Eurice Supports First INCREASE Citizen Science Event in Germany
For the past three years, citizens from across Europe have been invited to take part in the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment, growing and evaluating diverse bean varieties in their gardens and on their balconies. The interest has been overwhelming with more than 9,000 participants during the third round of the experiment. Now for the first time in Germany, INCREASE project partner Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) invited 100 interested participants to an INCREASE Citizen Science Day on 21 July 2023.
Eurice, as part of the INCREASE Citizen Science core team, supported the event communication. "Participants were keen to witness the work of the scientists close up", says Kerstin Neumann, the coordinator of the Citizen Science Experiment. "The 100 available places were taken very quickly".
After a general introduction of the IPK Leibniz-Institute, participants received insights into the management of genetic resources worldwide and about the institute’s gene bank in particular, which hosts more than 150,000 samples. Following that, Kerstin Neumann gave a presentation on the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment, sharing the latest developments and first results. Surely, the highlight of the day was a guided tour through the IPK gene bank and specifically to the shelf with the beans where more than 8,000 varieties are stored at -18°C. During the questions and answers round which concluded the meeting, Eurice completed the panel as the specialist for communication-related aspects around the experiment.
In summary, the Citizen Science Day was very insightful and inspiring for both citizens and professional scientists. "The day was a great occasion for us to exchange ideas with participants and we are grateful for any feedback received. We also wanted to extend our gratitude for their involvement, without which the INCREASE project could not succeed. Only the participants with their commitment make it possible for the scientists to research the diversity of beans and bring them back into our gardens", says Kerstin Neumann.
Days like these continue to motivate participants to contribute to science and to foster agricultural biodiversity in Europe. The entire INCREASE team thanks all participants for their interest in the project, their strong commitment to Citizen Science and the very valuable questions and feedback provided during the citizen day at IPK Leibniz-Institute.