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YESS - PRESS presentation

YESS (Yearly European Science & Society event) is a new concept created by ECSITE, the European network of science centers and museums, to ensure a "Science & Society" dimension to the already existing "Day of Europe". Science, and in particular the dialogue between the scientists and the public, with the aim to discuss all aspects of the application of science in daily life should be part of a celebration where Europe wants to meet with its citizens. That is why from 2005 onwards, ECSITE, with the help of NEF (Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation –, will organise a European wide debate activity about science and innovation that will involve all actors of that field and contribute to the empowerment of citizens in crucial issues that will influence directly the future of our societies.

For the first time in 2005 a European wide citizen’s debate activity will be organized by 10 member institutions in 10 countries. The European dimension is not only given through the choice of the date and the geographical area, but by the choice of a single research theme that is able to stimulate discussion. We have chosen to tackle brain research as the first topic.

    We have four main objectives:
  • To discuss different subjects linked to brain research all around Europe
  • To show brain research impact on society and daily life and its ethical issues
  • To create a real dialogue between the scientific community and the public
  • To empower citizens to participate in decision making processes

The co-operation between ECSITE and NEF over the years will enable two important fields to experiment dialogue between science and the public all over Europe and define some best practices we hope will be beneficial for the society as a whole.

YESS has obtained patronage of the EU, DG Research.

At the occasion of this event, ECSITE launches a new format of its newsletter that will now include much more basic science information and challenging debates about cutting edge research. The next issue deals with brain and contains interviews of Prof. Wolf Singer, director of the Department of Neurophysiology of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, and from Prof. Marc Jeannerod, director of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1. You can find more details about ECSITE and the actual debates about brain research in the ECSITE newsletter, see:

For more information, please contact Walter Staveloz, Executive Director, at the ECSITE Executive Office in Bruxelles or directly one of the partners mentioned in the program hereafter.

Technopolis and Koning Boudewijnstichting and Nationale Loterij (Belgium), Bloomfield Science Museum and the Jerusalem Foundation (Israel), Universeum and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden), Ciencia Viva and the Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), IDIS-Citta della Scienza (Italy), Warsaw Science Centre (Poland), Le Palais de la Découverte (France), Museon (The Nederlands), Heureka (Finland), Ahhaa (Estonia)

ECSITE Executive Office
70 Coudenberg – 5th Floor
1000 Bruxelles
Tel : +32 2 649 73 83
Fax : +32 2 647 50 98

YESS Events

On the 9th of May 2005, five partners will organize an event related to the brain research theme: lectures, debates, conferences, exhibitions.

Bloomfield Science Museum (Israel)
Sub-theme : “On the Brain and the Senses”
Type of activity : Brain-Machine Interface - an exhibition made by students, Can the brain study itself? - A cafe' scientific meeting with Peter Hillman, Professor of Biophysics
Target audience : All
Venue : Bloomfield Science Museum - Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904 (ISRAEL)
Other partners : Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation (ICNC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Foundation supporting the project: Jerusalem Foundation
Special guest : Pr. Peter Hillman
Promotion : The brain - A one-time newsletter
Contact person : Varda Gur Ben - or +972 2 6544867

Ciencia Viva (Portugal)
Sub-theme : Neurosensorial implants: ethical issues in Bionics
Type of activity : Debate with neuroscientists: Miguel Castelo-Branco (IBILI) What future for retinal implants? and
Fernando Gomes/Cristina Januário Santos (Coimbra University Hospital) Ethical issues in neurosurgery
Target audience : Adults
Venue : Coimbra, Casa da Cultura (local council auditorium) - Rua Pedro Monteiro, Coimbra 3000 (PORTUGAL)
Other partners : CNC - Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, IBILI - Institute of Biomedical Research in Light and Image, Coimbra University Hospital
Foundation supporting the project: Gulbenkian Foundation
Special guests : Catarina Oliveira (CNC), Miguel Castelo-Branco (IBILI), Fernando Gomes/Cristina Januário Santos (Coimbra University Hospital)
Promotion : Local institutions, Press release
Expected outcomes : Contribute to improve public awareness on the ethical aspects of neurosensorial implants and future advances of Bionics.
Contact person : Ana Noronha: +351 21 898 50 20

