Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

WeForYou Report Summary

Project ID: 633162
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WeForYou (Meet and learn What Excellent science does FOR YOU and the society)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The “Meet and learn What Excellent science does FOR YOU”, the European Researchers’Night 2015 in Slovenia was actually at least partially built on successful previous experiences.

Main objectives of the action consisted of enhancement of public recognition of researchers and their work, of its impact on citizens’ daily lives and well-being, as well as stimulating young people’s interest for science and science careers.

The numerous activities offered related to several research topics, such as Energy research & innovation, Environment & Climate Action, Health, and ICT & Secure Society; they wre located in 4 important Slovenian cities, namely Ljubljana, Novo Mesto, Izola and Planica.

Addressing the public at large in all its components, with however a strong focus on kids and young people, in particular those facing or about to face a career choice, the activities included talk shows, hands-on experiments, interactive exhibitions, quizzes, attractive presentations of experiments, demonstrations of experiments in life, excursions, round tables, laboratory games, guided tours, European corners.

The programme proposed enabled the wide public audience to identify itself with the researchers’ life and to promote science not only for its societal contribution but also as a rewarding and fascinating career choice.

Visitors had the opportunity to share the researchers’ engagement in searching solutions to societal problems in areas such as efficient use and energy production, diseases and other health-related problems, as well as environment preservation and nature protection. They also could experience research day-to-day practices, in the very spaces and places where research is carried out, using the sophisticated instrumetns set at their disposal and benefitting form detailed explanations from those who usually carry out such works.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Awareness campaign was intended to reach broad Slovenian audience with focus on capital city Ljubljana, capital town of Dolenjska region Novo mesto, Izola and Planica. The goal was to make aware the public about the mission of the Researchers 'night, the program and events that was organized on the indicated day and to transfer the messages to the Slovenian largest public about meetings and interactions with science and with the researchers working in Slovenia. Promotional and awareness activities lasted from May 2015 till September 2015 and were involving the specified work and the activities envisaged in particular tasks of the WP1 (team preparation, program scenarios providing permissions for public events on the city sites from responsible authorities, meetings with the mass media (newspapers, TV and radio shows) for support and setting plans for the most efficient campaign. With coordinated actions and activities intended for the general public, we addressed as many attendees as possible, and at the same emphasising attention on the targeted groups (children, youth, elderly and families). We accomplished different kinds of information campaign, based on personal one-on-one communication, mass media communications, lobbying to the representatives (press, television, and e-media) all in order to attract general public and to stress the importance of the project.

Target audiences

o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Determined components of the general public (students, kids, families, elderly…);
o Special attention to be paid to kids and young people, especially those facing a career choice;

Messages conveyed

o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Meet and learn what excellence science does for you and the society;
o Science is a trip adventure for curious minds;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line
o Publication of articles, announcements and advertisements in several written media (daily newspapers such as Dnevnik, Primorske Novice);
o Airing of promotional spots and programmes on several radio and Tv stations (Radio Val 202, Centre, Aktual, POPTV, RTVSLO, Planet TV, TV medias..);
o Direct mailings;
o Direct visits to various institutions and stakeholders;
o Special media coverage in major magazines and newspapers;
o Public advertising on public transport means (Ljubljana);
o Launch of a European Researchers’ Night poster competition:
o Creation of a poster representing the image of scientists, his/her work, his/her activities, life, working environment, especially addressing mentors/tutors of art classes in primary and secondary schools;
o 2 age categories: 6-15, 14 and over;
o Selection of 5-10 finalists in each age group, 2 best rewarded;
o Other finalists having their own exhibition held on the same day as the European Researchers’ Night;
o Jury composed of 4 members (3 from academia, one from art circles)

On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Facebook, Twitter);
o On-line advertising electronic banners video clips available also on YouTube);
o Electronic mailings;

Promotional material
o Folders, brochures, programmes, posters;
o City lights, billboards, vieo clips, DVDs, public advertisement;
o Banners and ads on-line;
o Mention of ""This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions"" on all promotional material displayed;
o Promotional gadgets (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/communication/services/visual_identity/index.en.htm

ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT

The very title of the action ‘Meet and learn What Excellent science does FOR YOU and the society’ tells us that we want in the first place to present science, scientific work and results to the wide public audience. The researchers’ life was presented and promoted by and with the researchers themselves in a friendly manner and not merely an academic one. Researchers were involved in the event in many different types of activities (talk-shows, workshops, experiments, games…) with the main purpose to enable visitors to identify itself with the researchers’ life and possibly to inspire young people to pursue scientific careers. Information about Energy research & innovation, Environment & Climate Action, Health, and ICT & Secure Society were main focus addressed by WeForYou program during the Researchers night 2015.

