Throughout the school year, 33 junior and senior secondary school students have been hosted each month in 9 neuroscience laboratories specialising in addiction studies. The aim: to change the views of the young “Novice Researchers” of the hidden face of drugs (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, etc.) and addiction, and to facilitate contact between young people and the world of research. From 27 May next, the Novice Researchers will present their research at 5 conferences organised in Marseille (27 May), Amiens (3 June), Bordeaux (4 June), Paris (5 June) and Poitiers (10 June).
The MAAD (Mechanisms of Addiction to Alcohol and Drugs) programme, launched by Inserm with the support of MILDECA (French Government’s Inter-Departmental Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction, formerly MILDT), is based on a “scientific education” style approach intended to increase the knowledge of young people on substances by introducing them to the scientific method.
Nine research laboratories specialising in the physiopathology of addictions hosted two pairs of students comprising one final year junior secondary school student and one second year senior secondary school student on one Wednesday of each month1. Under the supervision of a senior researcher, the adolescents conducted a research programme, did experiments, and interpreted the data. The conferences organised in the different research centres involved will enable these young Novice Researchers to share their results. The audience will be made up of their classmates, parents, teachers, etc.
The use of psychoactive substances (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis etc.) by young people is a constant preoccupation for the health authorities, since it is well known that early use, while the brain is still developing, is a risk factor for developing dependence during adulthood. This scheme for raising awareness about the toxicity of drugs is an attempt at innovation against a background of more traditional preventive actions (radio spots, video clips, television, newspapers, and mini-conferences in schools).
à In Paris, the conference will be held on Thursday, 5 June 2014 at 6:30 pm
Ministry of Agriculture, Gambetta Room,
78 rue de Varennes, Paris 5th Arrondissement
Danièle Jourdain-Menninger, President of MILDECA, will open the event
The Novice Researchers’ presentations will be followed by a talk and discussion led by Renaud Bouthier, Director of the Avenir-Santé Association, on the theme of: “Marketing strategies of alcohol producers.”
à Marseille: Tuesday, 27 May at 6:00 pm
à Amiens: Tuesday 3 June at 6:00 pm
à Bordeaux: Wednesday 4 June at 6:00 pm
à Poitiers: Tuesday 10 June at 6:15 pm
The 9 participating laboratories are as follows:
Amiens: Inserm ERI 24, Prof. Mickaël Naassila; Bordeaux: Inserm U862 Neurosciences Magendie, Prof. Véronique Deroche; CNRS UMR 5287, Dr. Martine Cador; Marseille: UMR 7289 CNRS Cognitive Neurobiology Laboratory, Dr. Christelle Baunez; Paris: Inserm UMR 894, Dr. Laurence Lanfumey-Mongrédien; Inserm UMRS 952-CNRS UMR 7224, Prof. Jean-Pol Tassin; Inserm U 894, Prof. Philip Gorwood; CNRS UMR 7102, Dr. Philippe Faure; Poitiers: Inserm U1084 Experimental and Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory, Prof. Mohamed Jaber
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The Novice Researchers scheme has been developed since 2004 by Arbre des Connaissances (Tree of Knowledge), an association of researchers who are keen to stimulate critical thinking in young people by introducing them to the scientific method.