Yannick Mahé

After my studies of biology at the University in Stuttgart (Germany), I worked for several years as molecular and cellular biologist. My research on the molecular mechanisms of cancer led me to work in different countries such as Belgium (University of Louvain-la-Neuve), the United States of America (University of Iowa), Austria (Vienna Biocenter) and France (Ecole Normale Supérieure & Institut Curie).

Basic research is a very fascinating and international activity, nevertheless I felt that scientists are not enough engaged in public understanding of science. So I decided in 1999 to have a complementary training in 2D/3D animation (Centre National de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image) in order to make movies to explain scientific issues to a broad audience.

My professional activity is very diverse as I have to search for documentation, extract the essential information, imagine an original scenario, identify and coordinate the team of illustrators, animators, musicians, technicians… - to end up with a movie that is creative, scientifically correct and pedagogically efficient.

In the frame of my activity as multimedia author and filmmaker at the CNDP (Centre national de documentation pédagogique), and together with Pleuni Pennings from the LMU Munich, I initiated the “Evolution-of-Life” project.

Our intention was to offer creative educational resources to help implement an innovative way to learn more about the evolution of life. With the help of many talented collaborators (film crews, web team…), we produced the web site www.evolution-of-life.com offering exciting movies and animations explaining evolutionary concepts.

My current position at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne is oriented on the use of video for higher education. We are working on concepts of how new formats such as MOOCs and webdocs can engage students and lecturers in learning/teaching with new media.