List of workshops during the 2nd WFSD

February 4th, 2011.
15:00 – 17:30

  • Synergies researchers / civil society to have a better influence on policy makers

A workshop proposed by: IDRC-CRDI (Canada), Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD,France)
This SDWF workshop convened by IDRC will bring together researchers from different fields, representatives of citizens movements and development NGOs, policy makers and the media to reflect together on ways and means of strengthening the influence of research on public policy by developing synergies and multi-stakeholder alliances.
Based on the presentation of innovative collaboration experiences between civil society and academic researchers, participants will be invited to reflect and debate on two major themes:
1/ How can civil society organisations use science and research more effectively to reinforce their action, movement and advocacy?
How can civil society organisations and their stakeholders harness their knowledge and know-how and keep up-to-date on debates about technological, economic, environmental and social issues?
How can social movements and committed activists guarantee the intellectual independence of their research partners and accept results which do not necessarily reinforce their standpoint? How can scientific precision, critical thinking and activist bias be reconciled?
2/ How can researchers and scientists build alliances and working relationships with civil society to make better use of their findings among policy makers and help influence policy in a fair, equitable way?
What are the prerequisites (but also the obstacles) and factors promoting the establishment of fruitful relations between the worlds of research and civil society, so that science is more relevant to policy-making in favour of the greatest number, including the most disadvantaged?
How can effective alliances be built, which respect the approaches and stances of both worlds, so that research results and science can be used for social welfare?

  • Knowledge commons

A workshop proposed by: VECAM (France), AIPSN (Inde / India), UNAMAZ (Brésil / Brazil), Free Software Movement, International Commons Strategy Group, CODESRIA (Africa)
Dans la continuité de la séance plénière du premier Forum Mondial Sciences & Démocratie, l’association VECAM souhaite tenir un atelier ou une plénière sur l’étendu générale des biens communs de la connaissance. Par ce terme nous entendons toutes les productions dont la valeur tient dans l’enregistrement de connaissances sur des supports matériels ou numériques. Le travail de sélection des semences par les paysans en opposition à la main mise sur le vivant cultivé par les multinationales de l’agro-chimie d’une part, et la conception de logiciels libres de l’autres sont deux aspects de cette vaste problématique.

  • Governance of Emerging technologies

A workshop proposed by: Friends of the Earth (Etats-Unis & Australie / USA & Australia), ETC Group (Canada), Brazilian Research Network in Nanotechnology, Society, and Environment (Brésil / Brazil), Biofuel Watch (Royaume-Uni / UK) and VivAgora (France)
Attempts to manipulate nature at the atomic and molecular level – such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology – or to manipulate the entire climate – geoengineering – pose serious threats to social justice, the environment, and public health. These emerging technologies are evolving quickly and regulations around are falling behind or are completely non-existent. The public is often given little or no opportunity to discuss if and how these technologies will be used or how they should be regulated.
Presentations will be followed by an open discussion on how citizens, civil society, indigenous communities, and social movements can work for democratic participation and proper governance of emerging technologies.

  • Unions, science and anti-globalism

A workshop proposed by: SNESup (France), SNCS (France), Fédération Mondiale des Travailleurs Scientifiques / World Federation of Scientific Workers with FQPPU (Québec)
Current transformations of societies and of their environment and the development of altermondialist positions require to consider research, sciences and technologies as one of the crucial topics to deepen in priority. The union’s vision defended here consider missions, management and professions of research as a service mostly public, knowledge as a common good, and scientific activities as meaningful for both scientific actors and society. We propose to debate on this vision in the framework of the altermondialist movement.

