The three-day session of this year’s Greek Student Parliament on Science, convened on March 21-23, contributed to inspiring future scientists, politicians and active citizens among 500 high school students from across Greece who participated. Of these, 270 students were present at the “Demokritos” National Center for Scientific Research, while a group of 30 students from Northern Greece participated for the first time through an online platform at the Noesis – Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum, along with 20 student groups at different locations throughout Greece. During the parliamentary proceedings, the students had the opportunity to discuss, present arguments and make proposals on the Future of the Human Being.
The event was organized for the second time in Greece by Science View in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens under the auspice of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.
Focus on Health
The main topic of this year’s Student Parliament on Science was ‘The Future of the Human Being’, with particular emphasis on health issues.
During the three-day event, the students participated in actual parliamentary proceedings and with the help and support of experts and scholars took on the role of science researchers working on five thematic units. On the first day, the school groups divided into committees, depending on their chosen topic, and with the help of their professors and the attending experts made presentations of the work they had completed during the school year and the conclusions they had reached based on their research. On the second day, the student members of each committee had an opportunity to converse with the attending scientists, exchange views and juxtapose their arguments before reaching and drafting their committee’s final resolution. On the third day, during the plenary session of the Student Parliament on Science, the participating students elected the five members who will represent Greece at the European Student Parliament on Science, which will convene as part of the EuroScience Open Forum 2016 (ESOF) in Manchester, UK, on July 22-27 2016. ESOF is a major, pan-European, general science conference dedicated to scientific research and innovation. There, the representatives of the Student Parliaments in every participating country will come together to debate the resolutions adopted at the national level supported by internationally renowned scientists.
The elected student representatives and the topics in which they distinguished themselves are as follows:
This year an additional student will have the opportunity to travel to Manchester and attend the European Student Parliament on Science. Based on the votes cast by all participating students this will be Maria Tsakona from the Panos High-school.
The Greek Student Parliament on Science, supported this year by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, is part of the European Student Parliament on Science, which aims to strengthen dialogue and the exchange of ideas and knowledge between high school students and scientists, involving young people in parliamentary procedures covering various fields of science and research. The funding provided by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supplements the European funding provided by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Bayer Science & Education Foundation.
This year’s event was also supported by Ellinogermaniki Agogi, which provided technical support to the Student Parliament and supplied the online platform that connected all the regional groups with the sessions in Athens. The “Demokritos” National Center for Scientific Research in Athens and the Noesis - Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum provided the facilities where the Student Parliament convened, while the EFZIN team from the innovative Harokopio University program supported the event with expert scientists assisting the students who focused on the ‘Living and eating healthy - But how?’ topic.
The event was also supported by the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas and the European projects ‘Inspiring Science Education’ and ‘Creations’.
The event in brief
The “European Student Parliaments on Science”, first launched in 2013-2014, is organized by Wissenschaft im Dialog. Every two years the non-profit organization calls upon institutions in all European countries to convene national Student Parliaments on Science. A main scientific subject is selected for each European Student Parliament on Science, and the topics on which the students will work supported by their professors, as well as experts and researchers, are specified. The national Student Parliaments on Science elect representatives who participate in the European Student Parliament on Science and make presentations of the conclusions reached by their national Parliament on each topic. The project’s target group is young people 15 to 18 years old who are interested in science and research, wish to meet prominent scientists and want to get involved with current scientific issues. Project objectives include familiarizing students with parliamentary decision-making procedures and debating techniques, strengthening dialogue and the exchange of ideas, fostering team-work and collaboration, developing a critical and analytical mind and expressing their thoughts on key issues that concern the societies in which they live.
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About Science View
Science View, the Hellenic Association of Science Journalists, Communicators and Writers, is a non-profit organization that promotes scientific intercourse and communication, as well as closer ties between the scientific community and society at large, and is an active member of EUSJA (European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations).