reindeer. These reserves that make the Espace des sciences shine

This place is not accessible to the public: scientific space reserves, in the basement of the Champs-libres building, in Rennes. It is here that the exhibitions of “House” are treasured. “We have about sixty exhibitions available, some in several copies”explains Patrick Le Bozec, head of distribution and responsible for traveling exhibitions at the Espace des Sciences.

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Fans of cabinets of curiosities who expect to find here the atmosphere of an old attic filled with knick-knacks will be disappointed. In these basements, everything is neatly stacked in sturdy boxes on wheels. “Everything is in stock, ready to go. And most of the exhibits stored here are designed to adapt to spaces that are not necessarily very large. “. The trunk of a small car is enough, for example, to transport twenty panels dedicated to the Hubble Space Telescope. The scientific space can even provide support.

Patrick Le Bozek, Head of Distribution and Traveling Exhibitions at the Science Center in Rennes. © Pascal SIMON/Western France.

Very large exhibitions are stored elsewhere, in particular in a hangar rented from Pleyber-Christ in Finistère. “This is the case, for example, of a big exhibition of speed. Three semi-trailers are required for its transportation … “..

All themes do not necessarily have the same success, but the exhibitions held in Rennes still change regularly. “150 exhibitions came out in 2019, before the health crisis. Last year there were 100, including almost 80 requested in Brittany. Usually a third of the exhibits are borrowed from outside the region.”.

take a picture of an item on display to recognize and assign animal calls.  © Pascal Simon/Western France.

Exhibit element for recognition and assignment of animal calls. © Pascal SIMON/Western France.

Large permanent exhibitions, such as the one on the brain, which is likely to be open for at least five years, often have their own “miniature” version. “Mobile modules for brain exhibition should be ready by 2023.”

Schools, institutes, media libraries: the catalog of scientific reserves is known. “At the national level, we should have five or six centers like the Espace des sciences to offersays Patrick Le Bozek. For two years now there has been an exhibition of spiders in Tours; another exhibition on the theme of water tours the 27 municipalities of the water syndicate…” Need an exhibition that reveals all the secrets of the forest? It is connected with scientific space reserves. Then the exhibition may well become the core of an event held by a school or municipal media library, or complement other elements.

photo indeed there are several machine tools in the cellars of the scientific space.  but the physical production of exhibitions is mainly entrusted to partner companies.  © Pascal Simon/Western France.

There are several machines in the basement of the science space. But the material production of exhibitions is mainly entrusted to partner companies. © Pascal SIMON/Western France.

“We come up with exhibitions ourselves, and they are all approved by the scientific committee. For the upcoming exhibition dedicated to glass, we are working with, for example, the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Rennes 1. And we are inviting external graphic designers. We also do not have a design workshop as such, so we turn to partner companies to sell the material », explains Patrick Le Bozek, who has been working in the scientific field for 20 years. His passion seems untouched and does not date from yesterday. He almost grew up in the world of science popularization.

photo Patrick Le Bozek oversees over sixty different exhibitions, some of which exist in multiple copies.  © Pascal Simon/Western France.

Patrick Le Bozek curates about sixty different exhibitions, some of which exist in multiple copies. © Pascal SIMON/Western France.

“I studied mechanics. But as a child, I often visited the Pleumeur-Bodou fairing, where my father worked as a caretaker. And we lived 150 meters from the place, he remembers. Enough to make you want to spend your life looking at the stars and trying to understand their mysteries.

Learn by August 28, 2022, temporary exhibition “The Hours of Life” at the Espace des Sciences des Champs Libres, Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle, in Rennes. Open this Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20, from 14:00 to 19:00. Prices: €6, €4 discount, free for children under 5. Information: tel. 02 23 40 66 00 Website:

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