Skip to main content

RESEARCHER'S NIGHT IN FRANCE

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EXPERIM (RESEARCHER'S NIGHT IN FRANCE)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-11-30

"The 2015 project involved as usual numerous cities, amongst which a high level of consistency was ensured through the setting-up of several common activities, while each location also developed its own specific programme based on its own specificities and strengths.
Beyond the general objective of enhancing the public recognition of researchers and promoting scientific careers towards young people, the purpose also consisted of creating original meetings as well as long and enriching dialogues between citizens and researchers in 11 cities.
A strong joint awareness campaign was organised at national level, around the theme “experience”, which actually has a double meaning in French, namely: ""experience"" and ""experiment"".

All the activities were articulated relying on the same overall plan:

o Face to face with researchers’ activities: meeting places, welcome foreign researchers;
o European scope of the Researchers’ Nights: information and improved understanding of European programmes, animated by “Campus France”;
o Interactive research experiments, guided and explained by specialised researchers;

A long list of activities were offered in such context, such as interactive presentations, meetings, speed searching, chats with researchers, artistic performances, hands-on experiments, guided visits to labs, concerts, true lab experiments, “science whisperers"" on public transport, flash mob, walks, presentation of research results, exhibitions (pictures, drawing, videos), workshops, Pecha Kucha, astronomy shows, EU corners…"
"I.1.1. AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Tasks undertaken

Target audiences
o Public at large regardless of age and scientific background;
o Special attention to be paid to kids and young people, especially those facing a career choices;

Messages conveyed
o Researchers are amongst us;
o Researchers are approachable, and their research is linked to societal interests;
o Experiment is sued in every and each topic for reaching results;
o Come along to spend some time with user-friendly and pleasant researchers, discovering their world an share their experiments;
o Something is going to happen (Experiment !)

Main communication tools to rely on

Off line
o Promotion amongst researchers’ networks (European researchers coming to French labs);
o Setting up of a media pre-arranged network (as in 2012 & 2013, with a new press attachée): press, radio, audio-visual media for targeting the messages;
o Press partnerships, including purchase of advertising space;
o Broadcasting of the TEASER in cinemas of the 11 cities;
o Conduction of local press campaigns by the various partners;
o Specific campaign addressing schools (specific programmes and leaflets at local levels)

On line
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website (programme, details, portraits of researchers, films, videos on on-going lab work…);
o Realisation of a teaser based on off the wall sense of humour;
o Targeted mailing to research communities and teaching world (from primary schools to high education);
o Revamping, updating and maintenance of the social networks profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…);

Promotional material
o Posters (A3 to 120 X 180 size), programmes;
o Communication material to be realised at local level by local partners;
o Teasers, banners, ads, websites, link to relevant EU and popular websites and social networks;
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

Overview of the results
o Conception, production and display of promotional material: posters of various formats, leaflets, postcards, flyers, promotional teaser displayed in public places and participants' premises, researchers' communities, libraries, schools, social clubs, theatres…;
o Realisation of a press kit (researchers' interviews, pictures, programme, radio broadcasts);
o Publication of advertising in local and national press;
o Updating of visual identity , including “The Great Experiment” and the 10th anniversary;
o Airing of promotional spots on regional and national TV and radio stations;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of project website http://www.nuitdeschercheurs-france.eu/PagePrincipale;
o 28.000 sessions of which 15.000 during September;
o Links with over 100 popular and institutional websites;
o Posting of banners, agendas and newsletters;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram);
o 1.500 likes on Facebook (display of promotional teaser), 1950 followers on Twitter, over 1.000 tweets, posting of 100 pictures on Instagram);
o About 5 million people made aware of the Researchers' Night and its objectives;

I.1.2 ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT
Tasks undertaken

Locations and venues
o Angers
o Besancon
o Bordeaux
o Brest
o Dijon
o Le Mans
o Limoges
o Lyon
o Metz
o Paris
o Toulouse.

