Symposium / Seminar | Research

Seminar: “Strengthening the ties between universities and civil society: experiences, methods, questions”

On The November 15, 2018

The academic world has been engaging more and more with civil society in recent years. As part of their commitment to fostering dialog between universities and citizens, Sherbooke University and the Université de Lyon are holding a colloquium to explore relevant issues and exchange best practices.

A long-standing open question in the social sciences is the relationship between the producers of new knowledge, researchers, and the subjects of their research, citizens. These questions have contributed to expanding the scope of this research, and to researchers increasingly including civil society in their studies. Today, the knowledge gleaned from civil society (usage and experiential) helps to produce new academic knowledge.

These changes have led to renewed institutional interest in science shops. This is an area where academics study the questions posed by civil society, rather than the knowledge it can contribute.

Finally, in today's world, we are experiencing profound changes in our relationship to knowledge itself. These changes result from many different factors, but they all lead us to question what role the university should play and its importance in city life. In particular, renewed interest has been sparked in exploring the Université de Lyon’s third mission (in addition to education and research, it also offers a service to society).

These three factors all contribute to strengthening the relationship between universities and civil society. And this stronger relationship of course yields many questions, both in form and in content. Sherbrooke University and the Université de Lyon are active participants in strengthening this relationship, which is what led them to organize a seminar to discuss this topic. It aims to bring together a small group of people interested in thinking about these issues to share their experiences and questions. In particular, we will discuss the following issues (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • The Université de Lyon’s Science Shop: experiences, best practices;
  • The Clinic Model at Sherbrooke University: a textbook case of the relationship between a university and civil society.
► To register please contact Florence Belaën.