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Brilliant Researchers Impact on Growth Health and Trust in research.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BRIGHT (Brilliant Researchers Impact on Growth Health and Trust in research.)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-01-31

BRIGHT (Brilliant Researchers Impact on Growth Health and Trust in research) aims at enhancing the visibility and perception of researchers among the general population in Tuscany.
“Researchers make your life better!” is the guiding principle stemming from the passion, the enthusiasm and hard intellectual work of researchers’ daily work and how this contributes to the wellbeing of the general population. BRIGHT focuses on creating awareness on the important role played by researchers in addressing the great challenges ahead, such as health and wellbeing, new technologies, sustainable development, physical and biological challenges, cultural heritage. The project is realized by the University of Siena (Coordinator), the University of Florence, the University of Pisa, the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, the University for Foreigners of Siena, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, the Scuola Normale Superiore. Bright project has reached its objectives and proved to be successful
Awareness campaign:
o Conception, production and display of promotional material, posters, folders, brochures, programmes;
o Publication of 7 press releases;
o Publication of 43 articles and of 6 promotional articles on national, regional and local newspapers;
o Organization of 2 press conferences (Florence and Siena);
o Airing of promotional spots and interviews on local TV (27) and radio stations (6);
o Production of a TV documentary with local TV channel (Canale 3 Toscana), including Rector's and researchers' interviews;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of the project website ( with links with popular and institutional websites;
o 166.484 visitors on the project website;
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram);
o 4.344 likes on Facebook;
o 282 followers on Twitter and 357 tweets;
o 171 followers on Instagram, and 65 posts;
o Publication of news in web newspapers (53);
o Publication of web advertisements during 2 weeks on Tirreno and La Repubblica, and one week on La Nazione;
o About 300.000 people made aware of the European Researchers’ Night and its objectives.
Activities during the Night
o Offer of the activities as described in the Annex I Part B to the Gran Agreement, notably:
o Science cafés;
o Research booths;
o Hands-on experiments and demos in public spaces;
o guide visits to museums , botanical garden;
o Mini lectures articulated around various themes;
o Open labs;
o Exhibitions;
o European corners;
o entertainment;
o Active involvement of 1.200 researchers, of whom 20 having benefitted from an EU support in the framework of FP 7 or HORIZON 2020;
o Participation of about 65.000 visitors in the activities offered.

Activities during the Night:
o Offer of the activities as described in the Annex I part B of the Grant Agreement, notably:
o Science cafés;
o Quiz and games;
o Hands-on experiments and demos in public spaces;
o Guided visits to museums and botanical gardens;
o Mini-conferences and workshops articulated around various themes;
o Open labs;
o EU-corners;
o Entertainment (theatrical and musical performances);
o Active involvement of 1.000 researchers, of whom:
o 53 having benefited from an EU support in the framework of FP7 or Horizon 2020;
o Participation of about 65.000 visitors at the activities offered.
"o Collection, analysis and processing of feedbacks from questionnaires, both on line and on site, focus groups, CATI poll;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: about 58 % female, average age of respondents around 40 years (younger in Siena), relatively well-educated: 86 % higher secondary education, 40 % students, 30 % fixed-term or permanent employees;
o 66 % respondents knowing the objectives of the events (42 % in Florence); ;
o Knowledge about the event: 33 % friends and word of mouth, 20 % social media, 15 % participation to previous editions (12 % advertising material, 11 % external advertisement (TV, newspapers);
o Expectations: 30 % greater understanding of the researchers’ activities;
o Overall positive feedback about the event (activities, contacts with researchers, venues and locations, concrete organisation, scheduling)(80 % respondents);
o Over 80 % respondents considering research's role as fundamental (less than 2 % considering scientific research not to have a significant impact);
o Public recognition of research's role in Italy and Europe: about 60 % considering that not sufficient in Italy and about 80 % considering it is relevant at European level;
o Research funding considered insufficient in Italy for 70 % respondents, while 70 % consider it relevant at European level;
o Perception of the figure of the researcher: young, average economic conditions, not really high social status (over 50 %);
o Impact of the action on public perception of scientific research and researchers, based on focus groups (with young students of secondary schools and adults) conditioned by the conviction of the attendees of the impact of scientific activity on societal development” as well as the promotion of trust in researchers and research activities;
o First ""round"" of investigation: broadly positive representation of scientific research (more enthusiasm from youngsters , adults being more aware of the difficulties that lay into the socio-economic context surrounding the research process (religious bias, lack of financial resources, weakness of scientific culture...);
o Second round of investigation: global positive appreciation of the events' impact, with young people appreciating very much the possibility to get closer to the research world and even identifying themselves with the researchers, while adults appreciated mainly the event, the big participation of people and the presentations of unusual (but useful) research outputs, mentioning that participating at BRIGHT left them more optimistic;
o Some strengths weaknesses identified:
o Strengths: good communication, broad range of activities, nice involvement of the audience;
o Weaknesses: difficulty to orient among the laboratories and stands for the young students, too limited consideration for the humanities,
involvement of pre-school children, time available for presentations and discussions, marketing."