Venues: public spaces, theatre, library, castle, university campus, museum, historic centre, scientific platform, art museum, cultural centre, archaeology museum
Main types of activities planned
Participative experiments, interactive presentations, meetings, speed searching, chats with researchers, artistic performances, hand son experiments, guided visits to labs, concerts, true lab experiments, “science whisperers “on public transport, flash mob, walks, presentation of research results, exhibition (pictures, drawing, videos), workshops, Pecha Kucha, astronomy shows, EU corners…

Detailed programme of activities

Preparatory activities:
o Researchers’ coaching: special communication training, notably through individual visits, meals, meetings;
o Coordination of EU-welcome corners (in cooperation with Radio campus France);
o Special training of partners in “participative experiments” (13th may meeting);
A special management has been build to run the National “Great Experiment »
o December 2014 : Call addressed to the French Research community (CNRS, INSERM, IRD, Universities, etc.);
o Deadline for submitting proposals: 16th of February 2015;
o Review of the 9 proposals;
o March 31: Jury (composed of 11 people : researchers, coordinators and journalists);
o April 2nd : announcement of the project selected : “Tragedy of the Commons : the great participative experiment” (A behavioral economics experience on the tragedy of the commons conducted inside a national popularization event, simultaneously in 11 French cities, with over 2700 participants, during four uninterrupted hours of experimentation)

Template common elements to be implemented in each City involved
o Happenings in city centre (restaurants at lunch time, activities on public transport, shows and art installations in public spaces, stroll bouts, flash mobs, under tent activities;
o Activities opened to schools during the whole afternoon;
o Great Participative experiment:
o Led by researchers;
o Subjects of interest to the attendees (taste, health, sleep, dreams, beliefs, cross cultures, economics, education…);
o Including discussion between audience and researchers;
o Playful, aesthetic and interactive presentations:
o Creation of special atmospheres (immersion into the researchers’ world, attractiveness);
o Dynamic presentations such as Pecha Kucha (15 slides in 15 seconds), FameLab (13 minutes presentations including videos and slides), Thesis (180 seconds), 20 minutes discussion afterwards.
o European meetings and presentations:
o EU corners;
o Speed searching: speed exchanges (8 minutes) between researchers and audience;
o Bar: space for informal presentation and chat between researchers and audience;

