QEERI’s Science Majlis

Anto Mohsin, Northwestern University in Qatar;
Jemina Legaspi, Northwestern University in Qatar

Boston 2017: Visual and Sensory Approaches

Organized by the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) the monthly public forum aims to engage the Qatari publics (professionals, students, and scientists) to discuss QEERI-related scientific topics relevant to the country. The public forum welcomes participants of different age groups, educational backgrounds, professions, nationalities, and genders. Some of the discussion topics that have raised include air quality in Doha, water resources in Qatar and in the Gulf region, solar energy, as well as astronomy. The format of the Science Majlis is a discussion, not a talk. The discussion leader is asked to introduce the topic initially, but the bulk of the time is spent on discussing the topic with the audience. Scientific terms have to be clarified by anyone who introduces them to ensure everybody understands what they mean by the terms. Repeat attendance by some participants and recurring topics help reinforce understanding of water and energy issues in the country. Discussions sometimes went beyond scientific matter such as government policies, Qatar Vision 2030, and water and energy conservation initiatives. In August 2016, the Qatar National Research Fund granted an Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) proposal to investigate the Science Majlis. One of the listed authors (Anto Mohsin) is the faculty member and grantee of the award who recruited three undergraduate student co-researchers to examine the public forum using qualitative methods of participant observation and interview of participants. This STS Making and Doing project is a video created by one student co-researcher (a communications major) to portray a Science Majlis event. Footages of the movie were shot in the fall of 2016. It was initially created as a promotional video, but it was never used because starting in 2017, the Science Majlis is being organized by Hamad Bin Khalifa University of which QEERI is now a part of. This video is related to one of the submitted paper on science communication and public engagement in science for the 4S conference and we thought it would complement the paper nicely.

Published: 01/30/2023