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Debate Science! European Student Parliaments

Students debate the future of mobility

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Project Board

Elena Lührs

Tel.: 030 2062295-65

elena.luehrs@w-i-d.de

Project Manager

Arwen Cross

Tel.: 030 2062295-34

arwen.cross@w-i-d.de

overview

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Young people debate topics at the interface between science and society

Students become parliamentarians and discover the links between science and politics through Wissenschaft im Dialog’s European Student Parliaments. In 2018 school students from across Europe debate the future of mobility in Toulouse.

Over three days they discuss issues for society and the scientific background to them. They discuss these with researchers from related subject areas and learn about political decision-making processes in a simulated parliament. In 2018 the theme of the student parliament is ‘The Future of Mobility’. In conjunction with the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Toulouse, around 70 students from 10 European countries exchange ideas with scientists.

Students from Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Serbia and Switzerland are involved in the event. 

Students from 11 cities are going to the European Student Paliarment
Students from 11 cities are going to the European Student Paliarment

Video – 2016 Student Parliament in Manchester


Photo gallery – European Student Parliaments 2014 and 2016

The final European Student Parliament in 2014 took place in Copenhagen in conjunction with the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). Image: Christof Rieken/Wissenschaft im Dialog.
The final European Student Parliament in 2014 took place in Copenhagen in conjunction with the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
The opening ceremony in the Frederiksberg City Hall in Copenhagen. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Die Eröffnungszeremonie im Rathaus von Frederiksberg.
The parliamentary debate in Manchester. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
School students debate the Future of the Human Being in Manchester. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Around 1,500 young people from 16 coutries took part in student parliaments in 2013/14 and again in 2015/16. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Rund 1.500 Jugendliche aus 16 Ländern nahmen an den diesjährigen Europäischen Schülerparlamenten teil. Quelle: Christof Rieken/WiD.
Professor Malene Freudendahl-Pedersen from the University of Roskilde discussing the future of mobility in the city with school students. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Professor Malene Freudendahl-Pedersen von der Universität Roskilde spricht mit den Schülern über die Mobilität der Zukunft. Quelle: Christof Rieken/WiD.
Professor Alan Penn from the Bartlett at the City University London discussing energy-efficient housing with school students. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Professor Alan Penn von der Bartlett-Fakultät der City University London arbeitet zusammen mit Schülern zum Thema Energiehäuser.
The debate in the Council Chamber of the Manchester Town Hall. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Voting at the European Student Parliament in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Abstimmung beim Europäischen Schülerparlament in Frederiksberg. Quelle: Christof Rieken/WiD.
Students present their ideas in a debate modelled on a general assembly. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Nach dem Vorbild der Generalversammlung präsentieren die Schüler in der Debatte ihre Ideen. Quelle: Christof Rieken/WiD.
School students debate issues at the interface between science and society. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD
Die Schüler beteiligen sich an der Debatte. Quelle: Christof Rieken/WiD.
Voting on the students' resolutions in Manchester. Image: Christof Rieken/WiD

Cooperation Partner

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 814759.

content

Experiencing democracy while debating science

‘Debate Science! European Student Parliaments’ aims to promote dialogue between young people and scientists. During a three-day event school students learn about parliamentary decision-making processes. 

Working in committees the students investigate various aspects of the theme and meet scientists with relevant expertise. They write resolutions which they debate on the third day of the event according to the structure of a classical parliamentary debate where positions are presented, attack and defence speeches are held, and an open debate is followed by voting on resolutions. 

Student parliaments

Wissenschaft im Dialog has run student parliaments in Germany since 2001. The student parliaments proved to be an excellent method for discussing scientific issues, so WiD expanded the project across Europe. In 2013 – 14 the first round of the European project was held in conjunction with the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) and was funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. In 2015 – 16 the project continued with funding from both the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Bayer Science and Education Foundation. The ESOF 2018 in Toulouse will also host to a European Student Parliament.

Most student parliaments are three-day events. Students are supported by moderators in all phases. On the first day, after the welcome and introduction to the topic, the students come together in committees and get to know each other through teambuilding activities. Then they start work on their subtopic. The second day begins with preparations for the expert hearings which follow directly afterwards. The scientists attending these sessions provide factual information and discuss the subtopic with the students. After the hearings the students evaluate and interpret the discussion, and develop their resolutions. These are gathered in a booklet which is provided to the students on the morning of the third day, so that they can prepare themselves to make attack speeches on the other topics. During the parliamentary debate, every topic is debated according to the classical parliamentary process: after a presentation of positions, attack and defence speeches are held, an open debate is held and finally votes are taken. After the final debate the young people hand over their resolutions to a politician or policy maker.

Goals

The European Student Parliaments aim to enhance dialogue and exchange between young people and scientists. Further goals are:

  • Through the simulated parliamentary process young people learn to develop a qualified opinion and assess complex topics. At the same time they learn about scientific themes and develop their interest in science and research.
  • The European Student Parliaments aim to bring young people into contact with scientists. The school students meet scientists, especially young scientists, which can provide them with perspectives for their career choices. Scientists learn about students’ ideas and concepts for the future.
  • Young people from different parts of Europe meet and work together, thinking on a European level. In the process they develop a European network. 

Implementation

Wissenschaft im Dialog works with European partner organisations who implement student parliaments on a local or national level. The partners select school students to attend the biannual European Student Parliament which WiD organises in conjunction with ESOF. 60 – 100 students from across Europe come together at this event to debate scientific topics from a European perspective. Their resolutions are handed over to European policy makers. 

 

Debate Science! – European Student Parliaments 2015–16

In 2015 – 16 Wissenschaft im Dialog partnered with 17 organisations in 13 countries to implement the project ‘Debate Science!  - European Student Parliaments’. Around 1,500 students and 100 scientists participated in student parliaments. 

The theme of the series of events was ‘The Future of the Human Being’ with the following subtopics:

  • The human brain
  • Living and eating healthy – but how?
  • The changing reproduction of mankind
  • Stem cells – the potential allrounders
  • Exploring the inside
  • Augmented human: optimising the human
  • Imitating nature

Student parliaments were held in Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

This round of student parliaments was funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Bayer Science and Education Foundation.

Debate Science! – European Student Parliaments 2013 – 14

In 2013 – 14 Wissenschaft im Dialog partnered with 18 organisations in 16 countries to implement the project ‘Debate Science!  - European Student Parliaments’. Around 1,500 students and 100 scientists participated in student parliaments. 

The theme of the series of events was ‘The Future of our City’ with the following subtopics:

  • Future mobility – new approaches in the city
  • Demography in the city
  • City. Climate. Change
  • Join in and be part – civil participation in the city
  • Resources in the city: sky farming and urban gardening
  • Energy efficient houses and flats

Smart city: life in an urban networkStudent parliaments were held in Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 

This round of student parliaments was funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung.