Mediators: Ariel Lindner, François Taddei, Stéphane Douady, Pascal Hersen
2009 guests : Andrew Murray, Saskia Van der Vies
At the beginning of the year, a one-week retreat assembles the M2 students together with researchers from broad scientific backgrounds to conceive creative projects at the interface with Life Sciences. The workshop is intended for the AIV master program and the FdV PhD Lilliane Bettencourt program.
Aims of the workshop
- To be able to focus on an important scientific question and to define the means to approach it from different disciplines.
- To be able to zoom out (have a broader view) and zoom in (be precise and define the key experiments).
- To think and express your ideas more clearly.
- To gain confidence in your ideas.
- To be able to discuss, reject or accept ideas.
- To learn to take constructive scientific criticisms
- To learn how to write a research proposal.
- To discuss scientific questions thoroughly.
- To learn to interact with people from different backgrounds.
Organization of the workshop
Students develop and write research projects in small interdisciplinary groups (3-5 students). The group is allotted two days to converge on a specific question, followed by days consecrated to defining the best theoretical and experimental framework to answer the problem. Daily debriefing with the rest of the students and in presence of the mediators take place. The written projects (3 pages, in a grant application format) is handed to the mediators and discussed at length with each group at the end of the fifth day. The sixth day is devoted to preparation of the presentations and the actual presentation.
In addition, the week will be scattered by:
- Interactive short workshops:
“Zoom in/Zoom out" - On the role of careful observation and questioning in research.
Field work - Scrutinizing the environment for unanswered scientific questions (small group work).
- "My Life and Science":
Evening presentations by the mediators in context of the open challenges in their respective fields and their personal scientific path + open discussions.
Interactive sessions designed to encourage collaboration between scientists who would not typically work together. With no fixed agenda, the participants set the program during the session itself, based on their shared professional interests and enthusiasms. Each Scifoo is launched by listing subjects of interest, followed by splitting of the participants to small working groups that have limited time to discuss a chosen subject from the list. The groups are then re-united and the documented (e.g. wiki) conclusions of each group are discussed. Nature & Google launched Scifoo on 2006, following the first Friends of O'Reilly(Foo) Camp in 2003.