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Of Interest

See archived entries

It's not rocket science!

A journalist with no formal science training, Jamy Gourmaud has developed a unique style to communicate science to the younger public. His secret? ''Always speak and act as if you were yourself the listener.'' (Click to view larger version...)
A journalist with no formal science training, Jamy Gourmaud has developed a unique style to communicate science to the younger public. His secret? ''Always speak and act as if you were yourself the listener.''
When Jamy explains, children in France listen ... fascinated. For the past 20 years his program C'est pas sorcier ("It's not rocket science") on French public television Channel 3 has opened their minds to the many wonders of the world.

From his makeshift "laboratory," Jamy and co-stars Sabine and Fred have explained the Earth and the Universe, the human body, mankind's greatest technological accomplishments, the origins of man, electricity and magnetism ... 550 programs in all watched by two generations of young people in France (and by their parents!). C'est pas sorcier demonstrated the educational role that TV can play and how science can be fun and exciting.

One thing Jamy had never had the opportunity to explain is fusion and ITER. Ever curious he decided to come and see for himself, paying a visit to the construction site in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance in early January.

Jamy's presence offered the ITER Communication team a great opportunity to compare notes on how to best disseminate science and promote large projects such as ITER. After hours of conversation, it all boiled down to a few simple principles: use a language understandable by a teenager, never explain something that you do not fully understand and, most important of all perhaps, always speak and act as if you were yourself the listener.

Watch an example of Jamy's program (in French) on electricity.

 


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