a focus on mobilising new data for environmental monitoring via social media and turning online communities into citizen science movements for environmental stewardship.

Interests

  • Citizen Science
  • Biodiversity Informatics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Social Network Analysis

Education

  • PhD, 2015

    University of Göttingen

  • MSc in Artificial Intelligence, 1998

    The University of Edinburgh

  • MSc in Forest Sciences, 1995

    University of Göttingen