„Base decision on facts, not on beliefs” – Kick-off Meeting of MULTIPLIERS project
by Gesche Schifferdecker and Rosa Castañeda
In school, science is often presented in an abstract way and without a context – but if we want to get young people interested, topics need to be relevant to their everyday life. This is the idea behind the H2020 project MULTIPLIERS – short for MULTIplayers Partnerships to ensure meaningful engagement wIth ScieEnce and ReSearch. In this project, scientists will bring real-life cases to students (from elementary school to secondary school), to look at specific “dilemma situations” from various perspectives.
These dilemma situations are explored in six different themes. The German theme is very up to date – it will explore the topic of “Pro–Con Vaccination” and is managed by MULTIPLIERS project coordinator University of Bonn. The University of Cyprus will focus on “Anti-microbial Resistance”, while Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona is investigating the theme “Air Pollution”. IREN SpA, an Italian company providing public services like energy, water, and heating, will handle the topic of Energy Efficiency.
You might be curious why European Forest Institute (EFI) is involved in this project? Well, of course MULTIPLIERS also tackles forest-related topics. In close collaboration with EFI colleagues, Umeå University is going to explore the dilemma of “Forest Use versus Forest Protection”. This topic is quite controversially discussed in Sweden – and not only there as we know. The debate is – like the debate around vaccination or air pollution – more emotional than based on evidence and thorough analysis.