Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ReFocuS Report Summary

Project ID: 722341
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ReFocuS (The Road to Friday of Science)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Road to Friday of Science (ReFocuS) project’s aim is to extensively improve the public attention to science and its importance for society and wellbeing by bringing back the focus of the general public to researchers and the results of their studies. ReFocuS addresses the issue of the lack of public awareness about important scientific research in Serbia and EU, and the lack of Serbian researchers’ awareness about importance of cooperation among scientists and the public. Inspired by the ongoing situation in Europe concerning migrations, ReFocuS turned public attention to modern EU science concept of: (i) mobility of researchers and ideas as a basis for economy and social prosperity, and (ii) transdisciplinarity of the research, as the essential concept of contemporary research and communication. Moreover, ReFocuS aimed to refocus: the young minds to be open to functional learning, and to be ready to accept the opportunity to be scientists; the scientists to be approachable because their results are not just important to academics, but to the society as a whole; and the general audience to be aware of the fact that science is a key to everyday life improvement and progress. The high importance of the ReFocuS project can be seen in its objectives towards increasing the young audience’s awareness of possible scientific career and the awe of great scientific discoveries.

o To encourage and support the development of young people as a future scientist generation;
o To encourage the young to be innovative and to seek for creative solutions to different problems;
o To promote and support networking and mobility of ideas among young people;
o To give the opportunity and means for hands-on activities and DIY approach;
o To encourage the scientists to stand out and communicate science;
o To break the existing stereotypes about the "awkward" scientist;
o To raise public awareness of the researchers' contribution to general progress and development;
o To explain the science by popular formats such as quizzes, interactive experiments, debates, scientific popular films, competitions, art and science approach etc. instead of using the usual scientific articles;
o To promote the mobility and migration of ideas, knowledge and researchers as necessary for the development of science and society;
o To highlight the importance of the EU support to researchers and science in Serbia.

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

o Conception, production and display of promotional material: booklets, including maps of activities, billboards, posters;
o Public advertising: billboards in various locations in city and town centres, posters on city busses;
o Conception and realization of a PR and media campaign both at national and regional/local levels;
o Publication of 6 press releases distributed to media, followed by individual features about European Researcher’s Night and researchers;
o Organisation of a joint press conference with the other Serbian EU-funded project 7 September), (display of programme in each city, highlighting of the date and national coverage of the event), attended by journalists and general public;
o Organisation of local press conferences two days prior to the event ( presentation of the detailed programme in each of seven cities and towns covered by REFOCUS);
o Setting up of partnership with 18 media;
o Publication of 71 articles in 23 different newspapers (daily, weekly and periodical); as well as in science popularization journals (Popular science and Elementi, articles written by researchers);
o Conception, production and airing of radio jingle through 8 radio stations;
o Airing of programmes participated by researchers and announcements on 9 different TV stations;
o Announcements through 3 different news agencies;
o Direct mailing to about 200 schools;
o Setting up, constant updating and maintenance of project website namely, common to both EU funded Serbian projects (COOL and HOT and REFOCUS);
o Publication of advertising banners banner on 5 internet portals;
o Constant updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram);
o 77.257 interactions on Facebook with the highest reach of 16.245 interactions about the Science , 926 reactions to "Delicacy Monday Photo album";
o Publication of 120 articles on 32 different web portals.

o Pre-events:
o Setting up of a promotional booth in a pedestrian zone in each city and town (entire day of the event);
o Visits of SciTruck (mobile laboratory) in two towns, namely Belgrade 6–10 July 2016 and Ćuprija 14–18 September 2016) (3 exhibitions, 10 workshops, 5 popular science lectures, 2 scientific debates, 4 hand-on experiments, 2 Wiki corners, and 2 European corners) with estimated 3.000 visitors in Belgrade and 2.000 in Ćuprija;
o "Delicacy Monday"(19 September): chance to meet with researchers who made special “science dinner” for them (cooking of beans after the UNESCO year of pulses);
o Street Lab on Main Square in Belgrade (interactive experiments and performance of Cirkusfera, science circus performances, science busking team);
o Direct street marketing, similar to the Street Lab, during the weekend prior to the event in the pedestrian zones of city centres involving direct interaction of researchers with passers-by;
o Estimated 2 million people made aware of the European Researchers' Night and tis objectives.

o Offer of the activities as described in the Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o 47 hands-on experiments;
o 44 demos;
o 30 exhibitions;
o 43 workshops;
o 15 quizzes;
o 14 social games; o European corners;

o Activities addressing all segments of the public at large, whichever age and scientific background;
o Active involvement of 330 researchers, of whom:
o 2 having benefitted from SC schemes;
o 7 having benefitted from a EU support under FP 7/HORIZON 2020;

o Estimated 42.000 visitors having taken part in the activities offered, distributed as follows:
o 5.000 through Scitruck in Belgrade and Ćuprija; o 15.500 in Belgrade;
o 7.500 in Niš;
o 5.500 in Kragujevac;
o 3.000 in Pirot;
o 3.000 in Požarevac;
o 1.000 in Petnica and
o 1.500 in Inđija;

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)

Collection, analysis and processing of 2.670 feedbacks, under the form of questionnaires, of which:
o 196 from Scitruck in Belgrade; 309 from Scitruck in Ćuprija; 1.911 from visitors in the venues of the Night; 254 from organisers.
Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: SciTruck: mainly elementary school students (59.4 % in Belgrade, 78.9 % in Ćuprija), balanced gender distribution, 45,1 % newcomers in Ćuprija and 25,4 % in Belgrade (25.4 %); Night: 60 % female and 40 % male, preschool 2.8 %, elementary school 60.6 %, high school 18.6 %, higher education 4 %, 35,3 % having personal acquaintance with a researcher;
o Knowledge about the events: schools 44,6 %, friends 10 %, Facebook page and other social networks 7,9 %, family 13,5 %, media (advertisements) and website 17,7 %, passers-by 10,2 %;
o Increased awareness of the societal importance of science (97,4 %);
o Importance of the events for promoting this objective: 99,1 % female responders and 97,8 % male responders;
o Increased interest for science after participating in the events: visiting elementary school pupils, interest showed by 75 % of boys and 78 % of girls for science careers, 72 % in high school girl pupils, while only 57 % boys;
o Improvement of attitude towards science: 59 %;

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