Europe’s largest science festival celebrated in 250 cities

As European Researchers’ Night kicks off today (Friday 30 September) in 250 cities around Europe, we take a look at some of the activities that will be sparking the interest of members of the public in other countries and showing what researchers really do for society in a fun and engaging way.

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In Malta, the streets of Valetta once again become the stage for its Science in the City festival. This year’s focus is on the ’brain’ and will feature stunning artworks, shows and exhibitions celebrating the magnificence of the brain, and discussions with world-leading neuroscientists. Highlights include a light and musical installation that can be modified through a headset and blindfolded dancers carrying out a Romberg’s test on a 2m by 2m platform in the middle of the street. Sofas in the streets will allow members of the public to sit down for a chat with researchers too.

Hungary is looking to attract 30,000 visitors across its 18 venues to discover the fascinating world of researchers in the age of technology. A flash mob like activity will involve the public in a spectacular experiment and challenge-orientated activities will explore innovative solutions to societal challenges.

Researchers’ Night will be celebrated in 13 localities in Finland and involve researchers from 10 universities. Visitors can solve crimes with chemistry, spend a night at a zoological museum and have a conversation with a robot. Many of the events can also be watched live thanks to live streaming at a number of locations.

Trinity College Dublin in Ireland offers an evening of music, talks, performance, films, cooking workshops, experiments, secret screenings and interactive workshops that explore the fascinating research that is shaping our world. Activities at this pop-up festival are taking place in Trinity’s Square, where visitors will be able to examine their brainwaves, build their own robot, listen to the sun, watch parasites hatch from their eggs and lots more.

FRESH (Find Research Everywhere and SHare) is the name of Bulgaria’s ERN celebrations. Activities include international live streaming; science city quests and quizzes; science cafes; hands on experiments; science shows; simulations; games and competitions.

Twelve cities across the UK are hosting 2016 ERN activities. In Scotland, Explorathon will be hosting its largest ever celebration with programmes featuring discovery, debate and entertainment in four cities. As part of Science Uncovered at the Natural History Museum in London, visitors can discover rare items from the Museum’s collections, meet world-class scientists, and take part in interactive science stations, debates and behind-the-scenes tours.   In Huddersfield, visitors will be able to be part of a mystery Guinness World Record attempt. Other attractions include the magic of science, a crime scene investigation lab and high-energy chemistry activities ending in a laser and fireworks grand finale show.

Under the banner of Open Researchers, activities will be held in research centres as well as the busiest areas of the eight Andalusian capitals, and include experiments, workshops, experiences, plays and monologues, all designed to bring research closer to the general public in a fun way.

As the day’s activities unfold, keep an eye on the European Researchers’ Night Facebook page.

To find out about events happening near you, take a look at the European Commission’s interactive ERN map.

In Sweden, events will be held in 31 cities as part of ForskarFredag.

VA (Public & Science), coordinator of Researchers’ Night (ForskarFredag) activities in Sweden.


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