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Our story

Leiden University's Citizen Science Lab was founded in 2018 by three colleagues from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Dr. Frans Snik in the Leiden Observatory, Dr. Pedro Russo in the Astronomy & Society group, and Dr. Anne Land-Zandstra in the Science Communication & Society group launched the lab during an international citizen science workshop at the Lorentz Center.

The main goal of the lab was to consolidate and build on the knowledge gained in practice during the planning and implementation of the citizen science projects iSPEX, Dark Sky Meter, the Great Flu Survey and Clean Rivers. When funding became available, Liselotte Rambonnet, Matthijs Begheyn and Margaret Gold also joined the Citizen Science Lab team to carry out internal projects.

444 years old

As the University celebrated its 444th anniversary in 2019, the Citizen Science Lab invited colleagues, students and residents of Leiden to submit research questions to explore together, resulting in two winning projects: Plastic Spotter and the Psychology lab on Wheels.

The Plastic Spotter initiative to investigate litter in Leiden's city waters, led by Liselotte Rambonnet along with Auke-Florian Hiemstra, has since grown into weekly Canal Watch "Clean Ups" in which volunteers actively fish litter out of the water and also research where that litter comes from. The Psychology Lab on Wheels also continues to this day, despite a Covid-19 hiatus.

A new home

With this growing portfolio of projects in a variety of research areas, the Citizen Science Lab, under Margaret Gold's leadership, was pleased to find a new home within the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in 2022. Here, the Citizen Science Lab is making a meaningful contribution to the further development of Open Science practices.

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