Promoting scientific literacy in the Nigerian society

The world continues to explore new ideas on increasing scientific literacy and bridging the gap between science and society. Café Scientifique Nigeria is a social development initiative organized by the Rouleaux Foundation (RC 98877), which is a private , scientific, not for profit organization registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria with the aim of promoting science for sustainable development in Africa by fostering a synergy between the academia, government, industry, media and public.
Café Scientifique is primarily a multidisciplinary Science-Technology- Society, STS initiative that promotes the public to explore and engage with experts on both old and new ideas in science and technology blended with the art and socio -cultural peculiarities vis-à-vis concerns of their society. The idea is simply to talk about science in a non-academic setting emphasizing engagements around behaviors, beliefs and way of thinking of a people impacting the extension the frontiers of development.
The initiative is modeled after the Café Philosophique started by Marc Sautet in France. The first Café Scientifique was in 1998 at Leeds, United Kingdom. The Cafés at Leeds later gradually spread to across the UK and the rest of the world. As of present, 2017, the Café Scientifique currently run in about 240 cities on the globe from the United Kingdom to Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa.
The first African Café Scientifique was launched in South Africa during the SASOL Scifest as Wozan Sikhulume (Come let’s talk about science). It has however found its way to Kenya in 2009. It is also in Uganda 2014, Burundi and Rwanda. It a fresh initiative in Nigeria which has been trademarked.
The inaugural event will hold in Lagos however the Café Scientifique Nigeria is scheduled to be piloted in Lagos, Ebonyi, Osun and Federal Capital Territory in its first season and to other parts of the country as much as capacity could take for expansion.

The Café Scientifique Nigeria is social development initiative is coordinated by the Rouleaux Foundation and is aimed at improving the scientific literacy of the Nigerian Society through public engagement with topics of relevance to Nigeria. 

It is meant to run in cities and towns across the countries. Each Café is made up of a 5-man team certified by the Rouleaux Foundation, media partners and sponsors.What is expected of the speaker is also spelt out in the Café Scientifique Nigeria’s Speakers Note.

PROBLEM STATEMENT/ JUSTIFICATION
The Nigerian society has experienced a lot of setbacks in terms of the integrative development of the science and technology sector which hinges on the very low threshold of scientific literacy amongst the populace. The public perceive socio-scientific issues as very alien concepts because of the wide gap in science communication in the country. The need for a project as this will perhaps be undermined should it not be noted that the economy of the country is translating from being oil-dependent to being diversified. The process of continuously organizing group engagements in science for effective public policy-making is justified and cannot be overemphasized.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  1. To improve public opinion and knowledge of fundamental concepts about science.
  2. To increase the awareness about the happenings in the academia in Nigeria to ordinary people on the streets.
  3. To strengthen scientific institutions by making their work
    accessible to the public.

OUTPUTS AND OUTCOMES

  1. To raise the consciousness of the public of about one million population by the end of the first season.
  2. Science culture must have been raise in Lagos Metropo
    lis by the end of the first season

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.What happens at Café Scientifique Nigeria?
Café Scientifique starts with a short talk from the speaker, who is usually a scientist or  science writer to introduce the topic.
2. What subject will be discussed?
The Rouleaux Foundation is saddled  with the responsibility  to assemble a pool of topics  that would be from different sources most especially the audience during monitoring and  evaluation sessions at events. The topics that  become the mode are given priority.

3. Who can join?
No scientific knowledge is assumed by the speaker, so anyone can participate. They  comprise members of the public who are interested in sciences but never have the opportunity to discuss their views with and ask questions of someone ‘in the know”

4. Where can it hold?
Café Scientifique are often held away from traditional academic/conference type of settings. Meetings are meant to take place at cafes, bars, restaurants and theatres among others
5. How much is participation and organization?
Audience are meant to pay a token and the finances are managed by the Rouleaux  Foundation.

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