Science and society
The Saclay Campus is not an island of researchers isolated from its environment. It seeks openness toward society, local residents, local governments, and businesses. These interactions will take place in diverse ways and involve a variety of actors (institutions, associations devoted to the subject):
- Events, especially those organised for the Science fair;
- Conferences open to the public, such as the "Cyclope" conferences. See the agenda section.
- Receive the public and scholars in the laboratories;
- And, of course, researchers have been contacted for innumerable events hosted throughout France.
Several associations are contributing to the expansion and diffusion of science on the Plateau.
Scientipôle Savoirs et Société is an alias initiated by the CAPS and supported by 14 institutions in the Paris-Saclay Campus area. It is a science centre without walls. Actions developed by the association are guided by the desire to make contact with citizens in an area centred around the Saclay Plateau and extending more broadly across the south of the Île-de-France, with tools (exhibits, conferences, meetings) designed to be mobile. The association is committed to creating a friendly, sharing, and conversational atmosphere for researchers and residents at its events.
The Artsciencefactory aims to encourage dialogue between artists, researchers, and citizens. It offers discovery and, in some cases, the ability to transform (remix) works and work born from research in the broader sense: Creative research in all artistic areas, learned research in all scientific fields, and research on better conditions for living together. The primary means of existence for the Artsciencefactory project are the website artsciencefactory.fr and the organisation of public events (festivals, colloquia, workshops, exhibits, conferences, etc.) on the Saclay Plateau, in Île-de-France, in partnership with local institutions. Its purpose is to create links with partners in France and in Europe. It is already closely affiliated with the work of the Centre André Malraux in Sarajevo. Developed by the Communauté d’agglomération du Plateau de Saclay (CAPS), Scientipôle Savoirs et Société, and the Centre André Malraux in Sarajevo (CAM), Artsciencefactory receives support from the Région Île-de-France and the Conseil général de l’Essonne.
Île de Science aims to bring together higher education, continuing education, research, and technological development so as to create a truly international cluster. It also aspires to participate in the social and cultural life in the geographic area of the Île de Science and to define and launch business hubs, incubators, and start-ups.; and to define and launch business hubs, incubators, and start-ups. It is a relay point for all information requests, requests for experts, requests for industry partnerships, and economic development related to technological innovation. Based on the principle of subsidiarity in relation to its members, the Île de Science's concrete actions only involve crosscutting issues. It is also focused on playing the role of "catalyst" for the genesis of new partnerships. Additionally, Île de Science is involved in technology transfer and business creation actions within its geographic area.
Banque des savoirs was created by the Conseil général de l'Essonne. It opened in 2004 and is a site for the popularisation of science and technology for the mass public. Its mission is to make knowledge accessible to all through support from well-known experts, to promote scientific research and careers, to promote scientific and technological cultural actions, and to promote debate on scientific and ethical questions. Researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and mediators are some of the thousands of people who produce and diffuse knowledge and understanding on a daily basis in Essonne.
Sciences Essonne is a network of scientific and technological leaders in the Île-de-France. Currently, it brings together more than thirty members, including research centres, cultural associations, theatre companies, artists, researchers, and citizens. The objective of Sciences Essonne is to share ideas, actions, and resources from each of its members to contribute to bringing science, technology, and society closer together. Its action is focused locally in Île-de-France. In particular, Sciences Essonne developed the concept of the "science roundabout," which brings together researchers, artists, mediators, and citizens in the living spaces of the Île-de-France: Stations, public squares, agoras, cultural centres, mediatheques, MJC, markets, etc. Highly involved with young generations, the members of Sciences Essonne also work in schools by request from teachers.