Sensing for Justice (SensJus)
Sensing for Justice


Sensing for Justice (SensJus)

2022 2022 Winner Project | Engage 2022 Science Breakthrough | Engage Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage)

Evidence gathered by lay people through forms of citizen science are becoming more and more accurate, reliable and credible as the ‘civic sentinels’ performing environmental monitoring follow scientific protocols, seek advice from experts and confront their results with official measurements. This is a truly constructive form of ordinary people’s engagement with and in science.

However, the data collected via citizen science initiatives are often dismissed in official discussions. Such evidence could instead be a helpful resource to tackle institutional enforcement gaps as competent authorities may struggle to track all instances of contamination.

The ‘Sensing for Justice’ (SensJus) project exactly researches the potential of grassroots-driven environmental monitoring as a source of evidence to claim environmental justice, and as a tool for environmental conflicts’ mediation. SensJus aims to leverage this engagement potential of civic monitoring making the recipient institutions (including and in particular enforcement agencies and courts) more aware of this practice, and more open to embrace such data flows.

The combination between the legal dimension and a more hard-science topic such as citizen science, and the use of art and story-telling to complement the scientific inquiry makes the project very innovative and different from other projects in the field.

Anna Berti Suman is principal investigator of the project “Sensing for Justice – SensJus”, which focuses on the potential of civic monitoring as a source of evidence for environmental justice litigation and as a tool to foster environmental mediation. Previously, she led the “Sensing the Risk” PhD project aimed at investigating how civic monitoring initiatives can influence the governance of environmental health risk.

Anna is also qualified lawyer in environmental and climate law under the Bar Association of Rome, following cases at Systasis – Study Centre for the Management of Environmental Conflicts, Milan. Previously, she worked as a lawyer for Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, and for the Association of Affected People by Chevron-Texaco, Ecuador.

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