Science, technology and their applications are at the heart of the transformations of our society and are definitely linked to political decisions. These developments give rise to doubts and questions, which are perfectly justifiable, about the choices made.

The originality of the CitizenCampus course lies in the fact that students, as soon as they enrol in university, are given the freedom to experiment with the process of questioning and debating social issues and concrete scientific challenges.

The goal of this programme is not to make students become experts in one field; it is more about providing them with tools to grasp complex scientific and society issues through questioning.

CitizenCampus: Integrating an Environment

The Grenoble-Alpes region is characterised by a strong spirit of innovation and close relationships between industry, research, universities and local authorities. CitizenCampus relies on this rich ecosystem with a great concentration of talent.

The programme perfectly fits the region, where the IDEX interdisciplinary projects “Université Grenoble Alpes: University of Innovation” already foreshadow the campus’s new scientific challenges.

The advantages of the CitizenCampus project

CitizenCampus is an exceptional course, experimental and first of its kind, unique in France.

For students, it is a unique opportunity to experience an innovative pedagogy through practice in a really different environment, far from traditional classrooms and lectures. Through real-life conditions and in a short time, they will acquire the knowledge to understand and make informed decisions on complex scientific issues.

They will learn to draw on collective intelligence by working in groups in a class of 40 students of all levels and from all fields of study. Meeting with many players from the socio-economic and scientific world and exploring many sites on campus will allow them to expand their network.

For the university community, this course offers the rare opportunity, with a pool of students trained in public debate, to bring out unique questions as well as important points regarding current scientific challenges. This allows researchers to identify science and society-related issues that could be useful for their future works, while involving citizens more closely in their research.

CitizenCampus and its ambitions

Thanks to this course, the Université Grenoble Alpes aims to make the University’s values and missions more concrete within its area of influence and beyond. The campus is not just a place where researchers conduct their work while students attend classes given by teachers. It is a place where everybody can share knowledge and discuss research issues. CitizenCampus expresses a desire to materialise this relationship between Science and Society.

With its first graduates, the programme is building up what could become a pool of students able to revisit these questions at a later stage, with the necessary knowledge and skills. As bearers of the memory of this experience, they will use these skills throughout their lives as citizens, leaders, managers and/or elected officials.

Thanks to CitizenCampus, the University is deeply rooted in its time and environment.