COESO Kick-off meeting

COESO Kick-off

The COESO project

The COESO project (Collaborative Engagement on Societal Issues) kicked-off on 19/20 January 2021. The 3-year participatory research project, funded by the European Commission through a Science with and for Society grant, and  supported by the OPERAS research infrastructure, will serve as a meeting point between various European communities: the social sciences and humanities community, the citizen science community, as well as the open scholarly communication community. It will thus contribute to overcoming the obstacles that hinder the development of citizen science in the social sciences and humanities and facilitate and support participatory research through a service-first approach.The project will develop a Virtual Ecosystem for Research Activation (VERA), a collaborative place for knowledge production and sharing, and will collaborate with research funding organizations to enhance financial support to citizen science. As a bridging endeavour, COESO will take stock from existing communities such as and EU-Citizen.Science. It will moreover explore the frontiers of innovation in the social sciences and humanities’ public engagement through mutual learning and transmedia writing. Furthermore, to measure the quality of collaboration between researchers and citizens, COESO will design cooperation analytics.

At the heart of the project are ten citizen science pilots, representing a variety of social sciences and arts disciplines, societal challenges and types of engagement with citizens in different European countries. They address specific societal issues: mass tourism, education and gender, resilient societies, fight against crime, societal changes and migrations. Five pilots have already been built-in:

Pilot 1–Mass tourism and urban transformations

CRIA, a research laboratory in social anthropology, and ZERO, a local NGO for the promotion of sustainable development, both based in Lisbon, will carry out a project on the effects of tourism development on the transformation of the daily uses of urban space of their city. Their collaboration will serve as a reflection for social sciences and humanities researchers on how to engage with activism.

Pilot 2–Dancing Philosophy: Desire through dance and philosophy

The aim of this pilot involving the dance company Cadmium Compagnie and two researchers based at UPHF is two-fold: it will contribute to an artistic project through intensive collaboration between an artist and a philosopher, and enhances the possibility for both a specialistic and a non-specialist audience to access and read choreographies by making choreographic Labanotation available on MemoRekall, a specific tool for documentation, preservation and analysis of performing arts. The challenge is to design new inclusive and multidimensional research methodologies.

Pilot 3–Social evolutions through the common reuse of properties confiscated to mafias

The main objective of this pilot, led by Cafébabel in collaboration with researchers from the Crim’HALT association, is to develop an appropriate Solutions Journalism methodology. It seeks to explore, through a diversity of media formats, the building and the impact of positive actions, such as the development of a framework for social re-use of confiscated assets in Italy. It will also serve as a reflection for social sciences and humanities researchers on new ways to understand and define the role of civil society in promoting good governance and the economic aspect of policies.

Pilot 4–Accessibility and appropriability of tools and databases for journalists

The cooperation between IRPI and Crime & Tech aims to provide investigative journalists with instruments for better analyzing the risks of corruption, collusion and inequality within complex and opaque corporate structures and thus conduct more effective investigations. Their collaboration will focus on how to foster investigative reporting’s impact and how to build a sustainable framework for sharing sensitive data.

Pilot 5–Growing Migrant Knowledge: Contemporary and historical perspectives

Coordinated by MWS–GHI West, this pilot looks at how to engage with citizens and practitioners from different fields of civil society, bringing together a historical and comparative perspective. On the one hand, citizen scientists will work with researchers on a digital collection of correspondence sent from German-speaking areas to families and friends who migrated across the Atlantic. On the other hand, a wide range of actors beyond the academic realm, i.e. socio-economic actors such as experts from governmental sectors and NGOs as well as activists of different backgrounds, will be engaged with researchers on the issues of contemporary migration.

COESO project partners:

COESO work packages:

  • WP1–Project Coordination and Management
  • WP2–Pilots implementation and Open Call
  • WP3–Development of the Virtual Ecosystem for Research Activation (VERA)
  • WP4–Funding Citizen Science
  • WP5–Cooperation quality assessment
  • WP6–Enhancing Public Engagement in Citizen Science through transmedia writing and mutual learning
  • WP7–Communication and Dissemination

COESO Kick-off Meeting

COESO Kick-off Group
COESO consortium at the Kick-off Meeting 19/20 January 2021 (CC BY 4.0)

Linden Farrer, Policy Officer Science and Society, DG Research & Innovation at the European Commission, in his presentation about Horizon2020, the SwafS Work Programme, and Citizen Science, presented the European Commission’s strategy. He emphasized that there is a renewed focus on open science that goes beyond publications and data but rather now includes aspects of co-design, co-creation, and the need to improve trust between science and society. Colombe Warin, Project AdviserScience with and for Society, Research Executive Agency at the European Commission, showcased the SwafS challenges and recommendations for the project implementation. She underlined the importance of policy feedback, in the form of policy briefs, to actively feed in the EU policy discussion on citizen science and social sciences and humanities research.

All 15 partners from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain joined in on a lively discussion of the project’s work packages. Alessia Smaniotto and Pierre Mounier (OpenEditionEHESS), coordinators of the project and of WP1Project Coordination and Management, introduced the project’s context as well as the perspective of citizens on the social sciences and humanities. For OPERAS, the citizen science dimension is a realm where the OPERAS community can bring in its knowledge about the social sciences and humanities community, its needs, and its knowledge about the services needed within these disciplines. Frédéric Vidal (CRIA) then presented how to provide the first use cases to address the challenges of citizen science within the social sciences and humanities and how to guarantee a user-centered development of VERA as part of WP2–Pilots implementation and Open Call. Giulio Andreini (Net7), who manages the provision of the VERA platform in WP3–Development of the Virtual Ecosystem for Research Activation (VERA), explained it to be a “collaboratory” for knowledge production and sharing with a strong integration with the ongoing TRIPLE project. Elisabeth Ernst (MWS), coordinator of WP4–Funding Citizen Science, continued to present the two main goals of this work package: to technically integrate the funding tool into VERA and to increase its functionalities and user friendliness, and to advocate for Citizen Science funding in general and for the COESO funding tool in VERA in particular. Dominique Boullier (CEE-SciencePo) then explained his vision for WP5–Cooperation quality assessment. As VERA will have to encapsulate models of cooperation, the activity through the collaboration paths should be tracked and feedback from cooperation analytics must serve the mutual learning of the participants rather than the sole purpose of serving the key performance indicators. Mahé Ben Hamed (CNE-CNRS), coordinator of WP6–Enhancing Public Engagement in Citizen Science through transmedia writing and mutual learning, will design experimental mutual learning frameworks within pilots and between project participants and explore the role and use of transmedia forms of documentation and communication as facilitators/enhancers of public engagement in citizen research. Lastly, Elisabeth Ernst (MWS) presented how WP7–Communication and Dissemination will ensure a clear, targeted communication and dissemination of the project results and outputs.

COESO will soon go live with a website and blog, and Twitter channel.

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Alessia Smaniotto (alessia.smaniotto[a] and Pierre Mounier (pierre.mounier[a]

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This project receives funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101006325.

Cite this blog post
Judith Schulte (2021, February 4). COESO Kick-off meeting. OPERAS. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from

Judith Schulte

OPERAS Communication Manager and chief editor of the OPERAS Blog

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