The DEC AltAc (Alternative to Academia) is a monthly seminar where individuals with a cognitive science background show researchers and students in cognitive science at the DEC the many ways their knowledge in cognitive science can be applied to the "real" (aka non-academic) world. 

The seminars can be taken by students completing the ENS diploma for credit. Credits will be attributed based on attendance. 

These events are a great opportunity for the DEC members to interact with people with diverging careers and yet similar interests. Every brief presentation is followed by a discussion where all attendees are free to ask questions to the speakers on their career paths, their motivations, interests, projects, and the difficulties they encounter. Finally, this is a great way to network with individuals that you may not encounter every day at the DEC. 


DEC AltAc Program 2020-2021

October 23, 2020 - "Applying Cognitive Science to Health Care" - Camille LakhlifiBenjamin Rohaut

  • Camille Lakhlifi studied at CogMaster, completing a variety of internships and getting involved in different associations and science popularization activities. After obtaining her degree, she joined a pre-doctoral program and worked 1 year for the French Behavioural Insights Unit. She is now starting a PhD about decision making under uncertainty in the medical context at the Brain Institute (ICM) thanks to fundings from the High Health Authority, supervised by Benjamin Rohaut and Mehdi Khamassi.
  • Benjamin Rohaut  is a neurologist working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Neurological department of La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. He also has a PhD in Neuroscience and is doing research on consciousness and decision making at the Brain institute (ICM). Part of his research program is aimed at understanding how cognitive biases affect physicians' decision-making. 

November 12, 2020 - "Improving Language Development with Cognitive Science" - Lisa Jacquay, Marc Gurgand

  • Lisa Jacquay is a Temporary Teaching and Research Associate at the Université Paris Nanterre and is the Co-founder of the Lab Premiers Cris at the CRI. With Marion Voillot, she created Premiers Cris, a community of individuals interested in early childhood that are engaged in a collaborative research process that uses digital technology to answer the concrete questions of those who care for toddlers. 
  • Marc Gurgand is a chaired professor at the Paris school of economics and senior researcher at the CNRS who is involved in several projects that promote language development from an early age, These projects include the 1001 words project, where they communicated 1001 words by SMS to parents of children in day care, and the « Parler Bambin » project, which encourages and promotes language development from an early age. 

December (Date TBA) - "Cognitive Science in Everyday Experiences" - Emma Vilarem, Simone Morgagni

  • Emma Vilarem has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and is specialized in the study of social behaviours. She is the director and co-founder of [S]CITY, a Paris-based team of experts in urbanism and cognitive science using behavioural and brain research to create healthier urban environments.
  • Simone Morgagni is currently the Head of the Experience & Cognition Research Group - Innovation & Research department at SNCF with expertise in semiotics and cognitive sciences. He implements research programs and collaborations in order to promote a renewed and human-centered vision of mobility

January 19, 2021 - "Applying Cognitive Science to Education" - Léa Combette, Elena Pasquinelli, Adeline André

  • Léa Combette : Léa Combette is a PhD student at Paris Brain Institute and Energie Jeunes association. Her project focuses on why and how psycho-social interventions could be a reliable solution to fight against underachievement in underprivileged areas.
  • Elena Pasquinelli joined the team of “La main à la pâte” in 2010 and acts as a "Référent Métier Recherche et Évaluation". She also coordinates the actions around the project Esprit scientifique, Esprit critique, and is interested in the insights that cognitive sciences provide on learning. 
  • Adeline André is an IA-IPR (academic inspector) of the academy of Versailles. After a PhD in biology, she became an SVT teacher in junior high and high school. She then joined the “La main à la pâte” team. She has many years of experience conducting the academic and national experiments of the Learning Labs, which use the contribution of cognitive science to promote learning in biology.

February 4, 2021 (FRENCH) - "Comment le Nutriscore change les comportements : un exemple de collaboration entre chercheurs et administration pour une meilleure santé publique" - Benoit Vallet, Bernard Ruffieux.

  • Benoit Vallet est Professeur de médecine, anesthésiste et réanimateur,  et directeur général de l’Agence régionale de santé des Hauts-de-France. Il a été Directeur général de la santé de 2013 à 2018 et a été l’un des principaux acteurs dans la mise en place du paquet neutre et du« Nutriscore ». 
  • Bernard Ruffieux est professeur de sciences économiques à Grenoble-INP, il est spécialiste en économie comportementale et expérimentale. Il a mis au point et réalisé les expériences de laboratoire qui ont conduit au choix du "Nutri-Score". Il est actuellement membre du comité scientifique missionné pour proposer un affichage environnemental des aliments.