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Conference “The Return of Science Shop: a way of linking university and territory”, by Florence Belaën 

From the University of Granada and MediaLab UGR, in partnership with the Erasmus Plus project Urban Imprint and the Citizen Science Programme Impronta Granada funded by FECYT, the conference “The Return of Science Shop: a way of linking university and territory” was held by Florence Belaën. This relevant event took place last Thursday, April 25th from 9.30 AM to 11.30 AM and it was followed online and in-person.

The conference was held by Florence Belaën from the Université Lumière Lyon 2. She is a distinguished professional in the field of science, culture and society. This event focused on the function and the advantages of Science Shops as facilitators of the dialogue between civil society organisations and the research community in response to emerging social and environmental challenges.

What is a Science Shop? Since their foundation in 2013, the Boutique des sciences de Lyon has been a model for the creation of a dialogue between civil society and the research community. From this perspective, citizens working in associations and unions can obtain the necessary experience and knowledge to consolidate their actions, assess their impact and experiment with innovative approaches.

The seminar was also an opportunity to highlight how, depending on the problems presented, citizens are accompanied by researchers in various formats, such as internships, challenges or projects in teams with students, sociologists, engineers, and so on. The Science Shop allows for these meetings and at the same time it promotes a relevant participatory research and the joint construction of new knowledge which offers concrete solutions to general interest questions.

In addition, the event will deal with projects such as the Public Factory and the Hackathon, which exemplify the practical implementation of community co-creation in the community.

Profile of Florence Belaën

After studying theoretical physics, Florence Belaën was awarded a PhD in Information and Communication Sciences in 2002, focusing on science museums and immersive exhibitions. She worked for ten years at the large Parisian museum, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, as a mediation technical staff and later as a programming technical staff. From 2008 to 2013, she led the National Observatory of Scientific and Technical Heritage and Culture at the request of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France. Between 2014 and 2021, she held the position of Head of Culture, Science, and Society at the University of Lyon, and implemented a dissemination policy of territorialized scientific culture through the Pop’sciences portal, a «science shop» that experiments with participatory research and maintains a platform on research ethics, scientific integrity, and social responsibility. Since 2021, as Head of Science and Society at the University Lumière Lyon 2, specialised in Human and Social Sciences, she oversees the Lyon Science Boutique, the institution’s scientific mediation policy, the University for All Ages, the Mold Museum, the Incubator, and the department of continuing and alternative training. Throughout her training and professional career, Florence has always reconciled expertise, research, and programming with major projects on the topics of knowledge dissemination, the relationship between science and society, cultural mediation, and museographic evolution.

This seminar was an exceptional opportunity for academics, students, and professionals interested in the social impact of science and technology.

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