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NightScience is organized by the Center for research & Interdisciplinarity (CRI), par of the “Innovative Institute for a formation by Research”.

The Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires – CRI) in Paris was founded in 2005 as a convivial place at the crossroad of life sciences and exact, natural, cognitive, and social sciences.

Today, the CRI offers three degree programs integrated in the Bettencourt curriculum: an undergraduate program (Licence Frontières du Vivant, FdV, Paris-Descartes University), a masters program(Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Sciences, AIV MasterParis-Descartes UniversityParis-Diderot University), and a doctoral program (Frontiers of Life, Ecole doctorale 474 Frontières du Vivant, FdV).

The CRI’s dedicated facilities host visiting professors, a variety of courses, and many student clubs.

The CRI’s main role is to promote new educational techniques and strategies to empower the students to take initiative and develop their own research projects. Mentors, research institutions, private companies, and foundations, such as the Bettencourt Foundation, provide the support for the student-created research projects and activities.

The aforementioned activities range from the first French synthetic biology team (iGEM Paris Bettencourt, for the MIT-sponsored iGEM (international genetically engineered machine) competition) to the Paris-Montagne Science Festival, and the Science Académie, an outreach program that allows high schools students from underprivileged neighborhoods to discover their creativity in science.


The NightScience Program is part of the “Innovative Institute for a Formation by Research” (IIFR) project carried by Sorbonne Paris Cité, Investissements d’Avenir, the SCIRE association, Paris Descartes University and Paris Diderot University. It aims to open the formation by research to a wide population, by teaching and supporting research and scientific education innovators. The purpose of this project is to develop a culture for innovation in France and  to open the scientific research to more people.


The SCIRE Association was founded at the initiative of two researchers from INSERM, Francois Taddei and Ariel Lindner, with the active support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, to develop research projects, teaching and interdisciplinary scientific interaction, focusing on the interfaces with life sciences. Since its conception, the activity of SCIRE is dedicated to funding activities within the Center for Research & Interdisciplinarity (CRI). The association has the Bettencourt Schueller as principal sponsor, and has received several grants from other partners. The SCIRE is the partner of Sorbonne Paris Cite in the Institut Innovant de Formation par la Recherche (IIFR) project.

The NightScience ThinkCamp held on July 11th is co-organized by some CRI partners:

The 2015 Paris Bettencourt iGEM team is an interdisciplinary group coming from a variety of exciting backgrounds, including biology, pharmacy, synthetic biology, biophysics and graphic design. The project for the competition focuses on modifying yeast/bacteria to produce vitamins in order to augment fermented food.

Open Science School aims at increasing high school student’s interest for science through the discovery of synthetic biology. They provide support to high-school students who want to get inolved in synthetic biology projects through workshops and lectures, but also a MOOC and videos, cheap educational equipment ( 3D printed spectrophotometer…) and educative video games.



The Citizen Cyberlab is an EU ICT project funded under the 7th Framework ProgrammeThe central focus of their research is creativity and learning in on-line citizen science. Beyond helping scientists execute laborious tasks, Citizen Cyberscience projects enable citizens to learn about science and take part in the more creative aspects of research. To explore these aspects of citizen science, they are evaluating existing on-line collaborative environments and software tools to assess their role in supporting and stimulating creative learning, as well as examining the best practices of current Citizen Science projects.