Climate Action

Earth Challenge  2020 to Announce Research Themes

Earth Challenge  2020 to Announce Research Themes & Recruit Scientific Advisory Teams for Global Citizen Science Initiative For Immediate Release:  7 March 2019 (Nairobi, Kenya) In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), the U.S. Department of State through the Eco-Capitals Forum, and the Wilson Center are launching Earth Challenge  2020 (EC2020), a global citizen science initiative that shows how small digital acts can add up to global change. Using mobile technology and open, connected citizen science data, EC2020 will get a snapshot of our environment and health and empower people around the world to have an impact on future global policy decisions. EC2020 will aggregate existing citizen science databases and mobilize communities and individuals around the globe to join in tackling the world’s most pressing environmental and human health challenges, with a goal to contribute one billion points of data. We asked for global input on what research questions should steer this project and received responses from all seven continents. We will announce the results of these themes at the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment prior to the UN Environment Assembly meeting in Nairobi. “In 2020 we want to mobilize not only the biggest event action and activism by citizens, but activism with a purpose. That is what EC2020 is all about – activating a global public to collect at least one billion data points to help answer some of the questions still puzzling science – on climate, air quality, water quality and health,” states Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. The next stage in the process is to bring together advisory research teams to define and scope data collection and data integration within core research themes. Each research theme will be supported by a recruited team of scientists, educators, citizen science practitioners, and others to help design a coordinated approach to “answering” the question through citizen science. To advance each research theme, the research teams will leverage existing projects, data sets, and communities, while also identifying opportunities for new data and resources. Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, and Anne Bowser, Director of Innovation at the Wilson Center, will reveal the official Earth Challenge 2020 research themes at UN Science – Policy-Business Forum on the Environment in Nairobi, leading up to the UN Environment Assembly 11-15 March 2019. The Citizen Science for Smart and Sustainable Cities of the Future Session is scheduled on Sunday, 10 March, from 15:10 to 15:55 in Conference Room 11. For an advance copy of the research questions and statement, or to schedule an interview please contact Denice Zeck at [email protected] or at  202-355-8875. Learn more about Earth Challenge 2020 and join the movement at