For an open and shared science


In 2018, actions aimed at the general public primarily focused on achieving sustainable development goals with, in mainland and Overseas France and our partner Global South countries, exhibitions, flagship events (Festival of Science, Festival of the Ocean), conferences and debates, workshops, film screenings and actions specifically targeted at young people.

Two educational initiatives were implemented with a view to encouraging young people’s informed, active and engaged citizenship in the fight against climate and environmental change. In total, over 500 secondary school pupils and around thirty teachers benefited from the ePOP and Climate under surveillance project. The ePOP project, the first citizen network for observation, information and exchange on climate and environmental change in island territories, continued its roll-out in the Pacific, in partnership with RFI Planète Radio. A new network of clubs taking part in discussions on Sustainable Development Goals was also created.

IRD also attended numerous public meetings (festivals, science fairs, Environment Days, etc.): IRD researchers were involved in 322 events in mainland (33%) and Overseas France (19%), in our partner countries in Africa (28%), Latin America (7%) and Asia (13%). Two new exhibitions were presented: one dedicated to coral reefs, on the occasion of the International Year of the Reef, the other to biodiversity in the Andes. In total, IRD’s exhibitions, of which there are around thirty in the catalogue, were presented on one hundred occasions in mainland and overseas France and twenty other countries in 2018.

In the domain of scientific image and its promotion among a wide audience, 2018 was marked by intense activity, with the production or co-production of sixty short and feature films broadcast on television channels (Arte, Ushuaïa TV, France Télévision, etc.) or the social networks of ARTE, France O, Universcience TV, as well as the IRD’s youtube channel. The environment was at the heart of these quality films, notably with Papouasie, le dernier Eden (co-produced by IRD, Mona Lisa, Arte), shown on Arte and Ushuaïa TV, and A la recherche de la nouvelle mer des sargasses, broadcast on social networks and by France Ô. IRD’s films were also screened in many national or international festivals, with 9 produced or co-produced films receiving 12 awards. As a vehicle for disseminating IRD’s Images heritage, more than 2,000 documents were added to the Indigo photo library, which now features over 66,000 photos, all captioned by scientists, while the audiovisual database, with 100 new films and 200 audio documents, makes more than 600 audiovisual materials available to the public.

Twenty-odd new titles were published by IRD in 2018, essentially co-editions with publishing houses from France, Europe and our partner countries. These included three landmark publications on the environment: Serge Hamon’s book published with Quae publishers L’Odyssée des plantes sauvages et cultivées. Révolutions d’hier et défis de demain; the one by Pierre Quezel and Frédéric Médail on the biogeography of the Sahara, co-published with the Geneva Botanical Gardens and Conservatory, and Nouvelle-Calédonie, archipel de corail, written under the scientific supervision of Claude Payri and co-published with Solaris, on the occasion of the International Year of the Reef and the 10th anniversary of the placing of the New Caledonia lagoon on Unesco’s World Heritage List, a book which received an award from the Bordeaux Academy of Science and Literature. Also noteworthy is the book on the history of the Niakhar population observatory in Senegal, edited by Valérie Delaunay, Alice Desclaux and Cheikh Sokhna.

In terms of dissemination of scientific information, IRD made a resolute commitment to the national plan for open science launched by MESRI in the summer of 2018. IRD engaged in the first working sessions of the Open Science Committee (COSO) and secured the participation of several partners from Global South countries in this committee. In addition, with more than 7,500 pdf documents downloaded every day, IRD’s digital information holdings, Horizon Plein Textes, which features 66,000 open access publications, was widely disseminated across the world, particularly in Global South countries which account for nearly 70% of downloads. There were 2,917 new references in Horizon in 2018. Presented to the Ile-de-France region in February 2018, the NumeriSud document portal, developed in close connection with the Bondy digital campus, also provided Global South partners with an easier means of accessing scientific information: federated search in various document databases (Indigo, Horizon, Sphaera (Maps) and audiovisual databases), content and file sharing. Furthermore, the number of books published by IRD and freely accessible on the Open Éditions Books platform increased from approximately one hundred at the end of 2017 to more than 180 in 2018, with a selection of titles from the old holdings and foreign language publications.

In 2018, emphasis was also placed on building our partners’ capacity to access and share scientific information. As a result, nearly 250 training hours were dedicated to the search for and management of information, including several in Global South countries: Algeria, Bolivia, Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Madagascar, Chad.

And in the future?

IRD will consolidate its actions in favour of open science and knowledge sharing, notably via the extension of the ePOP project to the Indian Ocean and French-speaking African countries, and the organisation, in conjunction with the Cheikh Anta Diop University and Cirad, of a symposium on open science issues in the Global South.