Intergenerational practice and learning is a growing area of interest in broader society as well as in citizen science. Families and social networks are very important when discussing social capital, and yet, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is this interest in familial and non-familial cross-generational practices. However, it is still not well understood or researched.

Four broad characteristics of intergenerational practice have been identified:

  • it involves people from two or more generations participating in a common practice
  • it involves different interests across the generations and is designed to improve individual, community, and ecological well-being through tackling a problem or challenge
  • it requires a willingness to reciprocally communicate across generational divides through activities involving consensus, conflict, or cooperation
  • it requires a willingness to be responsive to places and to one another in an ongoing manner.

While most citizen science projects tend to recruit individuals, there may be scope to engage intergenerational groups. The characteristics above are broad and we don’t yet know which ones will work best in citizen science projects.

Find out more about the Enhancing informal learning through citizen science partnership.