biodiversity

Launch of the collaborative project "65 Million Observers".

The collaborative project "65 Million Observers" carried by the National Museum of Natural History will be officially launched on March 27th! The participatory science programmes carried by the National Museum of Natural History for more than 20 years are evolving through the "65 Million Observers" project. This collaborative project is part of an effort to develop scientific culture and as such receives the support of the "Investments for the Future" Programme for the period 2015-2018.

On Friday 27 March, in the presence of the Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal, the project partners will meet at the Grand Amphithéâtre du Muséum to launch this ambitious project, which will be effective from 2016.

A network of citizens engaged with scientists

For more than 20 years, the National Museum of Natural History has been carrying out "participatory science" programmes, with the aim of involving citizens in academic research in the natural sciences. A major challenge and a wager won, thanks in particular to the Vigie-Nature programme, which includes numerous observatories linked to the study of insects, birds, urban wild plants, bats, etc. More than 10,000 people have thus become actors in the scientific study of our biodiversity. Schools too can get involved thanks to an adaptation specially designed for the school environment.

65 million observers: more than 100 partners for 4 national systems

More than 100 structures acting in the field of the environment (associations, local authorities, companies, museums in the regions, etc.) are expected on 27 March to launch the first stages of the construction of "65 Million Observers" for the four national participatory science systems:
Two devices already exist :
- Vigie-Nature, which currently brings together some fifteen observatories dedicated to studying the future of biodiversity;
- Vigie-Nature École, which aims to introduce students to the scientific process through scientific protocols designed to illustrate school curricula;

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And two new devices :
- Vigie-Mer, aimed at enabling the structuring of a network of the various participatory science initiatives already existing in the marine environment;
- Vigie-Ciel, which consists of forming a network of volunteers to go in search of meteorites whose point of impact will be spotted from cameras.

Beyond free time and school time, the ambition of "65 Million Observers" is also to extend this offer to professional time, by proposing these participatory approaches to sectors of activity related to nature (agriculture, land management, forestry, construction, small-scale fishing, tourism, etc.).

Photo: School outing, Biolit - Coastal Observatory © Planète Mer

Participatory Science 2.0

The collaborative project "65 Million Observers" will deploy three categories of IT tools to structure and perpetuate these systems:
- tools to facilitate citizen participation in participatory science programmes (global portal dedicated to participation, new data entry sites, including on mobile terminals, etc.) ;
- tools to extend citizen participation to all stages of the scientific process (interactive encyclopedia, collaborative data analysis, etc.);
- tools to facilitate the animation of the proposed programmes, available to the partners in charge of animation (kits for creating local portals...).

The project as a whole and these new tools will be operational for all citizens in 2016. In the meantime, observers can still participate in the Vigie-Nature and Vigie-Nature Ecole programmes and thus continue to contribute to improving our knowledge of biodiversity.

(Source: CP National Museum of Natural History - March 19, 2015)

Main illustration: Spipoll Observatory © M.N.H.N. - M. Evanno 

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