- Fri, 06/10/2011 - 13:46
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In 2007, many people from several science cafés in Europe met in Ajaccio (Corse) for the 10th anniversaire of the network Bars et Cafés des sciences. In this occasion it was proposed to apply to a suitable UE grant for the constitution of an European network of science cafés. There were already networks among UK, USA and French science cafés, but no European coordination. Moreover, these networks mainly deal with a presentation of the various locations.
In January 2010, the European Project "Scicafé" (www.scicafe.eu) has started. The project's main target is to create a European network of science cafés. We aim to identify the best practices used in this kind of scientific popularization and participation, promote the birth of new cafés, especially in eastern countries and in Africa; enlarge the audience of our events to young people and other classes.
The project is essentially in the phase of data collecting, however some of us have started experimenting some new techniques and modalities that resulted to be quite interesting, and forced us to learn new skills. we shall illustrate some of these experiments carried out by our association, in collaboration with others. Most of them were suggested by our public through a questionnaire, that is now being administered to an European public through our partners in the consortium.
Cafferenze: Sometimes an interesting theme is not suited for a science café, mainly because it is too technical and the public may have a few questions to ask. So we launched an hybrid between a science café (caffè-scienza) and a conference (conferenza), that we called “cafferenza”. They are quite successful (and hosted in a beautiful library, www.bibliotecadelleoblate.it).
Moka and RadioMoka: we started a newsletter (Moka, the Italian name for the coffee machine in Figure 1) and a radio transmission (RadioMoka, www.novaradio.info), this last experience really required quite different skills from those that we studied in the university!
Audio and video streaming: We are collaborating with RadioSpin (www.radiospin.poloprato.unifi.it), one of the web radios of the University of Firenze, and, with our twin association formascienza in Rome, experimenting with the video streaming service offered by one of our partners, DBC-tv (www.dbc-tv.net) and other independent services (livestream.com). Thanks to DBC-tv, now our events can be attended even from Second Life, and actually we have a few people that regularly follows us from Spain, Switzerland and USA.
The science café web book, in collaboration with Duncan Dallas from Leeds, who is essentially the “inventor” of science cafés in UK, sites.google.com/site/scicafewebbook, We felt that we were concentrating too much on the technical aspects, forgetting that a science café is mainly driven by passions and emotions. So we asked people from all the world to send us a few lines about their motivations, and we discovered that the same simple concept of a science café can indeed be interpreted in very different ways, from a discussion on how to prevent HIV infection in Uganda, to gender differences in Iran, to a specialized Nuclear Science Café in Oregon!