Jaison and the Festival of Science

CACHE researcher, Jaison Arivalagan, reports on his involvement with a science festival:

“The ‘Fête de la Science’ (science festival) is a national event organized every year under the patronage of the French Minister of Education and Research (http://www.fetedelascience.fr/). This year it was held 10-11 October 2015 and to mark this event our institution, Museum of National History in Paris, organised many workshops, conferences and demonstrations covering six major domains (Biology, Biodiversity, Mineralogy, Climate, Paleontology and Light).

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We (me and my colleagues Arul and Sophie) organised a workshop to discuss/demonstrate the effects of ocean acidification. The demonstration was organised using different supports and tools:

  • Introduction to ocean acidification: Poster (in French)
  • Effect of CO2 on pH and calcium carbonate solubility: experiment using Bromothymol blue and CaCO3 precipitation
  • Exhibition of blue mussel (Mytillus edulis) shells obtained from different locations with different pH and salt gradients (thanks to my fellow CACHE researcher, Trystan!)
  • Effect of pH on CaCO3 crystallization: observation under microscope
  • Proteins in the shell: Observation (microscopy) of decalcified bivalve shells
  • Crystal organization and shell resistance:  Construction of aragonite and calcite like structures using Kapla blocks.

It was an exciting experience to meet the public (children and adults) who actively interacted not only with their questions, but also with enthusiastic discussions (although my fluency in French language is limited). At the end, the participants were encouraged to write their ideas on how to minimize the emission of CO2 (ideas box). I would like to thank the colleagues of the Museum for participating in the animation and my research units (UMR 7245 & UMR 7208) for their support. To sum up, it was a good dissemination exercise that goes well with one of the objectives of CACHE program.”

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