Background: Science education in French schools today is suffering from two major problems. Less and less students are enrolling on science courses while obstacles caused by unequal opportunity make it increasingly difficult for less privileged learners to obtain high standard university places and to embark on scientific careers. The way science is taught in schools in France (heavily weighed down by theory and desperately lacking in practical content) urgently needs changing if it is to be made more appealing. At the same time, French society is facing social tensions in suburbs. These two problems that might seem unrelated can be battled simultaneously.

Objective/Hypotheses: It is time for researchers to collaborate with schools to show that science can be pleasantly challenging and fascinating. However, the involvement of researchers in France is not at its highest level because the recognition of the such activities value is lacking. Dialogue between divergent opinions, attempt to reach consensus through the use of sound arguments, of observed data are scientific values that can be transferred beyond the classics domains of scientific studies. Moreover, everyone today is directly concerned by scientific issues. In a society where science encompasses more and more ethical questions, a common basis of scientific knowledge must be shared amongst each and every one of us. We would like to prompt researchers into showing that science can be made enjoyable, thereby inspiring students who suffer from a social disadvantage and then to offer our support to the keenest students in order to help them become talented scientists. Helping them to belong to a broad network and training them in scientific vulgarization will help us inoculate a "Science virus" in schools and on a broader basis in society. We foster them to use scientific methodology to question more generally the world in which they live. When a science club ends up organising a conference on "why is there violence in the suburbs" we feel we have reached our goal.

•Methods: We organise 300 internships in labs for high school students. They go alone or in pairs for a week in a lab, mentored by PhD students. They actively participate, going beyond a simple observations. These internships are organised in all scientific domains, in public and private research labs, and in hospitals. Students are selected on their motivation and their social status. No criteria related to their scholar level is used. During there visit in the labs they discover a variety of jobs, not only researcher but also engineer, technician, that can be reached through a variety of curriculum. We gather all these students once a year to present their work, we help them find their way in higher education. More important we invite them to keep on touch with each other and to create an active and supportive community of high‐school students motivated by science. We also help them to create science clubs in their high‐schools and to question not only scientific topics but society at large, using scientific methodology. The selected students from a hundred of high‐schools meet on a regular basis throughout the year. For the 30 most motivated ones a summer camp is organised. Some of them also participate to partner summer camps in other European countries. The participants of the summer camp are introduced to science communication as a Science Festival takes place at the same time, in the same place (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)

•Results:Since we started this program, science clubs have been created in suburbs' high‐ schools, discussion on tough societal questions have been started, the oldest students have continued in scientific studies in highly selective programs at university.

•Conclusions: A very simple concept of internships in labs can bring very large result, going beyond the classical scope of popularisation of science. since the 50s scientists have been highly involved in building world peace (cf. Pugwash movement). We suggest that the time has come to offer scientific methodology to all citizens as a tool to solve local conflicts. In this perspective we are extending our collaboration with science education institutions in ex‐Yugoslavian countries.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication as a tool to for social cohesion and for intercultural dialogue

Livio Riboli‐Sasco   Association Paris Montagne/INSERM

Alice Richard   Association Paris Montagne

François Taddei   Association Paris Montagne/INSERM

Background: Science education in French schools today is suffering from two major problems. Less and less students are enrolling on science courses while obstacles caused by unequal opportunity make it increasingly difficult for less privileged learners to obtain high standard university places and to embark on scientific careers. The way science is taught in schools in France (heavily weighed down by theory and desperately lacking in practical content) urgently needs changing if it is to be made more appealing. At the same time, French society is facing social tensions in suburbs. These two problems that might seem unrelated can be battled simultaneously.

Objective/Hypotheses: It is time for researchers to collaborate with schools to show that science can be pleasantly challenging and fascinating. However, the involvement of researchers in France is not at its highest level because the recognition of the such activities value is lacking. Dialogue between divergent opinions, attempt to reach consensus through the use of sound arguments, of observed data are scientific values that can be transferred beyond the classics domains of scientific studies. Moreover, everyone today is directly concerned by scientific issues. In a society where science encompasses more and more ethical questions, a common basis of scientific knowledge must be shared amongst each and every one of us. We would like to prompt researchers into showing that science can be made enjoyable, thereby inspiring students who suffer from a social disadvantage and then to offer our support to the keenest students in order to help them become talented scientists. Helping them to belong to a broad network and training them in scientific vulgarization will help us inoculate a "Science virus" in schools and on a broader basis in society. We foster them to use scientific methodology to question more generally the world in which they live. When a science club ends up organising a conference on "why is there violence in the suburbs" we feel we have reached our goal.

•Methods: We organise 300 internships in labs for high school students. They go alone or in pairs for a week in a lab, mentored by PhD students. They actively participate, going beyond a simple observations. These internships are organised in all scientific domains, in public and private research labs, and in hospitals. Students are selected on their motivation and their social status. No criteria related to their scholar level is used. During there visit in the labs they discover a variety of jobs, not only researcher but also engineer, technician, that can be reached through a variety of curriculum. We gather all these students once a year to present their work, we help them find their way in higher education. More important we invite them to keep on touch with each other and to create an active and supportive community of high‐school students motivated by science. We also help them to create science clubs in their high‐schools and to question not only scientific topics but society at large, using scientific methodology. The selected students from a hundred of high‐schools meet on a regular basis throughout the year. For the 30 most motivated ones a summer camp is organised. Some of them also participate to partner summer camps in other European countries. The participants of the summer camp are introduced to science communication as a Science Festival takes place at the same time, in the same place (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)

•Results:Since we started this program, science clubs have been created in suburbs' high‐ schools, discussion on tough societal questions have been started, the oldest students have continued in scientific studies in highly selective programs at university.

•Conclusions: A very simple concept of internships in labs can bring very large result, going beyond the classical scope of popularisation of science. since the 50s scientists have been highly involved in building world peace (cf. Pugwash movement). We suggest that the time has come to offer scientific methodology to all citizens as a tool to solve local conflicts. In this perspective we are extending our collaboration with science education institutions in ex‐Yugoslavian countries.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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