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SHARPER Report Summary

Project ID: 633367
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SHARPER (SHAring Researchers’ Passion for Excellence and Results. European Reserarchers' Night in the Centre of Italy 2014 - 2015)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European Researchers’ Night 2015 SHARPER simultaneously took place on 25th September 2015 in Perugia, Ancona and L’Aquila, the capital cities of the three regions located in the centre of Italy: Umbria, Marche and Abruzzo.
The project intended making the researchers’ quest for excellence accessible to everybody in cities and communities where researchers act and live. Such purpose allowed showing the researchers’ enthusiasm, knowledge and emotions, while pointing out the positive impact of researchers’ job on citizens’daily lives and well-being. Stimulating young people’s interest for science and science careers, the project also emphasised the importance of communicating between researchers and public at large, also stressing the needs for communication skills for researchers.
Addressing the public at large in all its components, the project also put a strong focus on kids and young people, in particular those facing or about facing a career choice.
The event program was compiled as a mix of hands-on experiments, shows, informal talks, sport activities, interactive presentations, exhibitions, art, theatre performances, competitions, challenges with researchers, European corners.
The organizing consortium included universities (Perugia, Marche), research institutes (Laboratori nazionali del Gran Sasso, L’Aquila), under the conduction of a fifteen years-experienced team expert in the field of science communication (Psiquadro) well-known at European level amongst the networks of science events organizers.
The SHARPER project intended creating effective communication bridges between researchers and the cities and communities they live and act within through the whole range of activities that took place in focal city venues, where citizens use to spend their everyday life.

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

Target audiences
- Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
- Special attention to students of any age, including university students, family groups with kids;
- Also focus on groups of adults or singles with special interest on research topics, and on stakeholders with a relevant role in a city development;

Messages conveyed
- Researchers are amongst us;
- Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
- Discover excellence with a researcher;
- Discover researchers’ emotions;
- Transform your passions into a researcher job;
- Be sharper become a researcher;
- R=ExExE: research equals excellence, emotions, enthusiasm;

Main communication tools to rely on
Off line
- Publication of articles, announcements, advertisements in national and regional press;
- Airing of promotional spots, announcements, interviews, programmes on several radio and TV stations ;
- 1 national press conference
- 3 local press conferences
- Media partnership with radio, university radios and local TV stations;
- National launch through press offices of the research institutions involved;
- Promotion in the framework of public events: international journalism festival, FameLab Italy, Umbria Jazz Festival, Isola di Einstein in Perugia, LNGS Open days, L’Aquila town 721th Edition of Perdonanza Celestina event (L’Aquila), and Fosforo Science Festival (Ancona);
- Public advertising: advertisement totems, road billboards, posters
- Advertisement helium balloons;
- Teaser campaign based on quizzes and games;

On line
- Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website;
- Revamping of social networks profiles (Facebook Page);

Promotional material
- Promotional videos, leaflets, programmes, stickers, pin buttons;
- Ads, banners, updates of Facebook
- Mention of "This European Researchers' Night project is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions" on all promotional material displayed;
- Promotional gadgets (T-shirts, bags, gadgets) (displayed through the European corner notably), complying with the general guidelines available at

Overview of the results
- Paper leaflets
4000 A3 posters, 25.000 postcards, 35.000 programmes distributed in public spaces (bar, restaurants in cities downtown, university departments, public libraries, cultural stores, tourism offices and schools)

- Promotional Gadget
900 T-Shirt, 3000 lapel pins, 5000 vinyl stickers, 300 shopping bags, 7000 balloons, 5500 fluorescent bracelets, 500 magnets

- Public advertising
40 6x3m billboards, 500 140x200 road posters, 1000 100x140 road posters, 1500 70x100cm posters, 4 1x6m PVC banners, 1 1x4m PVC banner, 1000 100x140 road posters, displayed in high traffic density roads and streets and city public transportation stops, 10 85x200 roll ups, 40 60x200 roll ups, 100 7x100 totems, 10 XL posts

- Broadcasting of over 160 promotional spots and ads on local radios in September

- 5 broadcasting SHARPER dedicated programs on local TV networks
- Annoucements during public events : Isola di Einstein, Fosforo, Perdonanza Celestiniana.

- 5 Press conferences: one in Rome, Sala delle Bandiere del Parlamento Europeo, at national level together with other Italian EU funded ERN projects, one in Perugia (September 22nd), two in L’Aquila (July and September 14th), one in Ancona (September 24th)
- Press releases: 16 to local and regional newspapers, 7 to national newspapers
- Publication of 20 articles in written press
- Articles from 14 newspapers, 57 online journals, 7 national press agencies, 6 local TV networks

- Websites statistics (1st December 2015 to 1st January 2016)
10.920 unique visitors, 27.893 page visualisations, 6.310 downloads of programmes;
3.580 unique visitors, 8.760 page visualisations
- SHARPER Facebook Page statistics (16/08/2015 to 16/10/2015):
6013 total page likes, 60.716 reaches, 4190 FB video views, 45 daily average shares and 15 daily average comments.

Overall about 630.000 people have been aware of SHARPER Researchers Night.


