At various occasions each year our laboratory opens to the general public, the students and the schoolchildren to make them discover the world of proteins and small molecules, through a course that leads from the gene to the crystallography of proteins and then the rational design of a drug. Thus the participants/visitors discover the DNA, the proteins, the protein crystals, and can model drugs such as Tamiflu, prescribed to treat flu.
In particular, throughout the year and in collaboration with the association The Resourceful Kids of the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur region (http://www.lespetitsdebrouillards.org) we participate in the Souk of Sciences and intervene on workshops or during debates between researchers and the general public in all the region. Around mid-October we participate in the Festival of Science, a national event during which we contribute to the Lab If I’m There day (http://cps.univ-amu.fr/labos-si-jy-suis) organized by the scientific culture committee of Aix-Marseilles University. At this same period a team of voluntary presenters of the lab welcomes visitors for workshops that we set up at the Village of Sciences in the gardens of the Longchamp Palace in Marseilles.
In 2014, proclaimed International Year of Crystallography by the United Nations, our lab and 5 other labs of Aix-Marseille University (CINAM, IM2NP, Spectropôle, CEREGE, CIRCRP) created the Association of Crystallography of Aix-Marseilles (http://acam.cristal-provence.fr). The purpose of the ACAM is to promote crystallography within Aix-Marseilles University and the research organizations of the PACA region that are potentially involved in crystallography. This association also aims at supporting dissemination of the knowledge in the field of crystallography across the general public of any age and the schools by organizing or contributing to scientific events.