Science, YES we can!

Author: Marima Hvass-Faivre d’Arcier – 1, 2, 3, sciences (association), France


  • Anne-Marie Cauquil – 1, 2, 3, sciences (association), France
  • Michel Claessens – European Commission, Belgium
  • Gérard Laporte – University of Nice and 1, 2, 3, sciences (association), France
  • Odile Viratelle – Bordeaux University and 1, 2, 3, sciences (association), France

We started 1, 2, 3, sciences to help children and adults build the confidence to ‘do’ Science, based on the idea that knowledge sticks better when it is personally experienced, discovered, owned, placing sciences in its natural place, i.e. in people’s everyday life. The Covid pandemic is a perfect example of the need to understand Science.

Children over 5 yrs and adults of all ages and backgrounds are invited to some serious science play, exploring, trying, discussing. We also welcome scientists, as long as they neither “teach” nor “explain” to the rest of the group.

Everyone collaborates towards a common conclusion. We call this CLP for ‘Conclusion Locale Provisoire’(Provisional Group Conclusion), however small it might be. This collective work-in-progress is expressed in plain language, without ready-made scientific notions.

This experimental approach, based on observations and everyday life objects, is therefore limited to the macroscopic world as this is the very scale compatible with our human senses. With this limit, the active participation validates the scientific legitimacy of the group’s CLP.

Touring Africa (Morocco, Togo, Benin), we encountered the same prejudice towards science as observed in Europe: when it is simple and accessible, it cannot be real science! Interestingly, after a while, participants declared: “I feel my science instinct waking up”.

Throughout the last 20 years, and repetitive surveys, we found a real enthusiasm for our methodology, a change in the way our participants would look at the world, enhanced curiosity and self-esteem, and an increased attention to scientific issues. Experiencing for themselves the scientific process, they feel more confident to apply it to their personal and professional lives. Making sense of science brings pleasure and a feeling of shared autonomy.

Now, we are searching for partners to perpetuate the legacy of our experience! All info, including our books:

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time