– Physics on stage
The EIROforum is a collaboration between seven European intergovernmental
scientific research organisations that are responsible for infrastructures
and laboratories. As world leaders within their respective fields
of science, the seven member organisations of the EIROforum constitute
the vanguard of European science, enabling European scientists
to engage in truly cutting-edge research and be competitive on
a global scale. These organisations have a vital role to play
in the future of European research. The seven EIROforum members
- European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN
- European Fusion Development Agreement, EFDA
- European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL
- European Space Agency, ESA
- European Southern Observatory, ESO
- European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF
- Institut Laue–Langevin, ILL
The idea to set up the initial ‘Physics
on Stage’ programme was first discussed by representatives
of the CERN, ESA and ESO Outreach Departments in early 1999, in
response to the European Commission’s Call for Proposals
for the European Science and Technology Week 2000.
ESO already had some positive experience of a Europe-wide programme
involving physics teachers from a project carried out for the
EC-sponsored 1994 European Week for Scientific Culture.
On that occasion, more than 100 astronomy-oriented high-school
physics teachers from approximately 20 countries met at the ESO
Headquarters – the most visible result being the creation
of the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). Clearly,
the unique opportunity to encounter numerous colleagues from other
geographical areas was considered to be an extremely useful experience
by the participants, especially due to the associated exchange
of experience and transfer of educational methods and materials.
The joint proposal for ‘Physics on Stage’ was submitted
to the EC (Directorate General for Research) on June 1, 1999.
It was agreed early in the discussions that the project would
have the following key objectives:
- Draw attention to the low level of scientific (and particularly
physics) literacy among European citizens.
- Propose innovative and practical solutions to this problem.
- Establish a network of experts on physics teaching and popularisation
from all over Europe.
- Produce and distribute materials that highlight the opinions
and recommendations of these experts.
To learn more: