Encouraging knowledge sharing


In 2017, the SDGs were the priority for knowledge-spreading actions, with exhibitions, flagship events (Festival of Science, Festival of the Ocean), conferences and debates, workshops, film screenings and innovative educational initiatives targeting young people, in France, in the overseas collectivities and regions and in our partner countries in the Global South.

Key figures

Two projects invited young people to participate in projects aiming to support informed, active and engaged citizenship in the fight against climate change. In total, over 500 secondary or high school pupils and students and around 30 teaching staff benefited from the ePOP and Climate under surveillance projects. The ePOP project, the first citizen network for observation, information and exchange on climate and environmental change in island territories was developed in the Pacific, in partnership between IRD and RFI Planète Radio.

For COP23, young Oceanians gave accounts of impact of climate change on island populations of the Pacific to political bodies and representatives of International scientific or economic institutions, at four side-events. These actions benefited from excellent media coverage in France and internationally.

From the conferences and debates organised to participation in various events (festivals, science fairs, environment days and so on), IRD researchers were involved in a total of 295 events in France (29%) and the overseas collectivities and regions (17%), and in our partner countries in Africa (46%), Latin America (5%) and Asia (2%). Most of these actions concerned environmental issues (biodiversity, resources and food security) in the Global South.

These events also provided the opportunity to present three new exhibitions by IRD, particularly on desertification, which opened on the occasion of COP13 on the fight against desertification in China. In all, IRD’s exhibitions, of which there are around thirty in the catalogue, have been presented on 84 occasions in France, the overseas collectivities and regions, and more than twenty other countries.

In the domain of the scientific image and its promotion to a large audience, 2017 saw intense activity with around thirty short and feature films broadcast on television channels (Arte, Ushuaïa TV, Science et Vie TV, NHK Japon, etc.) or online.

IRD’s films have also been screened at around 60 national and international festivals. Five films produced or co-produced by IRD have received six awards.

IRD’s audiovisual database has gained around 100 new digitised films and its collection of “oral tradition” vinyl records has been reproduced in the form of 15 audio CDs and digital files.

Indigo, IRD’s still image bank, has been expanded to include 2000 new documents and now boasts over 64,000 photos, all captioned by researchers, making it one of the richest scientific photo libraries in France. This unique source of photographs is shared widely with more than 100,000 consultations for the Indigo image bank, presentations in several exhibitions and publication in the press and other works. In particular a photo report on research by IRD and its partners in Tunisia was broadcast on the occasion of COP13 in China, and widely promoted.

Editorial production has also emphasised the major stakes of research for sustainable development, with the co-publishing or republishing of around fifteen publications. These include a work on the SDGs co-published with Quae and offering a critical look at the 2030 Agenda, a reference work on medical and veterinary entomology, and a work on the political economy of Madagascar, which has received much media attention. Another work well-received by the press was Des mondes oubliés. Carnets d’Afrique which won two awards.

The new Editions IRD online bookstore, opened in late 2014 and now offers a number of new titles. There are more than 300 publications on sale in all, a third of which are available in digital format. The number of IRD books sold through this channel has seen a 40% annual increase. Moreover, over 100 human sciences publications (a third of the catalogue) are now freely accessible (HTML format) on the Open Editions Books platform.

Enabling free access to scientific information

In 2017, the IRD information holdings obtained the Collex label, recognising excellence in collections for research.

The Horizon bibliographical database, France’s oldest scientific institutional archive according to a national survey, has gained over 3000 new works, proposing 65,000 freely accessible documents. Its levels of consultation are still very high (7000 to 10,000 files downloaded per day). Thus, IRD is responding very actively to the French and European Union “open science” policy.

Focus was also put on capacity-building with partners from the South with regard to scientific and technical information. Once again this year, training activities for digitisation, research and information management have therefore been numerous and diverse, both in terms of the audience concerned and of the intervention contexts (sessions for partners abroad in Chad, Algeria and Laos, presentations within joint research units, individual workshops, contributions to the H2020 seminars by the Institute’s European affairs service, etc.).