European Doctorate on Social Representations and Communication
10th International Summer School

 

Welcome to the 10th International  Summer School of

the European PhD on Social Representations and Communication

 

SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND COMMUNICATION

IN THE NEW SCENARIOS OF THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

 

Is it possible to change risk behaviour?

 

 

Dear Participants,

 

            Here we finally are!  First of all, I would like to express my great pleasure in welcoming all of you who are taking part in this exciting event.

 

            As you know, this is the 10th in a series of highly successful summer schools (a comprehensive description of the institutional history of the programme is found in  an article  included in your folder).  It is dedicated to the theme of “risk”., chosen because of its importance and at the advice of the Programme Director, Serge Moscovici.

 

            From the point of view of content, this topic is becoming increasingly and dramatically relevant as a global societal issue with a multidisciplinary perspective: political, socio-economic, informational, etc.   It is also clearly relevant to be studied as a social representation.

 

            In fact, from the logistical point of view, this 10th edition of the International Summer School was in and of itself a “risky” event.  It was launched and organised during a critical period that began in November 2003 when the European PhD staff  unexpectedly lost its professional secretarial support and at the same time, our e-mail system came under attack by a series of computer viruses.  Despite all of this, in January 2004, this programme was selected by the European Commission as being unique, not only in the fields of social psychology and psychology, but as a potential representative for all the social sciences.  This was thanks to the cross-disciplinary and multi-methodological approaches which characterise the Social Representations and Communication research area.

 

            Simultaneously an exponential improvement in our programme occurred thanks to the approval of the pre-proposal for the SoReCom Thematic Network.  This shifted our European dimension to a global scale and polarized our scientific community, inspired by the Social Representations and Communication paradigm and located on five continents.

 

            In announcing this 10th edition of the International Euro PhD Summer School, this strange combination of organisational crisis and new success had the practical consequence of forcing me to train myself to work day and night  to be able to prepare several large projects simultaneously.  To give you an idea:

            January:  the project for the 20th cycle of  the Doctoral Programme at the University of Rome " La Sapienza" was due

            February:  submission of the complete proposal for the SoReCom Thematic Network.  This will bring together 96 Institutional Partners including universities, scientific, professional and international associations, foundations and enterprises specialising in e-learning.  These are located in 30 European Countries with representative partners on five continents.

            March: the project launched by the European University Associations action concerning the doctoral programme.

 

            April:  the large infrastructure project submitted to the MIUR (Italian Ministry for Education, Universities and Research) to provide the Euro PhD Research Centre and Multimedia lab with all equipment needed to implement the Virtual Library project.

            Also in April:  a proposal submitted to the European Commission for the new series of the European PhD on S.R. & C: International Lab Meetings that have as their focus a multi-year series of Advanced Training.

 

            If approved, these twelve week-long courses will be organised around the theme of Social Representations in Action and Construction in Media and Society and provide advanced practical training for 25 participants.  The first event each year will be virtual: the following two are two face-to-face intensive training courses requiring the physical mobility of participants and are open to long-term dissemination via the web. These events share common objectives and have a didactic structure with multiple training opportunities for critical analysis of the link between multi-media communication systems and social representations. The methods, techniques, software packages and related method theory guiding applications in research design, will provide the unifying theme for each event of the proposed advanced courses.  The formula adopted for this new series of events is innovative compared previous ones for the following reasons:

-        it  gives research trainees a more active role,  including allowing a number of them to take on responsibilities as research event assistants;

-        it will accept a limited number of post-doctorate researchers as participants, not only doctoral candidates.  This will allow for the improvement of cross-fertilisation of ideas and research practices between research trainees with different levels of expertise, as well as providing new training opportunities for researchers who already have  4-10 years of experience at the time of the event;

-        the practical advanced training sessions (in the physical lab as well on-line) reduces the number of  participants in each event and increases the number of events each year;

-        it includes complementary sessions aimed at international research management training valuable for researchers' career development;

-        it promotes post-event forum discussions among the participants via the web on the knowledge acquired during the practical courses and its later applications.  They can also request on-line feedback from guest experts, as consultants.

 

 

            The reason that I am letting you know of these proposals is to provide you with information on possible future occasions for co-operation and training that will be open to contributions from both leading experts and research trainees.  This is in line with our desire to  reinforce the sense of belonging in our community and to enhance the role of the Alumni network that we launched last year.

