Festival Science et Cité 07/08 - Climate and Environmental changes

As part of the International Polar Year 2007-2008, the foundation "Science et Cité", together with the International Polar Foundation and the University of Geneva, will hold a festival dealing with climate and environmental changes.

The idea is for the festival to be conducted as a kind of mountaineering "base camp" which will move around Switzerland, including in Geneva, over a two year schedule. The base camp will be a public meeting point, a place for scientific exchange as well as for entertainment. It will provide debate, discovery and relaxation areas. Showrooms, shows, movies, concerts and lunches: the base camp will be the heart of the festival. It will enable informal discussion between the public and the science community.

The base camp will also be the starting point for expeditions and outdoor hikes geared towards the general public. To be covered by media, these excursions will provide the opportunity for anyone to take part in a novel excursion: understanding climate and environmental changes by experiencing first-hand such a scientific and human endeavour.

Five sites have been chosen by a pilot group to exemplify five themes related to climate and environmental changes:

  • Bernese Oberland to demonstrate the alpine glacier theme;
  • Swiss National Park, forest and soil (mountain ecosystems);
  • Geneva region around Lac Leman, lakes and rivers;
  • The three lakes region (Neuchâtel-Morat-Bienne), atmosphere and climate;
  • The Zürich area, cities and countryside.

Each base camp will be partnered with another Swiss site as well as an international site (a research centre, a scientific base or a media event). Information and communication technology will enable the different sites to remain in close contact.

The pilot group is currently working on producing the festival's initial outline (for publication in April 2006).