INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment now underway with a record number of registered participants

With the deadline for registrations now closed, the bean growing journey as part of the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment can now go into its second season. Topping last year's turnout, more than 4,000 participants – 4,055 to be precise – from all over Europe have registered their interest in actively participating in the experiment. Italy is the country with the strongest representation, followed by Spain and Germany. The INCREASE project achieved much stronger participation across many previously underrepresented areas of Europe, which will significantly benefit the experiment's success. The map below gives an excellent overview of the locations of all citizen scientists.

The Citizen Science Experiment lies at the heart of the European research project INCREASE (https://www.pulsesincrease.eu/). Public participation in scientific research is becoming more and more crucial in increasing everyone's understanding of science and its benefit to society. But, most importantly, it advances scientific research itself.

"This project is an effective way of bringing citizens closer to concepts such as biodiversity and conservation of plant genetic resources," says Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

"It provides for direct citizen participation and, in doing so, provides a meaningful way to raise awareness about the importance of conserving and sustainably using the world's crop diversity for the benefit of all, which are key principles of the International Treaty."

At INCREASE, it is all about beans! The Citizen Science Experiment calls on all interested citizens to voluntarily contribute to and test an innovative decentralised approach to seed conservation, multiplication and sharing to conserve agrobiodiversity. For more on the experiment, please visit here (https://www.pulsesincrease.eu/experiment).

The Eurice team are excited to be part of the exciting journey of the project and the innovative Citizen Science Experiment. With our project management and communication expertise, we are glad to be contributing to achieving the ambitious INCREASE goals.