 

Coming back to the present and contrary to what we expected to be a disaster, the number of applications we received was higher than last year and we consequently decided to accept a even larger number of candidates compared to those for whom we received financial support from the EC (25).  We accepted a total 48 research trainees and have supported them by using the remaining financial resources of the Marie Curie and Internationalisation programmes.

So, even more so this year, without you no effort in logistical planning, fund raising, or management would have ever been enough to transform the project into reality.

 

.

This year's 48 participants include :

·                  11 research trainees enrolled in the European PhD programme;

·                  25 European PhD Marie Curie fellows;

·                  12 research trainees enrolled in other doctoral programmes in the social sciences, mainly in social psychology;

 

I'd like to give a  very special thank you to the twelve guest professors:

 

Besides myself , in my capacity as coordinator, the Professors from the European Ph.D. network:

-   Jean Claude Abric, from the University of Marseille Aix-en-Provence, France

-   Elisabeth Lage from E.H.E.S.S. , France

-   Anna Maija Pirtilla Backman from the University of Helsinki, Finland

-   Juan A. Perez from the University of Valencia, Spain

 

Professors from the French-Italian Vinci network

-   Lucy Baugnet, Universitè de Picardie Jules Verne, France

- Birgitta Orfali, Universitè Paris V, France

 

Professors from outside the network: the advanced methodological session will be held by one of the leading experts in meta-analysis, Prof. Hilda Gambara D’Errico, from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

 

Professors from Non-European countries

two members of the pro-active scientific community who belong to the new So.Re.Com thematic network of excellence in Latin America

Celso de Sa Pereira and Denise Cristina De Oliveria from Rio de Janiero. Brazil

 

         from the USA, one of the founders of the discipline on the other side of the Atlantic and who continues to maintain a regular constructive dialogue with social psychologists in Europe:

         Albert Pepitone from the University of Pennsylvania,

                                                        

 

I am very grateful to the Head of the International Division Committee, who has agreed to formally represent the co-ordinating and host university, the University of Rome "La Sapienza".  She will give you an expert overview of the programmes funded by the EC and  the Ministries that will assist you to improve your knowledge about how do research through international co-operation and how to deal competitively with resource management  on a global scale.

 

            We cannot begin our programme without  first acknowledging the important contributions provided to our projects by:

·  the European Union DG Research, which approved the new multi-year cycle of the International Summer School within the High Level Scientific Events programme, integrating support already provided by other EU programmes for the participation of the Euro Ph.D. Marie Curie Fellows.

·  the University of Rome "La Sapienza" - Co-ordinator of the European Ph. D. on S.R. & C., which in  previous years  co-funded the Socrates programmes approved by the European Union DG Education and Culture and the Internationalisation programme approved by the Italian Ministry for Scientific Research  (MIUR);

·  the Italian Ministry for Scientific Research  (MIUR), which approved the Innovative Actions for developing the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. since its announcement of its programme aimed at the Internationalisation of the Italian University system;

·  the French-Italian Ministries for Scientific Research which recently approved our European Ph.D. within the Vinci programme aimed at building the French-Italian University.

 

As in previous years, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Mayor of Genazzano, Dr. Margherita Coluccini, Councillor Ciprotti and the staff that the Mayor has kindly assigned to the task, in particular, Mr. D’Attilia, and Ms. Angelucci,  and for welcoming for the third consecutive year the International Summer School to the magnificent Colonna Castle.  We feel at home here, not because it is the third year and we are becoming familiar with the environment, but mainly because they welcome us in so friendly a manner.

 

I must not forget to express my gratitude to the Euro Ph.D. staff, that has been crucial in the organisation of this event:  Dr. Patrizio Bellafiore (Computer and Video Technician), Dr Stefania Occhio (Administrative Accountant in co-operation with Department 's administrative staff (led by Dr. Filomena Tarantino), Dr. Deborah Park (English translator), Marco Meloni (Web master for the Euro Ph.D. site), and  the European Doctoral research trainees Dr. Maria Libera d’Ambrosio and Dr. Cristina Gioiosa, who worked full time at the Euro PhD lab, sharing its often hectic climate, and Dr. Elena Bocci and Dr. Sara Bigazzi at the Faculty of Psychology 2.

 

To this list of names already known to some of you, I wish add my sincere gratitude to the group of trainees at the Euro PhD  Lab , including Dario Giuffrida, present here as event assistant, and in particular to the Giorgio Enrietto, who probably lived through the hardest two months of his life in assisting me by taking on some of professional secretarial responsibilities left vacant during recent months.

