Explore our new Dialogue & Deliberation Toolkit!

Community Science: Advancing Community Priorities Together

Understanding Community Science

Our world faces a multitude of challenges at the intersection of science and society, from climate change to health inequities to rapidly developing technologies. But too often opportunities and solutions at this nexus fail to center communities that are most impacted and hold the deepest understanding of community needs.

Community science is a way of working where community members collaborate with each other, scientists, science engagement practitioners, and others to advance community priorities through scientific research, technological innovation, and more.

Community science offers a wide range of approaches, including dialogue, data collection, and civic engagement, that address injustices, reduce disparities, and help achieve equity informed by community priorities, strengths, and leadership.

Watch a brief community science overview video and click the button below to learn more!

Community Science in Action

Grassroots data collection efforts and open source tools to help assess environmental impacts

Public Lab

Collecting air quality data to help drive city level climate resiliency

RVAir at Science Museum of Virginia

Diverse partnership empowers local voices to influence climate resiliency planning

Cycles of Resilience from the science and resilience institute at Jamaica Bay

Download Overview

Community science encompasses a wide array of approaches that communities and their partners use to answer science- and technology-related questions and construct solutions. Download our brief overview to learn more about the diverse models and approaches to community science that are currently in use.

Explore Attributes and Outcomes

Our framework for Community Science features a set of attributes and outcomes that are centered around doing respectful work with communities and pursuing authentic, equitable partnerships.

Explore D&D Toolkit

ASTC's Dialogue & Deliberation Toolkit serves as a roadmap to help you navigate resources produced by a diversity of civic engagement and science engagement organizations that lay a solid foundation for the development of Dialogue & Deliberation efforts on topics relevant to local communities.

Join Our Clinics

Join our Community Science Clinics, bi-monthly virtual events for community science practitioners at all levels of experience to talk with their peers and seek advice from colleagues working on community science efforts. Each clinic will focus on a different theme, be grounded by short “discussion sparks”, and use smaller breakouts to further discussion.


About ASTC and Community Science

ASTC’s Community Science Initiative, including this website’s information and resources, aims to build capacity for and scale the practice of community science among science and technology centers and museums and allied science engagement organizations.  

Our goal is to describe a set of broad and inclusive community science attributes, outcomes, and approaches applicable to ASTC members as well as other  organizations, while providing distinct examples, resources, and tools to support efforts within science and technology center and museum contexts. 

Learn more about ASTC’s approach to community science and how ASTC’s Community Science Initiative is working to  support  community science within science and technology centers and museums. 


Public Lab was founded in 2010 following the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Seeking to fill a significant gap in community knowledge about the impacts of the oil spill, Public Lab launched an open source platform to collect data and maps of changes in the coastline over time. This effort has since transformed into a strong community-created and -driven environmental monitoring and assessment program. In addition to this open platform, Public Lab offers a space for public engagement and public dialogue.

The Science Museum of Virginia decided to measure local concentrations of airborne pollution in its hometown of Richmond, currently ranked by the National Asthma and Allergy Foundation as the 12th worst city in the United States for asthma sufferers. The museum is working with local youth and other community members to collect local air quality data and create solutions to the City of Richmond’s climate resiliency challenge. Low barriers for participation have helped ensure the community could easily become involved in data collection, which has produced highly-actionable, quality data.

Cycles of Resilience builds relationships between scientists, government, and residents of the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Canarsie, so all can successfully participate in collaborative resilience planning. Located on Jamaica Bay, Canarsie was devastated in 2012 by Super Storm Sandy and remains at risk from sea level rise as well as ecosystem and biodiversity loss. Collaborators including Science Resilience Institute for Jamaica Bay, Public Agenda, City University of New York-Brooklyn College’s Center for the Study of Brooklyn, and Canarsie Community Development Incorporated have designed opportunities to empower local residents and help public officials work more effectively with the community.