The term Citizen Inquiry is derived from a cross between the Citizen Science approach...
"Citizen science: ‘the general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge or with their tools and resources." The Green Paper on “Citizen Science: Citizen Science for Europe” (2014)
...and Inquiry-Based Learning
"Those engaged in inquiry, construct their own meaning based questions, refine and improve their questions, strategise on how to design and produce responses to their questions and to communicate, share and reflect on the process, outcomes, impacts and implications." Ross (2017)
Citizen Science + Inquiry-Based Learning = Citizen Inquiry
The University of Hull has been successful in securing a UKRI funded grant to develop the knowledge of citizen inquiry across local public stakeholders and also to promote and establish partnerships between these stakeholders (i.e. public, and community organisations) and university researchers.
Many local groups are interested in environmental issues such as plastics waste and want to make a positive contribution to problems like this but lack the necessary knowledge or skills to undertake an investigation by themselves. For various reasons they do not feel confident to approach researchers in local universities to help them and the problem remains unaddressed.
We aim to overcome this problem by helping members of the public and interested stakeholder groups to understand how they can undertake their own investigations alongside researchers in our own universities, using a range of tools and techniques which are easily accessible and developed.
In doing so we aim to empower individuals and local groups, including those that are often marginalised and feel powerless, to take greater control in environmental issues that are important to them.
During the project we will bring together the different parties at three different points in time to attend half day workshops where they will learn more about how they can use Citizen Inquiry methods to address local environmental issues such as plastics waste. These will take place firstly for researchers in the university of Hull (14th February, 2020) and then for stakeholder groups and members of the public on the 9th March 2020. On the 28th April, 2020 we will bring both groups together for a half day workshop to teach these groups how to use mobile technologies and apps to undertake Citizen Inquiry projects and to co-develop new projects.