List of locations and venues involved
- Ancona
P.zza Roma, Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, Harbour: Banchina 17 Molo di Ancona, Piazza del Papa

- L’Aquila
Piazza Duomo, Palazzetto dei Nobili, Ridotto del Teatro, Sala Sericchi, Auditorium Del Parco, Palazzo Baroni Cappa, Fontana Luminosa, Villa Comunale

- Perugia
IV Novembre Square: along the main street (city centre), Rocca Paolina underground fortress: the underground medieval town (city centre), University Department (all located in the city centre plus one department at 2 km from the city centre), Observatory (1 km from the city centre), Natural History Gallery (15 km from the city centre), Via dei Priori, Piazza Danti, Ortobello (urban hurticultur center), Loggia dei Lanari, Via Oberdan

Detailed programme of activities
Three city specific event programmes have been implemented.
In 2015 SHARPER edition some activities already implemented in 2014 edition in some cities have been inserted into the program of other cities.

Main activity list:
SPOT THE RESEARCHER: based on TV programme “I soliti ignoti’, it’s a game where researchers from different field should be spotted by the players in the audience
IMPRORESEARCH: challenge between 2 researchers passionate of improvisation l theatre, storytelling about life of a scientists in and out a lab, based on cinema and theatre formats;
PHYSICS GURU: conference type activity, by famous researchers performing cutting edge research in Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso;
AEROSPACE FOR DUMMIES: scientist who worked on last Italian space mission within astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti share their experience about safety issue on board of ISS.
SCIENCE HAPPY HOUR: informal chat with researchers (with a drink, aperitif or café), researchers answering questions form the audience about goals, achievements, future outcomes of his/her research;
EXCELLENT FOSSILS (Olduvai): hands on experiments and storytelling about important discoveries occurred in Umbria, and findings of Umbrian researchers in Tanzania;
RESEARCHERS POP UP SHOWS: temporary science shop where researchers talk about challenges in their research and possible outcomes for the city development, exhibitions and workshop;
EXCELLENT IDEAS: fast communication of challenging researchers’ ideas, speakers’ corner style talks;
UNEXPECTED CONNECTIONS: multiple and multi-disciplinary dialogues between researchers apparently from very different fields, questions and answers sessions;
RESEARCHERS’ TRASURE HUNT: game in museums, pubs and bars, identification n of clues focusing on information about specific research topics and information, when researcher is found, explanation of the relation between the place and the research concerned;
MIND THE PUB: quiz game, mathematics and psychology-based inside a pub;
TOP MEDICINES FOR DUMMIES: interactive conference illustrating the state of the art in medicine;
BOOMERANG PHD: Science demonstration about thew physics of boomerang
UNDERGROUND TRIPS: guided visits to underground LNGS laboratories
THE NERDS REVENGE: hands on workshops, a gazebo full of fringe technologies from the Control Engineering (sensors, actuators, micro controllers…);
CRIME SCENES: finding clues for investigation cases, animated conference;
HANDED BRAINS: highlight an excellent scientist, hands-on circuit, open air workshop;
THE MYSTERY OF WHITE ANIMALS: interactive lecture about strange albino animals with living demonstration.
SHARPER QUESTIONS: science-filled crossword puzzle(solution, different approaches, crossing methods and points of views);
INTERFERENCES: display of suggestive images (street graffiti, paintings, pictures, other visual installations) realised in cooperation with young art students;
WALKING THROUGH HISTORY TOWN: rediscovery of the historical heritage of the town thanks to augmented reality and QR technologies, road lecture;
CHALLENGE ME: quiz game after Trivial Pursuit, researcher explaining the reasoning as the approach to challenges;
ORTOBELLO: urban horticulture and vegetables garden. A meeting to talk about cities development, sharing practices.
OPEN LABs: guided visits in Perugia University Departments and Laboratories
LIGHT CITY DRESS: Architectural 3D video projections in Ancona, L’Aquila and Perugia city centres.
POWERS of TEN: a travel from nanoscopic to cosmic dimensions
AROUND EXPO and FOOD: a collection of lecture about Food and sustainable nutrition (A cena con gli antichi romani, Biologico e qualità della vita, Associazione Mondiale di amicizia nelle aree rurali).
BACK TO THE FUTURE: taking inspiration by Back to the future movie, an interactive show to discuss about the future.
A DAILY QUEST: a talk show to discover what’s inside researchers diaries.
THE RESEARCHERS CAPITAL: a live radio interview to a researcher to imagine the future of the city
EUROPEAN RUN NIGHT: A nightly run to put researchers and citizen on the starting line together to demonstrate that researchers are free runners!

European corners
Number: 3, one in each city;
Locations: Ancona, L’Aquila, Perugia, located in former shops now empty in City centres;
Activities developed in EU corners:
- Display of informative and promotional material;
- Witnesses from MC fellows and researchers having benefited from EU support about their experience and researchers’ mobility;
- Demonstration/presentation of research results of projects EU funded;
- Permanent presence of personnel likely answering all questions from the audience regarding EU policies and programmes, based on cooperation with regional departments for European policies, Europe Direct agencies, in the 3 regions, regional branches of APRE(Italian Agency for Research Promotion);
- 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";

Overview of the results
- A total number of 126 activities have been offered to the audience in three cities (62 in Perugia, 23 in Ancona and 41 in L’Aquila).

