Toward reinventing Institutional Review Boards (IRB) for Citizen Science - Side event

Toward reinventing Institutional Review Boards (IRB) for Citizen Science - Side event

Webpage of the event: here

Organizers: Libuše Hannah Vepřek and Pietro Michelucci

Date and Time:
Friday, September 11th, 2020
9-10am ET/ 3-4pm CEST

Location: Zoom (you will receive the link once you register)


Institutional/Ethical Review Boards (IRB/ERB) play an important role in ensuring ethical compliance in research projects and that human subjects are protected. Citizen science, however, introduces a gray area for traditional IRB requirements because of the many new ways in which  members of the general public can now engage in the scientific process.

These new engagement modalities along with new ethical considerations may not have been considered in the original conception of IRB, which was geared primarily toward medical research and protecting human subjects from physical harm.

Therefore, this one-hour virtual workshop aims at identifying the moral underpinnings of online citizen science and establishing relevant and actionable ethical guidelines. To kick off an open discussion, we would like to share findings from our recent engagement with an IRB on a citizen science application.

We are inviting interested members of our community as well as citizen science participants themselves to join our discussion on the moral  underpinnings of citizen science participation. The topics we wish to address go beyond assessing and eliminating risk, beginning at the root issue of identifying community morals upon which an ethical framework could be developed. After exploring ethical considerations, we would like to begin formulating a decision tree that could guide citizen science developers through the process of evaluating ethical issues to  help decide whether and how to seek ethical review and consultation.