 

We are also pleased to welcome Juliette, who joined our staff just one day before the Summer School started and who we look forward to having as a member of the Euro PhD team.

 

Among the volunteers who each day provide me with great support, I cannot neglect to thank my son Massimiliano. This year, as in previous years, he has contributed his great expertise in both visible and invisible ways to promote continuous innovation and efficiency in our multi-media lab.  He also never complains about the over stressed life style generated by my overworking.

 

Again, thank you all.   Now,  I would like to say a few words about the character and the structure of the scientific programme.

 

The daily programme of the International Summer School will run according to a well-tested didactic formula that  integrates:

·  keynote lectures in the plenary session by internationally recognised scientists in social psychology from many European countries, the U.S. and Latin-America.  These lectures will be digitalised to be transmitted in a later stage in streaming videos on the web and diffused in DVD-D digital support,

·  live interviews with the leaders in the scientific field, “Between autobiography and the biography of the Social Representation Theory”;

·   parallel workshops focussed on presentations relating to researchers' current projects and related interactive training sessions based on open discussions and feedback.  The three parallel group seminars will be:

·   A    dedicated to the presentation of research reports by students currently enrolled in the European doctoral programme (including new candidates admitted for the academic year 2004-2005).

·   B     focussed on Communication

·   C     focussed on  Societal Issues

These are dedicated to presentations of research reports by those selected as Marie Curie Fellows as well as a number of other young researchers enrolled in national doctoral programmes outside the network.

·  an advanced methodological training on classical meta-analysis;

·  individual and group tutoring and co-tutoring,

·  dedicated meetings among the European Ph.D. and the Marie Curie Fellows, including  a co-ordinating training session on meta-theoretical analysis of the S.R. corpus and parallel meetings among tutors and the Scientific Co-ordinator;

·  informal meetings among all the participants by the swimming pool at the Hotel La Meridienne or during visits to Rome and the Roman hill towns of Genazzano and Palestrina;

·  monitoring and evaluative sessions for the whole event.

 

I hope that you will enjoy this event and have a very productive stay!

 

       Yours sincerely,                                                                        

 

Annamaria Silvana de Rosa

                                                                              International Summer School Organiser       

 

In your bag, which is in itself a "souvenir"  produced specially for this occasion, you will find, together with a badge with your name,  a folder including:

 

(1)     International Summer School scientific programme timetable,

(2)     list of participants and of guest professors,

(3)     list of parallel group seminars,

(4)      lectures and research trainees papers in order of presentation ( they will be also available on the dedicated web site as another step towards realising the new virtual library)

(5)      Basic bibliography on Social Representation

(6)      Basic bibliography on Social Influence inspired by Social Psychological Theories

(7)      Basic bibliography on Risk inspired by Social Psychological Theories

(8)      An article by George Gaskell and Nick Allum “Sound science problematic publics? Contrasting Representations of risk and uncertainty, Politeia, XV11, 63, 2001: 13-25.

(9)      Exclusively for the new students admitted into the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. (a.y. 2004-05) , video lessons of previous International Summer School on CD, the book “Penser le vie, le social, la nature. Mélanges en homage à Serge Moscovici” and a  ‘pin’ of the Euro Ph.D. on SR & C

(10)   Exclusively for the new European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. Marie Curie fellows , a  ‘pin’ of the Marie Curie  logo and a  ‘pin’ of the Euro Ph.D. on SR & C

10)  The article “When a Majority fails to convert a minority: the case of gypsies” by J. Perez , B. Chulvi and R, Alonso to be used as didactic material for the European PhD and Marie Curie fellows attending the seminar on meta-theoretical analysis of SR literature,

 

In addition

(11)   information about the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. (leaflet, list of participants enrolled in the programme, etc.)

(12)   evaluation form for the 10h  International Summer School,

(13)   an attendance certificate,

(14)   block notes and post-it blocks with the new graphic logos and icons belonging to the European Ph.D. On S.R. & C. and Marie Curie;

(15)   a mouse pad with the logos of all the partner Universities of the European Ph.D. on S.R.& C.

(16)    invitation for the classical piano concert

(17)   invitation for the social dinners and lunch tickets at the Hotel le Meridienne as indicated in the programme;

(18)   lunch tickets for the whole week at the Castello Colonna will be provided to you each day by one of our event assistants (Dario Giuffrida)

tourist brochures and practical information;