Detailed city programme
ANGERS
o Experiment: “come and become corpus”; Great Experiment;
o Guided visit of the Castle (economy, history, physics researchers accompanying);
o On-going experiments with 50 researchers;
o ‘Café sciences’, chat with researchers about the stakes of research;
o Informal chats about researchers’ everyday life;
o Live radio programme with several interviews;
o Musical “Rendez-vous”;
BESANCON
o 2 experiments conducted under a transparent tent, elements being set at disposal of the visitors (guide note book…);
o Participative Game (meeting in the dark; “by word of mouth”);
o Participative experiment on sport performances;
o True lab experiments under booths;
o Great shared experiment;
o EU Radio Show;
BORDEAUX
o Happening organised both in Cap Sciences premises and in tram station;
o Visits to 150 schools in the afternoon (students 12-18);
o Workshops and games about maths;
o Speed searching in the dark (participation of foreign students);
o FameLab performance in the dark;
o Demonstration of digital tools Living Lab (Oculus Rift, Cubtil…);
o Burlesque show;
o Live radio show with Radio Campus;
BREST
o Investigation game ""Experimental station"" throughout the whole evening;
o Happening in central square (young researchers);
o Speed searching;
o Pecha Kucha (15 slides, 15 seconds);
o Broadcasting by Radio Europe with Radio U (University) 101.1 FM;
o Tastings of local products, music, dance and theatre performances.
DIJON
o Experiments conducted in the planetarium (public invited to taste in different contexts);
o Testing activities in a wall building (psychology, taste, economy, experiments on “success” with children and parents);
o Presentation of on-going experiments by researchers;
o Scenography;
o EU Speed searching,
o EU Radio Show;
LE MANS
o Guided museum visits (high school students);
o Treasure hunt, looking for researchers’ items (in the museum) and quiz about their researches;
o Become a lab guinea pig, It research;
o Chats with researchers in lounges, presentation of experiments and experience;
o Pecha Kucha ;
o EU and welcome corner: 2 hours live radio broadcast with researchers from different countries;
o Artistic Performance
LIMOGES
o Meeting and presentation with researchers;
o Speed Searching;
o Become a Guinea pig, experimentation;
o Show by artists and researchers about on-going experiments;
o Presentation of current experiments in physics, with active public involvement under the “exhibition bus” in front of the marquee;
o EU and welcome corner in café;
o Live cartoon performance with researchers;
o Kids activities
LYON
o Stall of researchers, presentation on the farmer market;
o Test “Draw the man of the future”
o Presentation contest: my experiment in 180 seconds;
o Immersive experiments in the new exhibition space of the Planetarium;
o Refreshment, EU and welcome corner, Radio Europe;
o Game: find the fake researcher among the true presentations;
o Speed searching for kids
METZ
o Street hawkers;
o Participative experiments;
o Discussion with researchers in a yurt;
o Research show by PhD students on the theatre stage;
o Screening of short films and debates;
o Speed searching;
o Plays (theatre);
o Concert;
o Refreshment, EU and Welcome corner, Radio Europe;
PARIS
o Students demonstrated science shows in the afternoon;
o Art/science experiment: “one minute”;
o The great experiment;
o Interactive demonstration of ESPCI ParisTech inventions by young researchers;
o Round tables on “Is climate an experimental science? Experimental economics?”;
o Two live radio programmes (Radio Campus Paris);
o EU corner, speed searching, Welcome corner, bar;
o Wall of tweets
TOULOUSE
o On-going experiments with 70 researchers;
o Tribute to participative and citizen sciences having given bodies and mind to sciences;
o Speed-dating with European researchers, PhD students and families;
o City of mini researchers (hands-on kids' activities);
o « Top chrono pour ma thèse » (PhD students have 5 minutes to present the research topic);
o Screening of short films;
o Broadcasting by Radio Europe;
o Bookstore (books, boxes of experiments) (addressing both adults and children);
o Trades and orientation Forum;
o Exhibitions;
o Art performance art and music band;
o Refreshments;
European corners
Number: 12, one per city involved;
Location: frequented area in each of the cities involved;

Activities planned:
o Maps showing connections with other ERN cities, presentation of one European project, presentation of EU policies and exchange with the audience (EU stand);
o Welcome corner: hosting European researchers newly arrived in France, presenting both their research and culture, displaying introduction cards with their contact details; pictures, texts and exhibitions planned in 2005 about such activity;
o Radio Europe (also organised by Radio Campus): live program, including interviews by 3-4 researchers, notably having benefited from MSCA support witnessing about their career and research, and debating with the audience;
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;
Overview of the results
o Offer of activities as described in the Annex I Part B to the Grant Agreement, namely:
o 10 hands-on experiments and demos in streets and public places;
o 150 on-going experiments;
o 5 science guided tours (museums and original venues);
o One hands-on experiment conducted by higher education students in streets;
o 3 programmes specifically addressing kids;
o 12 speed searching ;
o 12 editions of the ""Great Experiment"" involving at least 3 researchers;
o One giant investigation game;
o 3 ""meet researchers"" in the dark;
o Games and specific interactions with researchers;
o 12 radio corners, namely 24 hours of direct live with researchers;
o 6 “PhD short presentations” e.g. FameLab, my PhD thesis in 3 minutes, PechaKucha…;
o 4 debates and science cafés;
o 6 science and art shows;
o 12 European corners;
o Active involvement of 986 researchers, of whom:
o 40 Researchers having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes
o 160 Researchers having benefitted from another EU support;
o 24.569 visitors having taken part in the activities offered.