- The 10th anniversary of the European Researchers Night has been the occasion to offer to the audience some very successful activities such as Light City Dress, a strong impact video mapping projection realized in three cities that acted as a landmark associate to the ERN.

- A total number of 1200 researchers has been actively involved in design and actuation of activites. Among them 15 have benefitted from Marie Curie Schemes and 53 have benefitted from other EU support.

- The overall number of attendees to SHARPER events is 41.000 people. 25.000 in L’Aquila, 8.000 in Perugia and 8.000 in Ancona.

Description of the current situation
- Based notably on IPSOSMORI 2011 on facts of science and technology;
- Also relying on SHARPER 2014 impact assessment;
- Possibly identified existing studies and surveys on the topic of public perception of researchers and their role in society;

- Calls for comments (official website, social networks profiles);
- Questionnaires, ex-ante, in-itinere and ex-post, available both on line and on site;
- Assessment sheets;
- Face to face interviews;

Indicators and parameters to be applied
- Quantitative: number of attendees, typology of attendees (age, gender, occupation, background), rating of the event, participation in various activities, hits on website, friends and followers on social networks, promotional items displayed, media coverage;

- Qualitative: public opinion about researchers and their roles (association with the word “researcher, characteristics of actual and ideal researchers, interest expressed for science and research, motivations for attending the event, intention to attend future similar events, involvement of researchers funded under HORIZON 2020)

Selection of the sample
- Method: random selection"

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)

In the opinion of respondents, the researchers are key agents for development and change. Their contribution can be decisive for the environment and for the improvement of life in cities. Someone also stresses that the main objective of their mission should be just improving the quality of life since the most problematic issues that can be addressed and resolved through science and technology. In summary, the researcher has a public role and must cooperate with the community in which they live and work. On several occasions stakeholders underline the importance of knowledge and skills, two issues that have to be very developed with the help of researchers for the future cities. In this way the researchers should not only improve their communication skills, but reflect more on research and on how to effectively talk with an audience of non-experts.
The most challenging mode of communication are those related to the format of dialogue and listening. It is noted that the theme of listening is increasingly important for the effective dissemination of research. It is worth, therefore, suggest to calibrate some good activities when the public is actively involved not only to entertain, but also to propose, ask, and take action on matters of great public interest. Of course this need to properly train researchers and identify issues and appropriate places for these in order to open spaces for dialogue.
Fostering these qualities will enhance a powerful dialogue and interexchange between civil society and science establishment, based on trust and sharing knowledge attitude.

Overview of the results
- 1520 interviews has been carried out in four different specific survey.
- A call for comments in form of a survey has been conducted before the Researchers’ Night (June to September 2015). The sample is composed of 551 complete interviewees (average age 41 y. o., 53% females). Specific questions of the questionnaire have been used for a comparison with national data.
-A pre-event survey selecting structured activities involved a sample of 341cases has been carried out. This way it was possible to study a specific part of the public, usually very interested in scientific issues (average age 37 y.o., 58% females)
-A post-event survey of 380 cases has been carried at the end of the activities selected for the pre-event survey (average age 35 y.o., 62% females). It was possible to match pre and post questionnaire using 189 cases for a longitudinal analysis
-A final post RN survey of 248 cases has been carried out (average age 35 y. o., 62% females) for assessing the point of views of participants in different activities.

-Typology of visitors: gender, age (average, youngest, oldest), education, scientific background, geographical origin, interests;
Interviewed participants are mostly women, 35 ca. average age, they have a good education and a there is an high percentage of graduates (more than 25%, Italy 20% ca.). Participants came usually from city having more than 50 thousands inhabitants and from the three region where the Researchers’ Night has been organized.
Way of having been aware about the event: advertising, e media, schools, friends and /or colleagues, family.
Participants usually attended the events for a specific interest and because someone suggest them to participate.
- Overall feedback: concrete organisation, themes, scheduling, contacts with researchers, venues, locations, links.
- In general, participants gave a very positive evaluation of the initiatives:
an average of 8,4 in a 0-10 scale; n: 314. The most interest theme for participants was the activity of researchers and the opportunity to meet them. People agreed with the opportunity to advice friends of the Researchers’ Night event. They finally sustained that presenters propose very clearly the arguments during the selected events (8,6 average on a 0-10 scale n: 377).
- Participants suggested to enhance the involvement of local authorities, involve schools and make the events last longer.
- Logistics: the suggestion to enhance the accessibility, more effective signs for booths and stands and in some cases to select better places for workshops.
- Most successful activities:
Crime Bus (Ancona), Spot the Researchers and Handed Brains (L’Aquila), Ortobello and The Strange Case of Animals in White (Perugia)
- Failed activities:
Some activities did not meet a complete cooperation with public in terms of effective communication. Mathematics and Doping and Aerospace for Dummies (Perugia), Crime Scene (L’Aquila)

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