  • Science education issues : cultural appropriation by social movements and stakes of universal education

A workshop proposed by: Résister-Insister-Persister R.I.P. (France) & Association Française des Petits Débrouillards (France), Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France), Sociologists without borders (Réseau international / International Network)
Science education remains to be one of the most important way of individual emancipation of children and young people around the world. Strong signs show that science education is in danger in some parts of the world where the opposition between “faith” and “science” is still very difficult. However, even in the countries where such fights seem to be far for today, we observe 2 main negative impacts of the ways science education had been developped since more than one century and a half. Science have became the disciplins that select the elites. Science pedagogy appears to be too far from the “real world” regarding to regular public polls indicators. All these elements explain why we propose to discuss about the necessity of specific alliances on this precise topic.


February 5th, 2011.
14:30 – 17:00


  • Social and ethical responsibilities of researchers, whistleblowing: obstacles and challenges

A workshop proposed by: Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France), ENSSER (Europe), FQPPU (Québec), Institut des Sciences Biomédicales Appliquées (Bénin / Benin))
This workshop aims at understanding the concrete obstacles and the challenges faced by the scientists and the academics seeking to involve themselves in research activities serving global society or community group interests, that is without direct concern for commercial fallout (effects). In the current context, the public policies pertaining to research establish a climate and conditions which incite researchers to answer particular expectations, mostly in connection with the innovations leading to commercial activities. All disciplinary fields are concerned, including human sciences. The intrinsic value and the conceptual contribution of the human and social sciences to the understanding of various stakes and to the establishment of the orientations of research often give way essentially to an instrumental use, for the development of technosiences. How to reverse the situation and give to the academic and scientific circles the means to assume in an ethical way their responsibilities towards global society?

  • University in the 21st century: towards an international network

A workshop proposed by: Groupe 38 (Europe), Attac (France) & Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France)
Numerous and strong signs across the world show that the actual “Universiy model” is in crisis. Struggles in Greece, France, Germany, Austria, USA, Spain, Brazil… The growing role of new private actors and fund-raisers influence the governance of big Universities, including the contents. Our analysis is that this crisis can be described as a global University crisis. Thanks to a shared analysis, we propose to define what could be an international and collectove action and/or network at the international scale, in view to propose and influence public policies and initiatives in this field.

  • Participatory research: stakes and obstacles

A workshop proposed by: Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France), AIPSN (India / Inde), GRET (France) & Enda-Diapol (Sénégal / Senegal)
Nowadays most of the accepted expertises and research results come from the private sector or public institutions. As a result, lobbies have got a huge influence on decision-making, and commodification of knowledge is growing. On the marge of this development one can observe the emergence of participatory research experiences (or action research) forming the scientific third sector (civil society, NGOs, consumerists, citizen-movements and trade unions…). The idea behind participatory research is not to feed a sterile opposition with academics but much more to explore new forms of partnerships, new methods and scientific areas forgotten by the dominant scientific orientations, such as social and ecological demands. During this workshop, we’ll discuss about existing participatory action research experiences in numerous countries (consensus conferences , PICRI, ARUC…).

  • Reversing the migration of brains and talent

A workshop proposed by: Fédération Mondiale des Travailleurs Scientifiques / World Federation of Scientific Workers, Enda-Diapol (Senegal / Sénégal) & Sociologists without Borders (International Network, Réseau international) Il est de la responsabilité du mouvement altermondialiste de s’opposer à l’accaparement des savoirs, des savoir-faire et de la matière grise par les seuls pays riches. Les intérêts en jeu sont complexes et contradictoires. Quels problèmes, quelles solutions, quelles revendications concrètes, quelles initiatives prendre ?

  • Science: what kind of progress?

A workshop proposed by: Comité québécois Sciences et Démocratie, Groupe 38 (Europe), Attac (France), Steps Centre – University of Sussex (Royaume Uni, UK) & CCFD (France)
Science and technology are one of the most important pillar of modern capitalism. They create new objects, process. They participate in a very active way tothe development of new technologies, and in the end to new social needs. In the actual beginning of strong ecological crisis, the question is to think about the science which are needed and required today regarding to the new hypothesis of “prosperity without growth” topic of the UK report directed by Tim Jackson.

Disponible en / Available in: French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil)

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