Popularization of science through direct contact with public
For the period 2003-2006 CENTRA can account for more than one hundred talks in schools, universities and public libraries. Contact us for more information or if you wish us to go to your school or institution. We devote a special attention to the Astronomy Summer Program-Ciência Viva. Using the Celestron telescope at the Military geographic Institute, Lisbon, some of our members organize observational sessions for students. Above you can see Myriam Rodrigues in one of these sessions. Myriam is now a PhD student at the Observatoire Paris-Meudon.
Public lectures have been included in the programs of International Conferences and Schools such as, for instance, the 20th European Cosmic Ray Symposium (Lisbon 2006), the IST Summer School in Astrophysics and Gravitation (2002-2008) and the International Workshops “New Worlds in Astroparticle Physics” (Astroparticle WS). The Summer School in Astrophysics and Gravitation is organized by CENTRA every 2 years and is opened to the participation of high-school finalists and teachers.
We are also responsible for the creation and operation of the DEMO-Laboratory for Physics Demonstrations in IST. Simple but impressive experiments are now used in Lectures. DEMO has also become an attraction when scholars visit the IST and constitutes a serious infrastructure for the training of school teachers.
Popularization of science through media and publications
Dias de Deus, CENTRA's president, has written a number of books on the history/philosophy of science were published by CENTRA's PI J. The most recent are “Da crítica da Ciência à Negação da Ciência” (2003) and J. Dias de Deus with T. Peña, “Einstein...Albert Einstein” (2005). Several of our members maintain collaborations with journals such as the Gazeta de Física, Episteme and the Gulbenkian Foundation publications.
CENTRA is frequently asked to comment scientific news in radio, TV or newspapers and our press releases are well accepted. We are also collaborating in the creation of “Riddles of Science”, 1-minute films presenting science in a popular way.
Support and organization of educational programs at national and international levels.
J. Dias de Deus was also responsible for the national program Science Technology and Society for adult education at the secondary level, “Referencial de Competências-Chave, Ensino Secundário, Área Sociedade, Tecnologia e Ciência”, Ministry of Education (2006). Another CENTRA member was recently invited by the Portuguese Astronomical Society to comment on the high school programs in Physics, 8-12 classes.
Members of CENTRA will participate on a mission to Timor-Lorosae to lecture on Science and Mathematics to school teachers.