Fostering transformative change through citizen science: highlights from the 5th ECSA conference

The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) is an international organisation dedicated to disseminating knowledge and multi-stakeholder networks in the field of citizen science. Its main goal is to increase citizen science’s visibility, contribute to science’s democratisation, and support the general public’s participation in research processes. ECSA biannually organises its main event, the Citizen Science Conference, to foster its goals. ECSA brought together its community in Vienna from April 3-6 this year.


PLANET4B on the Graz Seed Festival

Written by Borbála Lipka

This was the 11th year that the urban gardeners and seed enthusiasts of Graz organised a small festival to celebrate the diversity of seeds. As PLANET4B hosts a sectoral case study in Hungary that focuses on agrobiodiversity, seeds and seed systems, this was an excellent opportunity for two ‘neighbouring’ cases to meet on this event: the intensive case carried out in Graz that focuses on green urban spaces’ accessibility for women, and the Hungarian case that aims to discover the Hungarian seed systems.


Mapping the needs of decision-makers to tailor capacity development activities – BioAgora Deliverable 5.1 is out

The Science Service aims to ratchet up the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 by linking scientific and non-scientific knowledge more efficiently with policymaking and implementation. Functioning as a hub for science-policy-society interactions, the Science Service could play a crucial role in enhancing the implementation of biodiversity policies. However, existing research underscores a variety of challenges in this process, necessitating focused efforts on capacity development for key stakeholders. Our freshly published report, employing a diverse methodology of expert interviews, surveys, workshops and desk research, thoroughly examines capacity needs in science-policy-society interfaces (SPSIs) and potential ways the BioAgora project and the forthcoming Science Service could enhance these capacities.


How to research our food environment? – Workshop and publication at the STS Conference

The 21st Annual Science, Technology and Society Studies – STS Conference took place in Graz, Austria, from May 8 to 10. The organisers have a long tradition of bringing the latest and ongoing inter- and transdisciplinary research to the annual conference. In previous years, the ESSRG has also contributed to EU-wide discussions on alternative and healthier food systems at the STS Conference Graz. This time, Alexandra Czeglédi, Vanda Pózner and Diána Szakál from ESSRG co-organised an interactive session with PLAN’EAT project partner Ewa Kopczynska from Jagiellonian University on participatory research processes in food environment research. The workshop was funded by the PLAN’EAT project and the Travelling Ambassador Programme of the University of Pécs.


A Pathway to Food System Transformation – video

This video showcases an exceptional local food supply chain in Budapest city region, part of the country’s farmer-baker-miller network, and a pathway to food system transformation in Hungary. The video features an organic farm on the outskirts of Pest County, Csoroszlya Farm, and the new-wave organic bakery Pipacs, which uses wild yeast.


Budapest Food System – a vision for 2050

As a part of our FoodCLIC Project, we organised a visioning workshop together with the Department for Climate and Environmental Affairs of the Mayor’s Office Budapest. Professionals from different areas of the food system came together to think about what Budapest’s food environment should look like in 2050. Here is a short summary of the findings of the workshop, during which we discussed five different types of food environments.


“Back to the Roots” – Collaboration & Learning in Alternative Grain Networks

In the framework of the COACH project we had the opportunity to work together with many inspiring initiatives, such as one of the original members of the Farmer-Miller-Baker Network’s  in  Hungary, the Artisan Bakery of Pipacs. Between the 20th and 28th of October  2023, Ádám Fülöp, the founder, was able to visit two farmer bakers and a mill constructor in the South of France thanks to the project. You can find his reflections on the experience below. 


Common Signs Miniconference with and for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Hungary

On 22 September 2023, we organised the national workshop of the YouCount project case study in Szeged (Hungary), the Common Signs Miniconference. The event was organised in collaboration with the Environmental Social Science Research Group (ESSRG), the Research Centre of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Szeged and the National Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. In the spirit of communication accessibility, the conference provided written and sign language interpretation and live transcription. About 40-45 people from different organisations were present: the deaf community, the Szeged School for the Hard of Hearing, students, sign language learners, staff of the Faculty of Economics and the local government. We, as organisers, hope everyone planning an academic or public event as a hearing person will take this practice as an adaptable model for more inclusive interactions.


Social innovation and citizen social science through participatory film – YouCount National Workshop in Budapest

The YouCount research team, active in Siklósbodony since 2021, presented their methodological findings at the conference titled “Visuality, Action, Participation – Visual Interventions and Participatory Research” on 20 October, 2023 at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest. The conference organisers invited artists, filmmakers, social researchers, and students from different universities in Hungary to provide an overview of the current field of visual social interventions within the social sciences.