L'éprouvette ("The test tube"), the public laboratory of the University of Lausanne, is part of the Science-Society Interface department, which is in charge of collaboration and dialogue between civic society and academic research in the fields of natural sciences and humanities. L'éprouvette deals with a variety of topics, mainly offering workshops in molecular biology, genetics, physiology, neuroscience, environment, and forensic sciences. L'éprouvette possesses a bus that can be used as a small mobile laboratory bringing scientific material to the field. The laboratory's targets are varied including schools, associations, NGOs, and the private sector.
L'éprouvette wants to allow informed and critical discussion among participants. The workshops are designed to encourage debate on the practical implications of research, and to invite participants to reflect on associated social and ethical issues. The Eprouvette team has developed pedagogical tools and activities for partners, NGOs, museums and concerned groups such as patient associations. For example, L’éprouvette has developed specific workshops for patient organizations affected by rare genetic diseases, in collaboration with lawyers, geneticists and physicians.
The FREG supports a member of the Eprouvette team — the Grace Fellow — for the teaching of workshops as well as public outreach including with L'éprouvette bus.