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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Communication About SocioScientific Issues (CASSIS)

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Communication About SocioScientific Issues (CASSIS) is a 4-year EU-funded project under the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme, which aims to improve communication about socioscientific issues (SSIs) between people with opposing views, to help them to develop collaborative reflections and to improve their reasoning when integrating wider perspectives. The partner institutions are the University of Southampton and the Institute of Education, London in the UK, the Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique in France and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

The specific objectives of this exchange programme are to:

  1. develop conceptual and theoretical underpinnings for a revamped and broadened view of socioscientific issues (SSIs);
  2. develop a common methodological framework to collect and analyse data from Europe and New Zealand that will provide an international data source for extensive analysis;
  3. inform the communication model with these data;
  4. develop pedagogical communicative strategies to support constructive communication about SSIs 

To date, we have organised four workshops, the first hosted at the Southampton Education School in January 2014 where issues focusing on the theoretical framework for analysing and communicating socio-scientific issues were discussed.

Research team during Toulouse Workshop, ENFA

The second workshop took place in July 2014 and was hosted  by Professors Laurence Simonneaux, Jean Simonneaux and their research team at the Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique, France. During this time each time presented their progress to date, we focused on developing further our theoretical framework including the exploration of ethical frameworks  and building cartographies for exploring controversial issues and finally, we learnt more about the issue of ‘wolves as pest animals’ in France.

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