A week of exploration and discovery awaits visitors in 24 locations across Sweden at this year’s Swedish European Researchers’ Night, taking place from 25 – 30 September.
ForskarFredag, Sweden’s most widespread science festival, will provide thousands of school pupils and members of the public with opportunities to discover more about the crucial role of research in our daily lives and meet the researchers behind it.
Coordinated nationally by VA (Public & Science), activities are organised by universities, science centres, museums, archives, research centres, municipalities, and science parks in towns and cities from Luleå in the north to Lund in the south. In addition, online activities allow anyone, regardless of their location, to participate. Last year, ForskarFredag engaged participants from over 60 percent of Sweden’s municipalities.
This year’s theme explores the connection between humans, health and water, and it will be highlighted in several of the programme’s activities.
”For instance, you can engage in an interdisciplinary discussion about our relationship with the sea in an online science café, featuring researchers from Malta and Sweden and open to anyone in Europe,” says Project Manager Julia Brink, who coordinates ForskarFredag at the national level.
More than 100 activities
The festival programme features over 100 activities across a diverse range of research areas, including shows, exhibitions, hands-on experiments, quizzes, science cafés, and discussions with researchers.
”ForskarFredag offers school pupils, families, and the public the opportunity to have both educational and fun interactions with researchers from all corners of Sweden,” says Julia Brink. “We also aim to inspire young people to pursue higher education and showcase the rich diversity of research careers.”
Borrow a Researcher for your classroom
The concept of inviting schools to ’borrow a researcher’ has proven to be an immensely popular and successful ForskarFredag initiative. Researchers visit schools, either in person or online, to discuss their work as researchers and its broader societal impact. Teachers can directly book a researcher through an online platform, and over 200 visits between 25 – 28 September have already been booked.
”This marks the fourth time Borrow a Researcher has been conducted on a national scale, and we are truly overwhelmed by the response so far – from researchers, teachers, and pupils alike. Researchers receive highly positive feedback for their ability to convey their subjects and the enthusiasm they bring,” says Julia Brink.
Mass Experiment to Map Plastic Waste
The ’Plastic Experiment’, a nationwide citizen science initiative, has entered its fourth and final data collection phase. Until October 13th, anyone in Sweden is encouraged to assist Professor Bethanie Carney Almroth and other researchers at the University of Gothenburg in mapping the extent of plastic waste in the Swedish natural environment by collecting and analysing plastic litter. So far, over 330 kg of plastic waste items have been reported, covering an area equivalent to 80 football fields.
Researchers’ Night – A European Collaboration
ForskarFredag is part of European Researchers’ Night, organised by the EU Commission. Activities are held on the last Friday of September to showcase the fun, excitement, and everyday relevance of research. In 2022, over 26 countries and more than two million people participated in European Researchers’ Night. ForskarFredag has been nationally coordinated by VA (Public & Science) since 2006.
European Researchers’ Night in Sweden is funded by the European Commission under HORIZON EUROPE in the framework of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions, GA 101061464, in collaboration with our Swedish partners.
For more information, please visit ForskarFredags page in English.