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Science Week.  UM6P deals with the science of “transformations”

Science Week. UM6P deals with the science of “transformations”

By combining 4H An edition of “Science Week”, leading researchers and thinkers from all sides on the theme “Transition(s), UM6P intends to attract young people who are passionate about science while providing the opportunity for students and researchers to participate in discussions about the future of science.

In a strange coincidence of the calendar, the opening of the annual high scientific mass of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, this year, coincides with the birthday of the British naturalist Charles Darwin. The spirit of the great theorist of the evolution of species, cited from the beginning by the famous philosopher Daniel Dennett during his opening address at Science Week, immediately sets the tone. By presenting the theory of the person who shook the solid foundations of his time, and by criticizing in the same context, face to face, René Descartes for introducing God into his philosophical treatise on method, Dr. Dennett emulates many. Intellectuals and scientists present during the first day of the fourth edition of Science Week.

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But if there has always been something that captivates the audience with the eternal debate between determinism and free will, then Meditation has its starting point as the idea of ​​“transition(s)”, which is the theme chosen for the fourth episode.y Editing. In this sense, the research projects presented from 12 to 16 February at the Mohammed VI University of Science and Technology revolve around this main transversal theme. “The world is going through several crises linked, in particular, to climate change, food security and digital transformation, which ultimately affect employment, health and education. Hence the choice of topics addressed within the framework of the main theme of this conference.”

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Collective awareness

Putting scientific progress at the service of citizens. This is the goal of the university presidency, which aims, by bringing together researchers and thinkers from all sides, to give students, researchers and all Moroccans the opportunity to participate in the emergence of a collective conscience. For many researchers in the hard sciences, this event serves as an excuse to participate and take into account scientific developments associated with major transitions (energy, medical, economic, digital, climate, etc.).

“The future of science is the science of transformations,” shouts Raphaël Leogère, scientific director of the Institute for Advanced Study, to an almost full auditorium to justify the choice of the topic, which, in his opinion, is part of the rationale for the continuity of “complexity”, a topic that was addressed last year, inspired by Ben Other matters from the seminal work of Edgar Morin.

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Aside from philosophical digressions, the idea is to bring together scientific disciplines on this point, with the aim of responding to current needs. Because it is self-evident that Morocco is preparing to negotiate several stages of transformation. Starting with the current context of acute water stress that requires the Kingdom to design new irrigation and water rationalization systems to meet the growing needs of the population and primarily respond to economic imperatives. The case of seawater desalination, which apart from its economic cost, unfortunately provides a permanent solution, with the risk of eventually leading to the loss of marine species in the long term. The potential collapse of wildlife will likely harm fish production, which will ultimately impact artisanal fishing. Rafael Leogier asks: “Will Morocco succeed in this transformation?” I believe that if Morocco succeeds, it will become an example to the world.

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Another profound transformation is taking place in the education sector, driven by the global vision of the Mohammed VI Interdisciplinary University, which aims to develop inclusion pedagogies and recognizes the fundamental right of the student to receive high-quality education in the most inclusive schools. Social environments. “At Benguerir, the goal is to break through this glass ceiling and go beyond the classical system, which is likely to revolutionize education in Morocco,” says the scientific director of the Institute for Advanced Studies.

The ever-present issue of global warming has also been raised as a major concern. The deliberate choice to highlight transformations in various fields finds particular resonance in the current context, where the climate emergency dictates the urgent need to adopt bold measures for a more sustainable future. “This is one of the main concerns in Africa. We have enough knowledge regarding air quality and climate, and we have an idea of ​​where we want to go, but we still need to complete this transition successfully,” says Kenza Khamsi, Head of Air Quality. From the National Weather Service's air quality perspective, a natural question arises: Should we rejoice in the progress of science or worry about its excesses? Scientists unanimously agree that the challenge is to successfully shift the current system toward more sustainable priorities.

Two questions for Rafael Lioger, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Study
“The issue of transmission is a scientific issue par excellence!”

Challenge: In light of the main theme of 4y Science Week Edition, What imminent transformation do you see in Morocco?
Rafael Leuger: The transformation that Morocco is witnessing, in the current context, revolves primarily around water management. The challenge is to know whether Morocco will be able to successfully begin this transition by resorting to water desalination, while being able to store this resource without harming existing ecosystems. It is no secret that salt discharge into the sea has repercussions on marine animals, activating interconnected fields. The crucial question remains:
Will Morocco succeed in this transformation? My opinion leans firmly towards the positive. If this project succeeds, it could be an example on a global scale.

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Challenge: What about the ongoing transformations on the continent?
R L: The image we have of Africa is often shaped by a bleak perception. The continent is often seen as the place where all evils converge, whether global warming, underdevelopment or the energy crisis. Holding this scientific summit under the title “Transition(s)” in Africa aims to prove that it is precisely here that solutions must be sought. It is necessary to change the paradigm to envision a more promising future.