List of locations and venues involved
o Ljubljana, main organizer - Jožef Stefan Institute;
o Novo mesto, main organizer - Faculty of Information Studies Novo mesto;
o Izola, main organizer – Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska;
o Planica, main organizer - Jožef Stefan Institute.

Venues
o Ljubljana (Central Slovenia), main event at New Square, the central city square, astronomical observatory at Gymnasium Šentvid and The Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park with related underwater archaeology sites;
o Novo mesto (Southeast Slovenia), main event at Faculty for Information Sciences, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences Novo mesto, Faculty of Health Sciences Novo mesto and Janez Trdina Cultural Centre, multipurpose municipal cultural centre which presents a regular performing arts and film programme, with special activities for children;
o Izola (South Slovenia - Seaside area), main event and workshops at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Primorska;
o Planica (Northwest Slovenia – Mountain area), indoor and outdoor event at Planetary Habitat Simulation Centre located in Triglav National Park.

Main types of activities planned
Talk show, hands-on experiments, interactive exhibitions, quizzes, attractive presentations of experiments, demonstrations of experiments in life, excursions, round tables, laboratory games, guided tours, European corners.

Detailed programme of activities
o Common theme: meet and learn what excellent science does for you and the society
o Priority topics: energy, environment, health and secure society;

LJUBLJANA, NEW SQUARE

Energy, Efficient energy production and consumption

o Moderated talk-show: efficient use of energy, approaches and new materials;
o Interactive exhibition: fusion - energy of the Future, fusion travelling exhibition with interactive experiments (ITER, JET, Fusion Expo);
o Run bicycle and get light, street show;
o Hands-on experiments: “The chemistry show” with lot of colour, fog, explosions and magic, cooking with chemists, where is the energy?
o Exhibition: Slovenian minerals as “products” of energy, how they help in the life.

Environment, what are researchers looking for in protecting the environment

o Moderated talk-show with demonstration: seeing is believing, how to observe the global temperature changes on the earth, examples of “passive thermometers”;
o Presentation and discussion: Exobiology: Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? If yes, should be microbial;
o Demonstration and talk show: how much of pharmaceutical remains in the environment, how to prevent the waters from being exposed to increasing pollution;
o Workshop: land use and protection of nature, bird population as an indicator of sustainable rural development;
o Moderated talk-show: use of synthetic biology to design novel materials and provide innovative solutions to major health problems, design therapeutic cells to act as sensors and to secrete drugs when needed, biological molecule to fold into a particular shape e.g. a tetrahedron or a shape of Slovenia, increase yield of biosynthesis of drugs, presentation of possible solutions and discussions with participants, demo on some basic experimental techniques;

Health, health and the modern society

o Presentation and debate: consumers’ food choice and quality perception;
o Discussion: GMOs in food as a health risk;
o Interactive round tables about problems in relation to health common to all: genetically modified organisms among us, impact on human health;
o Interactive presentations: robotics making innovations, development for diagnostics and training in rehabilitation and sport;
o Theatre performance: insights into the brain with medical imaging;
o Moderated talk-show: stem cells and their use in the medicine;
o Interactive roundtable: possible future cancer cures, new ways for treatment…;
o Innovations and spin offs: ways for achieving dreams, roundtable and talk show based on popular TV show(the right idea), together with CMEPIUS national agency;
o Science fair in New square: 26 booths, presenting research works and results by scientists and researchers from Slovenian universities, research institutions, chambers and R&D departments of high tech companies;
o Creative art workshop for kids: led by visual artist Masa Gala (creating paintings with recycled material based on nature and science);

NOVO MESTO

Secure society, safety in a cyber-world

o Interactive lecture and demonstration: heroes of the future, ICT security researchers preventing cybercrime and cyber terrorism;
o Show on current threatens, possibilities of stealing e –identities, possible protection in a cyber-world;

Environment, R&D and nature preservation activities

o Best regional researchers awards ceremony;
o Science fair: presentation of research and nature preservation activities by leading regional companies from the automotive and pharmaceutical with strong R&D departments;

