European / International Joint Ph.D. in
Social Representation and Communication

3rd International LAB Meeting - Summer Session 2005 Welcome Letter




I hope that you will enjoy to spend ten days in the very heart of Rome, although for the first time we take the risk to welcome at the lab so high number of participants, very narrow compared the magnificent Castello Colonna in Genazzano, where we organised the previous four editions of the International Summer School.


First of all, I would like to express my great pleasure in welcoming all of you (invited professors, young research trainees and experienced researchers) who are taking part in this new edition of the International Summer School. I also wish to thank all the assistants who helped me in its preparation and the Highest Representative Authorities of La Sapienza University, who accepted to introduce the event and to take part in the Gala dinner organised as special event for the ceremony of the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C.. Title Award to Paszkal Kiss (from Hungary). He now belongs to the European Ph.D. Alumni network  togheter with the other research trainees from Austria, Portugal, Italy, Finland who obtained the diploma.

This 11th Edition of the International Summer School belong to the new series of twelve International Lab Meetings, announced last year and finally approved by EC DG-Research under the Marie Curie Actionsorganised around the theme of Social Representations in Action and Construction in Media and Society.

The formula adopted for this new series of events is innovative compared previous ones for the following reasons:

  • it  gives research trainees a more active role,  including allowing a number of them to take on responsibilities as research event assistants;

  • it will accept a limited number of post-doctorate researchers as participants, not only doctoral candidates.  This will allow for the improvement of cross-fertilisation of ideas and research practices between research trainees with different levels of expertise, as well as providing new training opportunities for researchers who already have  4-10 years of experience at the time of the event;

  • the practical advanced training sessions (in the physical lab as well on-line) reduces the number of  participants in each event and increases the number of events each year;

  • it includes complementary sessions aimed at international research management training valuable for researchers' career development;

  • it promotes post-event forum discussions among the participants via the web on the knowledge acquired during the practical courses and its later applications. 

Following the 2005 winter and spring sessions based on integrated on-line and face-to-face session, the third International lab meeting has required international physical mobility of both professors and all research trainees in order to attend the advanced training course at the European PhD. Research Centre and Multimedia Lab in Rome (Italy). 

The 27 participants from 14 nationalities (Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden) include:

  • research trainees enrolled in the European PhD programme,

  • European PhD Marie Curie fellows,

  • research trainees enrolled in other doctoral programmes in the social sciences, mainly in social psychology

  • a limited number of experienced researchers who already obtained their doctorate with no more than ten years after their first degree.

The  invited professors from 4 nationality have been chosen:

  • from outside the European Ph.D. network: Eric Cohen and Dov Elizur from Israel: Bar Ilan  University, who are leading experts in the Facet Theory and Hudap statistical package;

  • from the Teaching staff belonging the European PhD on S.R. & C  network professors who have developed theoretical and methodological interest for the modeling approach to the Social Representation through Facet Theory: Fabriche Buschini (University of Geneva – Switzerland), Annamaria de Rosa (La Sapienza University – Italy) and Josè Valencia (University of Basque Country – Spain).

Being organised immediately before the X International Conference on Facet Theory Conference (July 10-13) -, the 3rd International Lab Meeting held in Rome (July 2- 10, 2005) will offer opportunity to be exposed to the state of the art of the literature on Facet Theory research field which inspires the Hudap statistical package which participants will learn during this third event applying it on their own data files.

Facet Theory (FT) is a systematic and integrative approach, coordinating theory and research. As a design tool it includes experimental design and sample construction as special cases. Thus, FT comprises the universe of observations, the population of respondents, and the range of observations. It stratifies these universes by facets, integrating the design into a mapping sentence which guides item construction and formulation of hypotheses. Finally, particularly multivariate data analysis methods (such as SSA, POSAC, MSA) have been developed to test these hypotheses.  Facet Theory has been successfully applied to a large number of research areas where it helped to discover and refine empirical laws.

I wish also to inform you that - simultaneously to the organisation of the 2005 winter, spring and summer sessions of the International Lab meetings - we developed the implementation of two important programs approved by the European Commission:

  • the action concerning the doctoral programme, launched by the European University Association (EUA) committed by DG-Education and Culture with the support of the DG-Research.TheUniversity of Rome La Sapienza coordinating the European Ph.D. on Social Representations and Communication was nominated as main coordinator of the action 6 network of network (including other five European Ph.D. network selected among the 148 applications) aimed at promoting the European/International PhD programmes via dissemination of best practices.

  • the SoReCom Thematic Network, which represents an exponential improvement in our programme, bringing together almost hundred Institutional Partners including universities, scientific, professional and international associations, foundations and enterprises specialising in e-learning,  located in 30 European Countries with representative partners on five continents. This shifted our European dimension to a global scale and polarized our scientific community, inspired by the Social Representations and Communication paradigm and located on five continents. The SoReCom Thematic Network was selected by the European Commission DG-Education and Culture as representative for all the social sciences, thanks to the cross-disciplinary and multi-methodological approaches which characterise the Social Representations and Communication research area.

One of the main activities of the So.Re:Com Thematic network will be the organisation of the VIII International Conference on Social Representations, which will be held in Rome at the end of the August 2006 (26-31) immediately before the XII edition of the International Summer School (till 4th September 2006)

I hope that you will enjoy this 3rd international Lab meeting and that most of you will also attend the future events already in preparation:

  • the 2006 winter and spring sessions of the International Lab meetings

  • the VIII International Conference on Social Representations

  • the XII edition of the International Summer School


Annamaria Silvana de Rosa

International Summer School Organiser     


In your bag, which is in itself a "souvenir"  produced specially for this occasion, you will find, together with a badge with your name,  a folder including:

(1) International Summer School scientific programme timetable
(2) list of participants and of guest professors
(3) lectures and research trainees papaers in order of presentation (they will be also available on the dedicated web site as another step towards realising the new virtual library)

Basic bibliography on Social Representation

(5) Basic bibliography on Facet Theory
(6) The article "An idea that become an institution", a comprehensive description of the first ten years of the insitutional history of the European Ph.D. programme.
In addition  
(7) evaluation form for the 11th International Summer School
(8) an attendance certificate
(9) block notes and post-it blocks with the new graphic logos and icons belonging to the European Ph.D. on S.R. & C. and Marie Curie
(10) a mouse pad with the logos of all the partner Universities of the European Ph.D on S.R. & C.
(11) invitation for the social events
(12) tourist brochures and practical information