IDIS-Citta della Scienza(Italy)
Sub-theme : Brain sciencesEuropean dimension of the research
Type of activity : Demonstrations, Experiments, Games, Exhibition “Beautiful minds”, DeCiDe game, Lecture
Target audience : School groups (May 9th)General public (May 8th)
Venue : Science Centre of Citta della Scienza
Other partners : Education Departement of the Municipality of NaplesRepresentatives of European countries in Naples
Special guest : Fulvio Magara, Swiss brain scientist
Promotion : Website, Local press, Leaflets and brochures, (Posters in the streets)
Expected outcomes : Increase awareness of young people on European dimension. Increase knowledge on brain sciences
Contact person : Guglielmo Maglio - or +39.081.7352.246

Technopolis (Belgium)
Sub-theme : Working of the human brain and memory including status of research in this field
Type of activity : Interactive lecture by Dr. Lucien De Cock Interactive and playful science show around 'brain gymnastics'
Target audience : Adults, CRM (social-cultural organization for seniors)
Venue : Technopolis - Technologielaan, Mechelen 2800 (BELGIUM)
Foundation supporting the project:: Koning Boudewijnstichting and Nationale Loterij
Special guest : Dr. Lucien De Cock
Promotion : Direct marketing, Website, Press conference
Expected outcomes : Enhance awareness around the working of the human brain and memory including the possibilities to influence this by a certain lifestyle and by mental training
Contact person : Inge Verstraete - or + 32 15 34 20 20

Universeum (Sweden)
Sub-theme : “Big Questions”: questions about brain that you find hard to talk about and discuss
Type of activity : Exhibitions, Debate
Target audience : Daytime: schoolpupils Evening: adults
Venue : Universeum - Box 143 65, Göteborg SE-400 (SWEDEN)
Foundation supporting the project: Riksbankens Jubileums Fond
Other partners : “Sahlgrenska” University Hospital Goteborg University
Promotion : Newsletter, Homepage
Contact person : Sten Ljungström - or +46 (0)31 3356409

Test of the DeCiDe game
On the 9th of May 2005, five of our partners will test the prototype of the DeCiDe (Deliberative Citizen Debate) game. It is a card game which pursues two fundamental objectives:

  • It enables players to identify and absorb the basic information they need to discuss an issue (the brain, by instance) that may be complex.
  • It enables the group to seek common ground on what policies should be adopted on the issue.

Ahhaa (Estonia)
Additional activities : Brain game, Science theatre shows: What about consciousness?, Exhibition, Workshops
Guests : Researchers from the University of Tartu
Reporter : Tiiu Sild
Contact person : Tiiu Sild - or +3727 375 676
Partners : British Council in Estonia

Heureka (Finland)
Additional activities : 12.00-15.00: Heureka, the Finnish Science Center - Aivopäivä (Brain Day)
12.10-12.40: Doctor of Medicine and Neurology Maija Castrén: Viisas PÄÄtös (”Wise decision”)
12.45-14.30: Six simultaneous DECIDE-games and Chess, Word Games, Wiz games
14.30-15.00: Doctor of Medicine and Neurology Mikael Ojala: Aivojen huolto (”Trimming your brain”)
Reporter : Susann Morck from the Neurologiasäätiö
Contact person : Paula Havaste - or +358 9 8579 375
Partners : Neurologiasäätiö (the Neurology Foundation)

Le Palais de la Découverte (France)
Additional activities : Announcement of the exhibition « perception and brain » Test of the prototypes
Reporter : Karin Rondia
Contact person : Anne Hervé-Minvielle - or + 33 1 40 74 80 70

Museon (The Nederlands)
Reporter : Arjan Agema
Contact person : Arjan Agema - or +31 70 338 1338

Warsaw Science Centre (Poland)
Additional activities : Lectures, Experts panel
Guests : Experts from the Nencki
Reporter : Piotr Kossobudzki
Contact person : Piotr Kossobudzki -
Partners : Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology Polish Academy of Sciences

Note for editors

Media contact
Michel Claessens, Press and information officer, Research DG
Tel.: +32.2.298 75 75, Fax: +32.2.295 99 71


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