'The public understanding of
science' is not a new concern. But the accelerating progress of scientific
knowledge, its growing impact on society's development, plus the questions
- and sometimes the fears - aroused by its influence are giving this
a new urgency. Consequently, over the past two decades, a number of
European countries have organised annual science and technology 'weeks'
or 'fairs'. These events invite the general public, and young people
in particular, to develop an interest in the constantly unfolding adventure
and progress of research - and to discuss it.
1993, the Commission has organised a similar event on a European scale.
A series of attractions involving participants from different countries
is held in November each year and puts the spotlight on the European dimension
of research in Europe. During these few days, museums, universities, scientific
institutions and schools become a showcase of European cooperation in the
pursuit of knowledge.
the 'Fly me to the sun' exhibition in Noordwijk (NL).
issue of RTD info presents the many facets of European Science and
Technology Week 2000, during which the European Union supported seven
major initiatives presented in various forms (exhibitions, debates, video
productions, conferences, new information tools for the Internet, etc.).
the pages of this issue will convey the dynamism and diversity of the
occasion. This immersion in 'Week 2000' also has the more specific aim
of presenting examples of events which could in turn stimulate new ideas
and give rise to other projects on the occasion of future Science Weeks
(see box). Many of these initiatives also remain on-going, whether in
the form of travelling exhibitions or a continuing communication on the
actions presented at the 2000 event reflect a shared desire: to communicate
advances in scientific knowledge. A desire now clearly laid down in the
creation of the European Research Area. This also implies communicating
the culture in which this progress is made, the joys which can come with
a passion for research, the benefits of these discoveries, the aims it
pursues and the questions it raises.
project for 2002
chemistry experiments in a circus tent, organising Internet debates
between teachers and pupils from secondary schools all over Europe,
presenting an exhibition on the relationships between man and animals,
inviting the experts to unveil the car of the future or the latest
progress in environment technologies... Any project with a European
approach and the objective of demystifying science and technology
for the general public - especially young people - can be submitted
in response to the next call for proposals from the European
Science and Technology Week and will, if accepted, receive financial
support from the European Commission.(1)
projects to be realised in 2002 must reply to the forthcoming call
for proposals. Information on this call is available on the Internet
site or by e-mail at:
Fax : 32-2-296 70 24
This support is granted under the 'Raising public awareness of science
and technology' section of the 'Improving Human Potential'