“Culture… what makes humans more than an accident of the universe” - André Malraux
An understanding of world around us is important as it contributes to the self and the way we perceive the world. However, scientific knowledge is often missing even though it should be a crucial part of the general knowledge of everyone. While nowadays science is everywhere in our societies, from information technology to biotechnology or medicine, basic elements of scientific knowledge are not integrated in the minds of all… And that’s only in Europe.
What about Africa? And more specifically West Africa? It so happens that often, The Sciences are met, and sometimes clash, with traditions and superstitions. The Sciences in Africa often causes social division. They are considered remote in comparison to the urgencies and realities that the populations are facing. Whereas a good scientific knowledge could be a weapon of choice to fight the different challenges that these populations face on a daily basis.
For instance accessing drinkable water by filtering it could be a solution to help reduce the child mortality rate; solar energy could be an answer to lighting issues and a good alternative to charcoal cooking. There is scientific knowledge within these populations, but here again it is often mixed with popular beliefs, myths and culture that is perceive very differently from science. Our objective is to bridge the gap between those two worlds, to complete the knowledge, demystify sciences and show their importance in everyday life for people of all ages.
We offer to “cultivate scientific understanding” in rural environment. We will “sow” the seeds of scientific knowledge, to disseminate it in different regions and countries by acting on two levels:
Share the knowledge and the scientific processes through demonstrations: tutorial session, creation/writing of tales Cultivate scientific and technical culture to serve economical and social development by facilitating the access to technical goods and medical information.
This approach, and particularly the restitution by the tale (in partnership with association des conteurs et artistes de la parole du Sénégal), will allow the anchoring of sciences and technics in the everyday life of the populations. Our action is not intended for one time only: it should be durable, it should grow and evolve to be spread and duplicated in other countries. That is why we wish to launch a prototype of a mission in a country that we know well and in which we can communicate with ease. We are choosing Senegal and more precisely Carabane Island..
L'île de Carabane
Senegal is a country of West Africa with 14 million inhabitants of which half are under 18. Carbane Island is located in the south of Senegal, in the estuary of the Casamance river, 60km from Ziguinchor, the regional capital. It’s an island which after a shipwreck in 2002, was economically isolated for ten years and lost its young population which left for more welcoming neighbouring cities and regions. In April 2014, the creation of the new ferry pontoon seems to have put back Carabane on the economical map of the country, but there is still a lot to be done.
Photo par Agnès Moragues
We think that this will be a good starting point for the ideas and scientific and technical knowledge that we want to share. The first prototype will have tutorial session focusing around the sun. Its movement will be studied, the solar eclipse as well as its thermal influence. Participants to the tutorial will be able to create solar dial, create scientific tales and create solar oven to gain and share their experiences.
Who are we ?
The association was created by three young guys from Val d’Oise (95, France) with a common vision that led them to social entrepreneurship.
Sérigne-Dan Fall, graduate from a MSc in Quantum Physics and Political Sciences. He will be doing the first mission: Wonders of the Sun.
“From a young age I have a particular relation with culture. Almost sickening, with an extreme curiosity, I devour everything. I like sharing books, songs, films… An understanding of the world around us could be deemed as useless, but it made me, like many others, and allowed me to understand the world I live in. We often forget that sciences are not absolute truths, sharing scientific culture is above all share process, reasoning, and critical thinking about the world we live in”.
Antoine Kougblenou, graduated from a MSc in IT. He will be in charge of the follow-up of the mission as well as evaluating it.
“For me, the sciences have always been part of my life. But there has been some times where it proved difficult, they were either too unclear or remote from me and my everyday life. By missing the underlying concepts and use of some scientific concepts in the real world made them hard to assimilate. However, exchanging with friends about these topics and more globally with different people around me on those same concepts, through examples and real life application made them easier to assimilate.
However through conversations regarding these topics with different people around me I came to understand these concepts. The reason for that was their explanation through simple, real-life application examples.
I naturally thought that it was important to do a similar project in West Africa to show the local population the treasures hidden in the sciences, so that they can in turn brighten their everyday lives and find the interest and importance of schooling children and sharing scientific knowledge.”
Babacar Fall, student in Physics. He will evaluate the mission.
“Often I find myself at a loss in the face of the complexity of the concepts of science. It took me time to deconstruct them in order to assimilate them. Understanding the sciences is not always an easy task. Leurre et Lueurs des Sciences is based on sharing, by immersion, scientific culture within the local culture and conducting scientific animations around the exchange of perceptions and experiences.
Leurre et Lueurs des Sciences is based on sharing. By immersing the scientific knowledge within the local culture and conducting scientific demonstrations, we believe that an evolution of the perceptions can be achieved.
It is a mutual enriching process that will allow populations to improve their everyday lives.”