Health, ICT for the healthy living of the elderly

o Social networks interactive workshop for the elderly: linkedAge network, supporting mobility of the elderly by offering global exchange of free accommodation places in sheltered housing;
o Round table discussion and talking to the audience: debate on the future of information society in the ageing world with leading researchers and opinion leaders;

IZOLA

Health, health and the modern society

o Different thematic stations (cabinets, laboratories) presented individual areas of the faculty research activities, with special emphasis on practical examples and procedures.
o Health prevention and treatment: experience addressing both school children and other visitors as patients, reviving the training doll in the simulation centre, measuring the criteria of fat and muscle mass, performing experiments with food and simple experiments in the field of molecular biology, demo on the procedure of separating DNA molecules;

PLANICA

Health

o Workshop and guided tours in the centre: visit to the hypoxic facility, presentation of the research conducted in the Applied Physiology laboratory providing overview of the high altitude, mountain medicine, and space physiology research;
o Interactive activities with the laboratory settings and discussion with scientists and researchers involved in such activities;

European corners

Number: 4 (one in each location)
Location: most frequented areas in each location;
Activities achieved:
o Display of informative and promotional material;
o Presentation/demo about research results of various EU-funded research projects in Slovenia (namely STORK 2.0, Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed 2.0, e-SENS, Electronic Simple European Networked Services, Flex4Grid, Prosumer Flexibility Services for Smart Grid Management);
o Witnesses by MSCA fellows and researchers having benefited from EU support, about their research works, career, and mobility experiences;
o Permanent presence of qualified personnel for answering the audience's questions related to EU programmes and policies;
o Interactive activities for kids;
o European Researchers' Night MSCA roll-up (entrance of the event) complying with the following content and format requirements: 200 X 85 cm, and the mentions: "European Researchers' Night", "Marie Skłodowska-Curie: an inspiration to follow";
o An image provided by the European Commission;

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Main objective of WP3 was to assess the impact of the event, in particular regarding the public perception of researchers and their work and to promote research careers by bringing researchers closer to the ordinary people with focus on younger generations. The project intended to give both youth and adults enough “meeting points”, chance and challenges to think about opportunities and fascinations science brings: the economic benefits, such as growth and employment. Science was presented as broadly as possible, mixing with art in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, using easily understandable promotion and communication manners suitable for various participants.

Description of the current situation

Essentially relying on previous assessment impact exercise undertaken in the framework of previous Researchers ‘nights.

Tools

o Self-administered questionnaires, available as a postcard (opinion about how science is carried out, impact of science on daily lives);
o Drawing a scientist (baseline created through a pre-event study and collected from visitors over 3 days in the 2 weeks prior to the event);
o Face to face interviews after taking part in the events;
o Mailed interviewed addressing scientists about their opinion on public engagement (ex-ante and ex-post froe establishing comparisons);

Indicators and parameters to be applied

o Qualitative: elements allowing the assessment of the public opinion on researchers and their job (associations with the word "researcher", characteristics of "actual researchers", characteristics of "desired researchers"), interest expressed for science and research, interest expressed for science careers, typology of attendees (age, gender, occupation, background…), intention to attend similar events in the future and involvement of researchers funded by Horizon 2020 actions in the activities of the Night;
o Quantitative: number of attendees, rating of the event, participation in various activities, number of hits on website, number of friends and followers on social networks, number of promotional items displayed and media coverage…number of responses expected, interviews, quantitative evaluation of public satisfaction, number of visitors at locations of the event, total number of visits on project web page, total number of “Likes” on a Facebook, total number of recorded face-to-face interviews, articles in largest main daily newspapers, articles in daily newspapers and local magazines, posters received, audio and video contributions about the Researchers night and coverage and survey results among the youth;

Selection of the sample

o Method: random selection , setting up, of one special target group composed of pupils from selected schools;
o Absolute figures: at least 100 drawings, at least 10 face to face interviews, feedback from approximately 10 % of attendees;"

