Akvas, or a century of dialogue between science and society

This text is part of the Acfas Special Conference Brochure

Fortunately, a global pandemic has occurred as the Acfas centenary approaches. “However, this organization was founded in 1923, at the end of another great epidemic, the Spanish flu, and when scientists were trying to understand which train hit them,” explains Pierre Chastainay, professor in the Department of Education at the University of Kuala Lumpur. The organizer of the symposium One hundred years of dialogue between science and society At the upcoming Acfas conference, which will take place on May 11-12.

The Symposium is one of the special events that Acfas has set up to celebrate its centenary. It will extend to more than two conferences, one that opens the centenary this year and one that will end next year.

“It’s meant to be a launch pad,” notes Pierre Chastainay. We will assess knowledge about the communication between science and scientific culture, but this symposium should above all launch joint research projects in which scientists and activists collaborate.”

“The pandemic has revealed how important and even crucial scientific communication is,” notes one of the pioneering science pioneers, Pierre Chastainay, since he has served as head of educational activities and spokesperson for the Montreal Planetarium for 25 years, in addition to hosting numerous science shows, including telescope And Chastenay’s law In Tele-Quebec.

“The purpose of promotion is not for people to understand an article in a format temper natureBut they understand why it’s important to study quantum mechanics, genetics, or a new vaccine. The challenge for society is to make the public understand the processes, the results of knowledge that perfection can always be achieved. Because it is society that pays for scientific activity. You should take advantage of it and understand how it is done so that you can use it wisely. »

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The astonishing development of the Internet and the web, and then social media, which broke the traditional media’s monopoly on scientific information and multiplied false information, raised many questions. However, this pandemic was exacerbated by the epidemiological emergency.

“People ask, What does science say? Well, science is trying to find out. Our evidence is the best we have, but it is imperfect and modifiable. The production of knowledge is a process of self-correcting that sometimes even requires us to reject what we think is true, asserts Pierre Chastainay. The epidemic, we witnessed it in real time. I have a lot of admiration for what Horacio Arruda was trying to do [l’ex-directeur national de santé publique], but he fell between the hammer and the anvil, because he had to transmit the flag when it was changing so quickly. »

Overlapping of disciplines

During the two days of the symposium, researchers – professors, doctoral students, and lecturers – will deal specifically with “culturally validated” presentations, initial teacher training, online resources available in French, French experiences regarding the dialogue between science and society, scientific disinformation in Brazil and how Explain the techniques.

The study of how we judge information is fundamentally interdisciplinary. Gabriel LeCompte, I, explains my work in the frontiers of science education, communication and librarianship. The lecturer at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres, a future Master of Education and PhD student, will give a presentation on a study he just conducted on the way young people in Secondary 4 assess the information presented in the pictures. and videos on social networks (see box).

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The symposium will give a voice to scholars who have studied scientific communication and culture, but also to science intermediaries, whether they are journalists, communicators or museum scientists. A workshop, for example, will raise the question of whether scientific communication is useful. “Not to discredit their work, but to stimulate further research on the impact of a presentation, a column, a series of articles. We can develop protocols to study these questions,” defines the person in charge of the conference.

Pierre Chastainay has a dream, a vision of the birth of the Quebec Observatory for Scientific Intervention that will define what is done in terms of communication in science. “Because we’re making very good connections at home, even if there are things that need to be improved,” he said.

More modestly, he hopes this symposium will lead to the study of new areas, such as the use of the TikTok platform for scholarly communication. I want this symposium to raise things and ideas that we weren’t thinking of when it was organized that will be presented to us at the second symposium in 2023. And then. »

Learn how to judge scientific information

Let’s see in the video

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