Forum Democrit (FD) is a non-governmental organisation aiming to enhance the public understanding of science, to improve the image of Bulgarian scientists and to promote interest in science among young people. The creative hub of Forum Democrit is its interdisciplinary workgroup (SciComms Group) particularly focused on improving science and society dialogue and on re-converging science and culture through all relevant means of science communication practices.
The Group includes researchers from universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, journalists, artists, and experts from science related SMEs who believe that bridging the gap between their professional fields will alter the questionable image of scientists and will challenge the public preconceptions about the scientific progress, products and career. Relevant to the tasks of the proposal is FD’s experience in organising science communication events. Since 2005 the SciComms Group actively assists British Council – Bulgaria in running Café Scientifique events, National FameLab yearly competition for young science communicators, and the Sofia Science Festival.
As а member of EUSEA, Forum Democrit was involved in the implementation of three FP6 and FP7 projects (WONDERS 2007, 2WAYS, and PLACES). In 2009 FD coordinated one-year national project (Science Workshop) for scientific career promotion in Bulgarian secondary schools. Two local European Student Parliaments (EUSP) were organised by FD in 2010 (as part of the EUSEA’s 2WAYS project) and in 2014 (Debate Science! European Student Parliaments project).
Currently FD is organising the second edition of Sofia’s student parliament as part of EUSP 2016 project the final event of which will take place in Manchester during the ESOF 2016. Directly relevant to the proposal is FD’s experience as a main partner in the FP7-SiS project YOSCIWEB (2008 – 2010) aimed at analysing how scicomm websites build and renew young people’s image of science and scientists. FD has also conducted an empirical study in 2014 as part of the ongoing LLP-COMENIUS project MARCH that aims to share innovative content and best practices in science education for secondary schools. The scoping analysis was based on both qualitative and quantitative research, including desk research on existing STEM policies, practices and methodologies, in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders, and online surveys among teachers and students from the seven partner countries.
Download a multimedia presentation of Forum Democrit (NGO) here.