Nouveaux Commanditaires Sciences

Generate a research question by sharing curiosity between citizens and researchers 

The objective of the program Nouveaux Commanditaires - Sciences, with the support of the Fondation de France, is to guide and stimulate communities of non-scientists to engage in dialogue with researchers, and to co-create open questions. These questions, issued from creative meetings, will therefore be originally conceived both by researchers and citizens. 

This approach is inspired from the program Nouveaux Commanditaires en art (new art commissioners), which has been used in arts for more than 20 years and has allowed for more than 250 art pieces in 8 European countries to be conceived based upon a dialogue between artists and citizens. Since 2013, the Atelier des Jours à Venir experiments this approach in the field of sciences.

This very experimental approach is not a unilateral demand from citizens to scientists to answer their question, neither a dialogue about an already existing research or knowledge : it is a collaboration to create a shared question, to share curiosity and explore together the unknownAsking open questions shall not be the privilege of scientists. Moreover, sharing curiosity and co-creating questions strengthens the relevance of science for society and allows to reach a higher degree of creativity.

Committing on a process lasting for several years, both communities then co-design the research methodologies required to answer the question that has been selected. In some cases, they can further collaborate, with non-scientists taking part in producing and analyzing  data. 
Furthermore, we pay attention to include curious citizens from youth, people from underprivileged backgrounds, as well as women and young researchers.

Current projects

Molins de Rei, Catalunya (2013 - ...): How do colours (e.g. of a classroom) influence learning?

Marigny, Deux-Sèvres, France (2013-...): How is the perception of biodiversity issues connected to individual practices in private gardens ?

Montreux-Château, Territoire de Belfort, France (2014 - ...): How do groups of friends form, in the period of adolescence ?

  • citizens : secondary school students, collège Camille Claudel
  • researcher : Gaëlle Espinosa, Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Sciences de l'éducation et de la Communication, Université de Lorraine.
  • local facilitators : Olivier Corbont et Fabienne Etienne
  • To go further:
    • the website of the project
    • video about the question
    • article in Vivre le Territoire, magazine of the territoire de Belfort.

2° Torrão, Lisbon, Portugal (2014 - ...): How to estimate / anticipate the impact of climate change on the houses of the slum ?

  • citizens : inhabitants of secundo Torrão, Lisbon suburb
  • researchers : Rui Taborda and Luisa Schmidt (university of Lisbon)
  • local facilitator : João Duarte
  • To go further:

Belfort, France (2014 - ... ): How does communication between patients and relatives/friends/helpers influence the well-being of patients having multiple sclerosis?

  • citizens: inhabitants from a local neighborhood
  • researchers : Marc Debouverie (CHU Nancy) & Emmanuelle Busch (LORSEP)
  • local facilitator : Jean-Claude Bessot

Basque Country - north (2016 - ...) : How to identify language impairments in bilingual children (Basque-French) ? How to take into account the socio-linguistic context?

  • citizens : group of bilingual speech therapists and teachers
  • researchers : Ricardo Etxepare (CNRS, IKER UMR 5478, Bayonne) et Maria Jose Ezeizabarrena Segurola (laboratoire de psycholinguistique, université du Pays Basque)
  • local facilitator : Marie Pourquie


To go further