Promoting scientific literacy in evolution through citizen science

Contributor: Tania Jenkins

We are very happy to share the news of the publication of our paper, “Promoting Scientific literacy in evolution through citizen science”, recently published open access in the Proceedings of the Royal Society- Series B. 

Despite the central importance of evolution for understanding the world around us and for guiding decisions in our daily lives, evolution is rarely addressed explicitly in citizen science projects. Therefore, the paper is aimed at both evolutionary biologists and practitioners in citizen science to act as a primer on how to design citizen science with distinct learning outcomes in evolution. In addition, the paper gives recommendations on how existing citizen science projects could be used to teach people about evolutionary concepts.

We argue that it is not sufficient to claim that citizen science will by default result in a learning outcome, but that projects need to explicitly design learning outcomes and include evaluation to assess the success of different measures. In our paper, we provide guidance on how to design and evaluate citizen science projects with an evolutionary focus.

This paper was the result of a collaborative writing process that started after a joint workshop of three COST Actions (EuroScitizen, Alien CSI and the Citizen Science COST Action) in Berlin in January 2020. It is available Open Access at