I.1.3 IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Tasks undertaken
Description of the current situation
o Surveys based on sociological observation, realised in 2007 and 2009
o Possibility of comparison with other European countries if some interest expressed from the latters;
Tools
o Unique questionnaire covering 3 them (public/recognition/activities), filled in in 3 minutes, both a face to face;
o Press review through automated tool(compilation of articles in various media and audience figures);
Indicators and parameters to be applied
o For assessing the success of the action: number of attendees, of researchers involved, of hits on website, of friends and followers on social networks, of promotional items displayed, media coverage;
o For assessing the possible impact regarding public perception of researchers: public opinion on researchers and their job, typology of attendees, intention to attend similar vents in the future …
Selection of the sample
o Method: random selection
o Absolute figures: 3.100 questionnaires filled in.
"
"Quantitative data
o About 44.869 visitors during the 2 events;
o About 10 million people having been made aware of the Researchers'night and its objectives;
o Over 400 various activities offered druing thre two events in all the cities involved;
o 1.811 researchers actively involved in the activities: 1.811 of which: o 80 having benefitted from Marie Curie scheme,
o 320 having benefitted from support under FP 7/HORIZON 2020; o 24 European corners organised, having been visited by approximately 30.000 people;
o Average visit time: 2.30 hours; o Average number of intercatons between scientists and member of general public: Qualitative data
o General impact of the action, relying on the results of the two impact surveys undertaken after both of the events:
o Regarding the events themselves:
o Global “note” of the event : 8,2/10;
o 86% of visitors would recommend the event to others (only 1% would not);
o Word most frequently used by visitors to qualify the event : “Enjoyable” (best score);
o On public image of researchers and their job / of science and its potential impact on citizens'daily lives:
o In France, almost 90% of the population reports to have confidence in their scientists;
o Despite this very high score, studies show that, although they like researchers, French people think that scientists are not “open” enough (not “close” to the society);
o The opportunities offered to directly exchange with researchers, discover their very personality, shareconerns, hopes and problems with them consequently proves very important in France;
o On interest expressed by young people for science careers:
o The audience was composed of 65 % aged under 30, while the average public age was 30;
o A relevant part of the public present consequently consisted of people facing or about to face a career choice;
o Since they stated that they felt closer to scientists after having taken part in the events, one can expect that more of themmight be considering to opt for a scientific oritentation in their career;
o Other potential impact: on policies, on cooperation between research-related entities having cooperated for the action, on researchers themselves (communication skills, way of perceiving interaction with the public at large, …:
o The ERN has now really has become a traditional fall dtae, which is expected by the potential attendees as a science momentum each year;
o As often witnessed by several researchers, public engagement activities appear particularly rewarding for them; this is an elmenet specifically taken into cosndieration when designing the vent, whichhave to be positive not only towards the audience but also for the scientists actively involved;
o As an example, the “Great participative Experiment” was specially deisgned and organised in such a way to allow the general public to better understand the researchers and their daily work.

Overview of the results (from impact assessment)
o Collection, analysis and processing of 950 feedbacks based on filled in questionnaires;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: 57 % female, 43 % male, average age 30, 79% high school level, 27% is family public, 16% often visit museum and 8% never visit;
o Average visit duration: 2 hours and 34 minutes;
o Motivation : 39% by curiosity, 36% by interest of research and 31 % because like cultural events;
o Average researcher meeting : 3,32
o Overall positive feedback regarding the events themselves (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, venues and locations, concrete organisation, scheduling…) (overall rating of the event by respondents: 8/10);
o Improved public opinion about researchers and their work, illustrated by the choice of qualifying words, such as rewarding, playful, pleasant, friendly, enlightening…;
o Most successful activities: speed searching, great experiment...

Socio-economic impact of the action :
Clearly the Researchers'Nights 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.
Researchers' nights, when involving (whether directly within the partnership or through external cooperation) companies, including small and medium ones operating in the area, can ease the setting up of bridges between research and industry and, as such, lead to employment and innovation. In the French case, the conception, development and implementation of the ""Great Participative experiment'"" proves helpful for both the laboratories and the companies involved: about 10 % of researcher who take aprt in such experiment succeed in fidning an efficient partnership amongst the other entites participating in the project.
In case of strong presence of research communities in the terriory concerned, the Researchers'night could also have an impact on the social fabric, strengthening the links between scientific and non-scientific population."