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Science in the City

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Science in the City (Science in the City)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-11-30

Science in the City”, the European Researchers’ Night in Malta 2014, was actually the continuation of several previous successful events. It consisted of a nationwide festival that married science to the arts to showcase Maltese researchers and their work.

The main objectives of the action included the enhancement of the public recognition of researchers and their work, of its positive impact on citizens’ daily lives and well-being; it also showcased the researchers as ordinary people having an extraordinary job, with a view to stimulating young people’s interest for science and science careers. Furthermore, while tackling the remaining stereotypes about the job researcher, it also promoted gender balance in science.

The activities filled Valletta, Malta’s Capital City, a UNESCO world heritage site, with the wonders of science in a highly fascinating, innovative and interactive way.
Installation combining music, visual art, mathematics, computer science (The Harmant), science workshops, viewer centred performance (biomedical engineers and dancers), science theatre, science film festival, guided visits, exhibition of live sculptures (animals), Famelab activities, interactive science booths, science cafés, indie games, informal talks, with scientists, presentation of most recent findings on cancer immunotherapy, science stand-up comedy, EU corners…. were amongst the numerous activities offered to the general public in all its components, with a strong focus on kids and young people.

The consortium was led by the University of Malta and composed of the Chamber of Scientists, the Malta College of Science, Art and Technology, as well as Studio 7 and Karl Borg Events Ltd in audio visual activties and communication and logistics planning respectively. The consortium cooperated with a large number of institutions and organisations, to implement the various activities.

Target audiences

o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background, reached through different targeted communication tools;
o Special attention will be given to kids and young people, especially to encourage science careers;

Messages conveyed

o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are ordinary people with an extraordinary job;
o Research is exciting and fun;
o Other more specific messages linked to researchers ‘public recognition and stimulation of young people to embark on scientific careers;

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line

o Publication of regular press releases sent to all local newspapers (about 25);
o Publication of articles, advertisements and announcements in the most popular English/Maltese newspapers;
o Organisation of press conference (broadcasted on 3 TV stations, press pack delivered to all local media);
o Airing of TV and radio ads (most engaging research activities), interviews with researchers for discussion and promotion of science careers (Radio 101, Campus FM, One Radio, Community Radio stations, TVM, One TV);
o Public advertising through banners in Valletta streets and posters in surrounding establishments as well as participating institutions;
o Sending of a flyer to all households in Malta (including a map, the programme, the age appropriateness and the schedule);
o Launch of a research and science competition during seminar SkolaSajf: science performances in schools from July to September, Mind Trekkers;

On line

o Revamping , constant updating and maintenance of project website;
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of social network profiles;
o Mailing and electronic newsletters to all partners, corresponding bodies and NGOs;
o Sharing of videos, news, details clips generated by media via social networks;

Promotional material

o Folders, brochures, programmes, posters;
o Banners, ads, websites, links to institutional and popular websites;
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

Overview of the results

o Conception, production and display of promotional items: flyers & map and summary programme displayed to Malata households in over 10 cities, and to Valletta residents (by Valletta Local council) posters of various formats,
o Sending of letter ot restaurants, bars, cafés, etc. owners inviting them to remain open during the event;
o Publication of press releases having generated 184 prss references;
o Publication of inserts, annoucnements, articels, interviews in free press, newspapers and magazines, amongst which a 3 pages-interveiw of Edward DUCA in the Circle magazine monthly circulated with the Times of Malta;
o Organisation of one press conferences ( launch of the awareness campaign, launch of the cars race)
o Airing of interviews on radio and TV stations (Radju Malta, Radju Malta 2, RTK, Radio 101…), coverage of press conferences (National Broadcasting Station, TVM and 2 on Net TV, PBS);
o Airing of early live broadcast during the event on national TV station;
o Production and airing of a TV ad on thz National TV station TVM;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website, namely;
o Over 4.000 visits on project website;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social networks profiles (Facebook, Twitter);
o 100.000 people reached through Facebook, 61.000 post clicks, 6.398 likers (approx.. 1 % of whole Malta population);
o General mailing to partners and coollaborators (approx.. 67.000 addressees, including the Department of Information of all government employees and MEUSAC database);
o Organisation of a walk about for journalists the day"
Overview of the results 2014
o Conduction of survey prior to the event (97 responses);
o Collection and processing of 189 filled in questionnaires including 10 questions and statements;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of responders: 50,2 % female, 49,8% male, aged between 8 and 81, most visitors aged 13-19 (26,98 %), followed by those aged about 20 (20,6%), most having visited several activities if not all;
o Overall positive feedback on the event itself (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, scheduling, concrete organisation, venues and locations);
o Most popular activities towards young people: debates, science fair, exhitibions, Lufthansa stand;
o Average number of researchers met by visitors during the event: 12;
o Increased awareness about the positive societal impact of researchers' work, in particular regarding daily lives and well-being, as well as fighting against diseases (94 % responders);
o Increased knowledge about researchers and their work (over 90 responders);
o Strong trend in fabour of an increase of female presence in science;
o General wish of a longer event's duration (over the weekend) and an opening during school hours.

Overview of the results 2015

o Collection, analysis and processing of 128 filled questionnaires;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 52 % respondents female, 67 % having completed the form in English, age comprised between 10 (youngest) and 69 (oldest), larger part of respondents being aged between 13 and 19, 72,6 % having a science-relaetd occupation;
o Overall positive feedback about the event itself (venues, location, contacts with researchers, activities, interest, concrete organisation, scheduling…);
o Most successful activities: science fair, rare diseases, health area and STEAM, mainly offered in the form of hands-on activities addressing both kids and adults, as well as the swarm robotics;
o Less successful: space mission (successful but not as much as could have been expected)notably due to some failing equipment;
o Improvement of knowledge about Maltese research and researchers: almost 100 % respondents (125);
o Increased awareness about potential research'simpact on citizens'daily lives: 57 % respondents;
o Increased feeling of connection with the University of Malta: over the half of respondents;
o Improvements suggested by the audience:
 Longer duration;
 Improvement of signposting;
 Increased interactivity of activities addressing adult audience;
science stage poster
flight simulator
STEM Unplugged
Medicine show poster
digital gaming national library
kids' poster
laws of motion dance
blast off, arts and crafts about the solar system
TV interview
amaze 2
UoM science students helping out
STEM Unplugged
Mindset dance banner
The scientist Art exhibition