Collaborating with the National Agency «Ciência Viva»




«Ciência Viva» at CES and the importance of its outreach activities

Since 2006, the Centre for Social Studies (CES) has been collaborating with the National Agency 'Ciência Viva' through the implementation of the Programme ‘Ciência Viva at CES’, as part of its outreach activities, together with other activities, such as the Programme ‘CES Vai à escola’, Training Courses and the Popular University of Social Movements. The Programme ‘Ciência Viva at CES’ holds annual Summer Internships for young secondary school students, under the ‘Programa de Ocupação Científica de Jovens nas Férias’, a National Agency ‘Ciência Viva’ initiative. This activity has been positively contributing to the promotion of scientific culture among young audiences, attracting an increasing number of secondary school students and mobilizing the Centre's scientific community, as well as the school community and their families around themes, such as: science in parliament; diversity and discrimination in University; the functioning of the Portuguese judicial system; the use of image in the Social Sciences; the digital differential; weapons and violence; cities and civic participation; the crisis and the debt of families; sexuality and inequality; mental illness; art and science; the new forms of protest and the relation with cultural heritage; the refugees drama (among other themes). Internships are thus designed to allow this young audience to familiarize, for one week, with the wide range of research tasks daily conducted in a scientific institution.

Other activities also include the Science and Technology Week (Semana da Ciência e Tecnologia), regularly held in November. During this week, scientific institutions, universities, schools and museums open doors, allowing people to directly engage with experts from various scientific fields and to monitor the wide range of activities.

Also in the current school year, the pilot project ‘Science in Loco’ (Ciência in Loco) will be implemented in a partnership between CES and some schools in the Centre of Portugal, carrying out activities to host and integrate secondary school students in CES research projects.

Therefore, the Programme ‘Ciência Viva at CES’ has been underlining the importance of acadenic outreach activities within research, emphasizing the development and implementation of strategies allowing researchers to directly interact with society, helping turn citizens into effective participants in outreach initiatives like this, capable of contributing to social transformation and inclusion, sustainable development and democratic practice.

Based on the previously held initiatives, CES has been pointing out the need for universities and society to strengthen ties and focus their efforts, given the processing capacity of the knowledge produced by the relationship between academic and non-academic communities. In this regard, we seek to consolidate the production of knowledge by implementing this kind of outreach initiatives that value the educational and communicative aspects and that increasingly develop the processing aspect of knowledge produced within the social sciences, in order to achieve what has been referred to as Citizen Science, thereby actively involving citizens in scientific activities, asserting themselves, in this context, as co-producers of knowledge and, therefore, as agents  in the transformation of social reality.