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"Overview of the results: AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

o Definition of the overall communication strategy and selection of the subcontractor in charge of it (Identification (elaboration of terms of reference, call for tenders, evaluation and selection);
o Identification of the very targets of the campaign (public at large with focus on kids, pupils and students);
o Definition of the various messages to be conveyed, namely:
o Researchers are amongst us (meaning that researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary and exciting job that make them staying young and bright);
o Meet and learn what excellence science does for you and the society;
o Science is a trip adventure for curious minds;
o Setting up of project Web page www.zaznanost.si;
o Over 415.744 total visits on webpage (26. 10. 2015);
o Setting up of social networks profiles: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sizaznanost) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ZaZnanost);
o 2.204 likes on Facebook profile (26. 10. 2015);
o Setting up of various YouTube accounts;
o Reception of 102 posters in the framework of the drawing competition;
o Sponsor search: City of Ljubljana (Main), Mayor of the City of Ljubljana Zoran Janković (honorary), Radio 1 (media);
o Public advertising: display of posters of various formats throughout the city, and of folders in public spaces;
o Advertising in Ljubljana public transport (city buses)
o Airing of promotional spots, announcements, interviews on several radio and TV stations National (RTVSLO, Planet TV);
o Direct contacts with primary and secondary schools (about 600 schools approached);
o About 350.000 people made aware of the Researchers' night and its objectives;

Overview of the results: ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT

o Offer of 85 different activities to the attendees, complying with the plans as described in Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
- Hands on experiments;
- Theatre games;
- Demos and shows;
- Lectures, workshops, art workshops, guided tours …
- European corners…;
o Overall number of researchers involved in the implementation of activities: about 3.000 researchers were actively involved in the preparation and implementation of the activities linked the Night, of which:
- 300 were actively involved in the implementation of the activities during the Night itself;
- Having benefited from MSCA schemes: 500;
- Having benefited from EU support (FP 7, H 2020): 2.500;
o Live interactive face-to-face radio broadcasting: estimated 289.000 listeners, of which
- 187.000 in Ljubljana;
- 35.000 in Izola;
- And 67.000 in Novo Mesto;
o About 5.500-6.000 visitors having taken part in the various activities offered in the different venues.

Overview of the results: IMPACT ASSESSMENT

o Collection of data regarding the current public perception of researchers (existing surveys, special survey launched prior to the event);
o Setting up of questionnaires and guidelines for face to face interviews;
o Training of pollsters;
o Organisation of the collection of answers (off and on line, on site and after the event), data processing and drafting of conclusions;
o Comparison with results of previous similar actions and setting up of trends;
o Conduction of face-to-face interviews with 25 scientists and compiled in a short video: https://youtu.be/AWg9Ksq-5DA;
o Collection and processing of 185 filled-in questionnaires;

Main conclusions:

o Overall positive feedback about the event: appreciated insight in the researchers' life, positive direct exchanges with researchers, interest of the activities offered, opportunity to learn about science as well as about Slovenian research institutions;
o Most successful activities: science fair including 26 booths related to different science fields;
o Increased interest expressed by the attendees for science and higher appreciation of the researchers 'work as amazing;
o Improved public image of researchers:
 - Tackling the old stereotypes still remaining such as obscure bearded boffins;
 - Awareness about the societal importance of the researchers' work (daily life of citizens as well as science breakthroughs);
- Worth noting nevertheless that most attendees proved to be already very interested in science;
o Increased interest for science careers from young people attending (exciting, inspiring, boosting their confidence for engaging on science career, boosting curiosity, broadening the range of science interests…);
o Enthusiastic assessment also from researchers involved, as being a unique opportunity for networking and spreading their knowledge, as well as boosting curiosity and fascination for science in the attendees;
o Suggestions for improvement from attendees:
 - Choice of a more convenient date, namely after university re-start (namely October);
 - Whole day-duration;
 - More numerous interactive experiments and shows;
o From the organisers' point of view, further efforts should be undertaken with a view to attracting "science-reluctant" people to the events.

Socio-economic impact of the action

Clearly the Researchers’ Night will not as such have a measurable socio-economic impact. They nevertheless can have a certain influence about the relationships between research institutions, universities etc. operating in the area and having cooperated for the project, likely to go on after it and generate further synergies and positive impact for the territory concerned.

In case of strong presence of research communities in the territory concerned, the Researchers' night could also have an impact on the social fabric, strengthening the links between scientific and non-scientific population.

The Researchers’ Night event is a great opportunity to bring together worlds of science, research, innovation and communication. Sharing science and creativity dimension through the public spaces create new and better work/life balances for citizens: wherever and whenever. Wearable technologies supported by Internet create well-being lifestyles for young people and the elderly. The use of sustainable energy and material use will become essential part of citizens’ daily practices."

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