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Inria at the EuroScience Open Forum 2018

After Stockholm, Munich, Barcelona, Torino, Dublin, Copenhagen and Manchester, Toulouse will host ESOF for its 8th edition under the motto “Sharing Science: towards new horizons” and will become the “European City of Science 2018”. Inria will present its research and scientific mediation work throughout the week.

Created in 2004 by EuroScience, ESOF (EuroScience Open Forum) is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe and is a unique place to debate on science and innovation and their relations with society. ESOF includes a professional international forum gathering more than 4000 participants, researchers, students, business actors, social actors, policy makers, science writers and journalists from all over the world, but also a festival “Science in the city” dedicated to the public at large. Hosting this international biennial event gives to the city the title of “European City of the Year”.

Supported by the European Commission and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the ESOF 2018 forum will be held in Toulouse from July 9th to 14th under the banner Sharing Science: Towards New Horizons , which highlights the multidisciplinary dimension of this event dedicated to science and innovation. Its objective is to promote a more open science to respond to major contemporary challenges such as medical needs or environmental issues. The debates will focus on several themes as essential as artificial intelligence and big data, climate change, health and ageing, work and corporate social responsibility .

Inria at ESOF : from science to digital culture

While an Inria stand will allow participants to discover the Institute's research fields and international influence, four Inria researchers will also present their work this year at the EuroScience Open Forum:

  • Aurélien Appriou, researcher  in the Inria team project Potioc, seeks to study mental states related to learning, such as cognitive workload, curiosity or frustration, via electroencephalographic signals.
  • Anke Brock,  collaborator of the Inria team project Potioc, works in the area of Human-Computer Interaction. Her research currently focuses on two axis : making geographic information interactive using advanced interaction techniques, and making geographic information accessible for visually impaired people.
  • Lauren Thevin , postdoctorate researcher in the Inria team project Potioc, wants to make technology, including virtual reality and augmented reality, available to help people with visual impairment.
  • Cécile Mazon , PhD student in the Inria team project Phoenix, works on the creation of digital tools to help students with autism spectrum disorders to attend regular school.

The Science in the City Festival  is an important feature of every ESOF edition and is for people of all ages who are curious about science. Thanks to interactive shows, the Festival is also a great way for delegates to experience how science engages, interacts, and builds bridges between researchers, delegates and the public. Thanks to its mediation team, Inria will present two exhibitions:

  • Maison de l'Occitanie, from July 9th to September 8th : Computer science from A to Z exhibition  provides an overview of computer science research. For each letter, Inria researchers have chosen a word that sheds light on their fields of research. A short text explains the research subject, the issues involved and its applications.
  • Médiathèque José Cabanis, from June 13rd to September 2nd : From Homo Numericus to digital citizens exhibition , co-produced by Inria Nancy Grand - Est centre and MJC Nomade, will help the public to master the digital so as not to undergo it. Through fun activities (dancing with the Poppy robot, logic games, interactive screen, collaborative application, virtual tour with immersive helmet, etc.), visitors will become familiar with computer concepts and will be made aware of the challenges of digital in a quest for enlightened citizenship.

Marie-Hélène Pautrat, Inria's European Partnership Department

"ESOF is Europe's largest interdisciplinary meeting dedicated to science and innovation in society. This is the first French edition, in Toulouse, and it is an opportunity for Inria to take an active part. Surprisingly, ESOF is not well known in France, although it enjoys a very good   reputation in Europe and is generally considered an excellent opportunity for openness, especially for young scientists. By also fully integrating research and innovation into society, ESOF responds to the recurrent criticism that citizens are excluded from major conferences. This  is particularly the case with this 2018 edition, whose slogan is "Sharing Science: towards new horizons": an approach which fits perfectly with Inria's principles.

 This year, the scientific programme proposes sessions on major priorities such as digital technology, health and climate change issues, but also invites transversal questions on the evolution of research practices, knowledge sharing and scientific policies. For Inria, the participation in ESOF is of course an excellent opportunity of visibility to the young Europeans who will be present, to attract the best talents, but also to participate in a European reflection on the stakes of  scientific research in the contemporary world. "

Keywords: Digital Accessibility Potioc ESOF Digital culture Artificial intelligence AI Virtual reality