Members of the Cafe Scientifique network already organise regular evening meetings for the discussion of science in café-bars throughout the UK (see www.cafescientifique.org for further details). A speaker, often a scientist, talks for about 20 minutes, followed by a short break and then questions and discussion among the audience. The object is to promote informal debate on science and its wider social context and ethical implications. The primary audience for these existing events are adults. The cafe scientifique model has been widely adopted since we pioneered it in UK five years ago, and there are now more than 30 cafes meeting in cities and towns across Britain, as well as many others overseas.
Following the success of colleagues in France, and our own pilot cafes in schools, we now want to spread the cafe scientifique model to students in secondary schools. A similar format will be used, with a shorter talk, usually 10 minutes, and a shorter discussion, around 20 minutes. The speaker will often come from a local university, but the topics will be chosen by the pupils, who will organise, advertise and chair the meeting, which will not be held in a classroom. The aim is to encourage an informed debate around the issues in science which are changing our lives.
We now need to recruit an organiser and assistant for this project, to build up a network of participating schools and develop the model. Both posts will be supervised by Duncan Dallas and Tom Shakespeare, the directors of Cafe Scientifique Ltd, who hold the grant from the Wellcome Trust. The wider network of UK cafe scientifiques will be available to offer support and contacts as necessary.
Job Description - To engage with universities, teachers and pupils in order to develop and spread the Junior Cafe model. This is an outreach position which will involve considerable travel around the North of England, and much face-to-face contact.
In universities the object is to recruit and train speakers and liaise with Widening Participation Officers to target schools. Teacher Training colleges and specialist Science Learning Centres will also have to be contacted, in order to advise teachers how to run Junior Cafes.
In schools the task will be to enthuse teachers by showing that the Junior Cafes would promote citizenship, responsibility and a new interest in science within the school. The point of contact could be science teachers, or those involved in citizenship, media studies, sociology or philosophy.
The responsibility with pupils will be to find the topics they would really like to discuss, and encourage them to realise that science is not a separate body of knowledge but something that will intimately affect their lives. At the same time to promote self-confidence, independence of thinking and the ability to argue constructively within the context of the Junior Cafes.
In addition the organiser will have to produce promotional material and instruction aides for speakers, teachers and pupils and establish a blueprint for future schools who wish to set up Junior Cafes, in association with the assistant organiser.
We are looking someone with the energy, empathy and enthusiasm to try out a new idea in education. Teaching experience or youth work is essential as is some understanding of current developments in education, in order to link in with others who are working on initiatives relating to science in its wider context.
Formal science qualifications are not required, but the individual will need to be well informed and excited about contemporary issues in science and ethics. The individual will need to be imaginative and self-directed, and capable of relating both to young people, and to teaching professionals.
The organiser will be self-employed and working from home. The contract will cover a four day week, and will be paid at the rate of £25k p.a. plus usual expenses for travel etc. The contract will be for 18 months initially, the first six months to be on a probationary basis. We anticipate extending the contract for a further 18 months, subject to satisfactory progress. The contract will commence in July or August 2005.
Please send a c.v., the names of two referees, and a covering letter explaining your interest in this position to: firstname.lastname@example.org (n.b. not café-sci).
Closing date is March 31st.
This is largely a home/office based position, primarily concerned with administration and the production of promotional and instructional material. Duties will include supporting the organiser in liaising with educational establishments, organising the half day training sessions, and the final conference.
In addition a website will have to be developed and maintained - one which is useful for pupils and teachers, and will also provide a blueprint for advice on how to start a Junior Café.
We are looking for someone who is efficient, reliable and persuasive, with an interest in science and/or education. Good writing and editorial skills are essential. Knowledge of basic HTML would be an advantage. There will also be plenty of opportunity for initiative.
The assistant organiser will be self-employed and working from home. The contract will cover a 2.5 day week, and will be paid at the rate of £12.5K p.a. plus usual expenses.The contract will be for 18 months initially, the first six months to be on a probationary basis. We anticipate extending the contract for a further 18 months, subject to satisfactory progress. The contract will commence in July or August 2005.
Applications - as for organiser.
Closing Date March 31st
Queries about either post can be directed to:
Duncan Dallas email@example.com
or Tom Shakespeare firstname.lastname@example.org
published on: 4th March 2005