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European Recognition for the Citizen Science Platform

On June 12, the recipients of the 2024 European Union Citizen Science Award were announced. For the first time, an Honorary Mention was given to a project from the Baltic States – the citizen science digital platform, developed by the Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA). platform invites public participation in the humanities and cultural heritage field.

The jury, comprised of internationally recognized citizen science experts, stated:

“As jury members, the range of projects we reviewed allowed us a unique insight into the transformative potential of citizen science to shape the future of Europe. These awards are a testament not only to the achievements of individual citizen scientists but also to the collective spirit of collaboration and discovery that drives this movement forward. We respect the dedication and passion of all participants in this competition, while highlighting those projects that have achieved excellence in citizen science.”

The European Union Citizen Science Award, organized with the support of the European Commission, is the most prestigious international recognition for citizen science projects. The annual prize recognizes outstanding initiatives that put research, innovation, commitment and creativity at the service of our society, empowering us as individuals and strengthening us as a community. This year, 3 winners and 27 honorary mentions were selected from 288 projects submitted from 49 countries, among them – ILFA's project.

Digital citizen science is a strategic development area for the Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art at the University of Latvia in the field of digital humanities. The platform encompasses various initiatives created and curated by researchers from different humanities disciplines, IT specialists, artists, and communication professionals. Some initiatives are organized in collaboration with partners such as the UNESCO Latvian National Commission, the National Library of Latvia, the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia, and the Latvian Open Technology Association, among others.

“This recognition is highly significant for the work we have done at the Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art over the past ten years. A heartfelt thanks to the thousands of people who have responded to our calls and participated in our projects,” says Sanita Reinsone, Head of the Digital Humanities Group and Citizen Science Projects at the Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art, adding that “Digital citizen science is a new research and development field requiring diverse skills and an interdisciplinary team. It requires not only a profound knowledge of humanities and cultural heritage materials but also expertise in project design, science communication, IT development, and daily cooperation with enthusiastic citizen scientists of various generations. We are immensely honored that our efforts have been acknowledged at the European Union level.”

The jury experts have emphasize the following about the initiative:

“This digital platform fosters public engagement in humanities and arts projects, facilitating collaboration between scholars and citizens while preserving cultural heritage. It offers diverse activities such as transcribing historical manuscripts and creative-response campaigns, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and societal inclusion across age groups and backgrounds. It showcases potential policy impact and community empowerment in cultural preservation through partnerships with NGOs, media, and governmental bodies like UNESCO.”

Edvards Francis Kuks, Head of the RIS3 Unit at the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Ministry of Education and Science, points out:

“ILFA can be proud that has been noticed not only in Latvia but also among European citizen science initiatives. Since 2020, the Ministry of Education and Science has been implementing the National Research Program for the development of digital humanities, which provides targeted support for the maintenance and development of Latvian digital humanities resources. The recognition received by ILFAI confirms the international significance of digital humanities and, hopefully, will open new collaboration opportunities for Latvian researchers.”

About here.

All of this year's honoured projects can be found here.

Last time modified: 13.06.2024 13:24:29