CISCI: Cinema and Science

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CISCI uses films and the Internet to raise the attractiveness of science among young people while dispelling widespread misconceptions that arise from pseudo-science.

CISCI (2005-2007) combines films and the internet to help to raise the attractiveness of science in schools, to counteract widespread misconceptions arising from pseudo-science and to raise pupils' awareness of gender-biased representations of science.

The project set up a database with clips and scenes from popular films with scientific theme and analysed their scientific content. The descriptions of the scenes explained the scientific concepts and ideas used in them and/or debunked their pseudo-scientific contents.

The analyses and descriptions of the scenes were provided in a Web-based databank available in seven European languages: English, German, Czech, Slovenian, Estonia, Latvian, Italian.

Specific objectives of CISCI were:

  • To raise the interest and attractiveness of science in the younger generation and encourage young people to study science and start a career in science
  • To take movies as a vehicle to present scientific concepts and scientific laws to pupils
  • To provide teaching staff with a broad range of support materials for their classes and allow teaching professionals to collaborate online and share experiences and discuss the CISCI film resources
  • To help pupils to learn to distinguish between pseudo-science presented in popular films and real-life scientific laws and ideas; to think critically about science information presented in popular films, and to help them find out where the borderline lies between verified and untested scientific assertions
  • To overcome gender-stereotyped representations of science and scientists and encourage girls to study science
  • To address public ethical and risk concerns related to science
  • To engage with science and technology-related industries and provide science careers advice to students


The online database is not available at the moment; contact the project coordinator for information on how to access it.

Basic information

Country: Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Malta, Slovenia, Other

Coordinator: Vienna University of Technology, www.tuwien.ac.at

Programme: FP6

Project Acronym:

Target groups: parents, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, university lecturers, vocational school students, youth clubs

Topic: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Education, Other

Start year: 2005

End year: 2007

Url: not available

Contact person: Prof. Heinz OBERHUMMER, Vienna University of Technology, ohu (at) kph.tuwien.ac.at

The project conducted a survey among European teachers on the CISCI concept and the CISCI platform. One of the main results of the study was that the CISCI met exactly the demands of teachers.

The content of the database was also reviewed and evaluated internally. The evaluation included technical quality control and usability analysis of the Web platform, quality check of the content and a study on concrete examples of how CISCI can be used in the classroom to attract young people to scientific topics.

CISCI also produced a DVD in two editions (2005 and 2006), featuring a presentation of the project, 20 examples of the CISCI database content units and a TV-spot.

The CISCI database was available online, containing about 1000 scientifically relevant clips, each about 1-3 minutes long. Each clip (content unit) contain the following materials:

  • General information about the film (a documentary, popular film, video collection)
  • Information on the specific film scene features and its scientific content
  • Didactical scientific descriptions, commentaries and explanations at basic level (pupils older than 10 years) and advanced level (pupils older than 14 years).
  • Background materials for teachers


The content unit was also supplemented by multimedia and communication features, search functions, and an online-journal about science aspects in current movies.

The online database is not available at the moment; contact the project coordinator for information on how to access it.

 

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