[RAM 2021] Science as a tool for social inclusion and participation
Interactive seminar: Science as a tool for social inclusion and participation
Speaker: Simona Cerrato (SISSA MediaLab, Italy)
Date: July 20th, 4:00 pm JST
Place: L4E48 or Zoom: https://oist.zoom.us/j/84151092360?pwd=TnozS2dyMXVTcytpQXl2QTJPRWN2QT09
Meeting ID: 841 5109 2360
Only a tiny percentage of the European population participates actively in the cultural life of their countries. According to an analysis by the British Department of Culture Media and Sport [Wilson, Gross and Bull, 2017] based on the Taking Part survey, this percentage amount to 8% and includes only the wealthiest, whitest, and most formally educated people. This means that 92% (i.e. almost everybody) is excluded. Dramatic inequalities in terms of living conditions and future expectations affect children among different countries and within each country [Save the Children, 2017]. That means that most people live on the margins of our society.
Is this acceptable and desirable?
If the answer is no, both for reasons of justice and for the survival of the communities themselves, then we must also ask ourselves what we can do.
For some years, many professionals in the field of science communication have begun to reflect on how science can become a tool of inclusion.
Science and science-related activities are sometimes considered immune from inequalities, as it is believed that "science looks no one in the face" and that access to the scientific world is based solely on merit and is not influenced by others social, gender, family, etc. factors. This is false. Science and technology embed social, economic, symbolic values. At the same time, they are powerful tools to understand contemporary life and become active, responsible, and world-aware citizens.
I will tell how to use public engagement in science and technology with an approach focused on social inclusion and diversity, open to different approaches, cultures, values, styles, and ultimately make our institutions and activities more socially equitable.
| I graduated in Physics, specializing in Cosmic Physics, and I have a Master’s degree in Science Communication. Since 1989 I have been involved with communication of science, establishing an extended network of scientists, research institutions, universities, and communicators all over the world. I have been working at Sissa Medialab since 2005 participating in various projects at an international level: institutional outreach activities, European projects on science and society, museum and exhibition design, as well as training courses for various audiences (scientists, museum explainers, science journalists, teachers, etc.), websites and magazines, science and mathematics school texts, scientific expeditions, documentary films.
I have written eight books related to my activities as Science Communicator and have won various prizes (Pirelli International Award, Premio Andersen, White Ravens, Frascati Scienza, Sissa Medal).
My commitment to society extends to my life outside of work where I participate in volunteer activities related to empowering women in Nepal, often communicating with the world through my photos and writings.