The FORCCAST project (FORmation par la Cartographie des Controverses à l’Analyse des Sciences et Techniques) is an educational project led by Sciences Po and gathering 14 partners including 4 international universities and 3 high schools. It was selected by the international jury of the call for projects “Initiatives d’excellence en formations innovantes (IDEFI). This call for projects will provide support during 8 years for 37 education projects.

For Bruno Latour, leader of the project : “ It is a major step for an educational innovation launched at the Ecole des mines et developed at Sciences Po as part of the double degree between Paris VI and Sciences Po as well as the master’s degree in communication. It allows students to follow scientific and technical controversies that they have to map using leading edge digital tools”. Two of the educational goals consist in making hard sciences as well as social and human sciences students understand how scientific knowledge is constructed and in training them to digital methods of exploration.

The partners of the FORCCAST project are: Sciences Po, Université Paris Diderot, Mines ParisTech, Telecom Paris Tech, IBM France, MicroLycée-93, the Internat d’excellence de Sourdun and Jacques Brel high school. It brings together four international universities (University of Manchester, MIT, Université de Lausanne and Université de Liège) and two scientific interest groups (the Paris Ile-de-France and the Rhône Alpes Complex Systems Institutes).

FORCCAST is built around three modules proposed at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. These three modules will be immediately and tentatively adapted at the high school level, as well as in university-preparatory school and in continuing education.

Exploring controversies using digital methods. Students learn how to explore and find their way around the complexity of media and scientific discourses using exploration and representation tools. The preferred objects of study concern important controversies dealing with scientific, technological, digital and environmental issues.
Contributing to the enrichment and the diffusion of knowledge through the publication of scientifically certified online videos and web sites.
Debating through simulations of international collective negotiations, using “controversial” knowledge elaborated during the first two phases and enriched by personalized public speech training.

FORCCAST represents a major change in educational methods since teachers can no more merely pass on validated knowledge to students to listen to, write and memorize. For the three modules, the educational approach plans an alternation of face-to-face education and online interactive education via digital platforms. To achieve this, FORCCAST aims, in a four years plan, to create and develop several digital tools and contents which partners will pool and replicate for reuse in various environments.