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Foreseeing Opportunities, Risks and Emergent Science Issues for the next Generation: Highlighting Trends

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FORESIGHT (Foreseeing Opportunities, Risks and Emergent Science Issues for the next Generation: Highlighting Trends)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-11-30

"The world is changing at an unprecedented pace and society is being reshaped every day. Innovations are quickly disseminated across society, but so are risk and uncertainty. Citizens increasingly want to be engaged in this process, participating through social networks and active communities; but while a considerable percentage of the population participates in these developments, a large sector of it still lags behind, further risking poverty and social exclusion. Science and technology should be, and indeed are, key factors of this change, bringing about new developments that enable society to use fewer resources by creating more efficient industrial processes, making a better management of food and water, developing renewable energies and providing us with more efficient and more affordable services. For this to happen, thousands of men and women work away from public sight in scientific laboratories, universities and companies. On the other hand, Europe needs to continue to attract the brightest minds to this endeavour, and the public should also have a say and in some cases to contribute to this effort.

European Researchers Night 2016-17 – FORESIGHT provides opportunities for direct contact between scientists and the public where the future challenges of science and technology in society will be considered. It rests on the assumption that communication about research careers and their impacts is more effective when it corresponds to the concerns and expectations of the public, thus promoting a wide participatory discussion to identify new trends, barriers and expectations for societal development.

FORESIGHT promotes and disseminates science and innovation being done in Portugal, with one major aim: enhancing researchers' public recognition by offering the public at large the opportunity of discovering the ""human face"" of research as well as understanding the impact of research on their daily lives and on the future of human society. In tandem with this, ERN2016-2017, aims to show the public the different possibilities, venues and formats for their involvement in research and innovation.
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The work performed since the begining of the project to the end of the first period can be considered in the overall very successful. Judging by the large influx of public at large in the several venues receiving the event across the country, it can only be assumed that ERN is now a more widely recognised event, to which greatly contributes the sense of continuity infused in the brand image. Covering most of the Portuguese territory, 17 cities and villages participated in ERN2016 with scientific activities. Hundreds of research

The objectives of WP1 - Awareness campaign - were making as many people as possible aware of the European Researchers Night as well as attract public at large regardless of age and scientific background.

Overview of the results
Printed promotional materials: Flyersm, Postcards; Posters; Muppis and Detailed programme | Online impact with a strong presence on Facebook, Youtube and journal ‘Público’
Press publication impact: News articles in sites, blogs and press 56; Mailings from all partners (teachers, journalists, university students and public in general) ~ 100 000; Ad campaign impressions 252 119; Facebook reach (June – October) 153 345

To give continuity to the scope of Researcher’s Night the consortium and associated partners had promoted through the timeline of the project activities bringing researchers close to the public and to engage people in current research and innovation. The Continuous action contributed to attract even more people mobilizating students and their families to the 29th September 2017. Meet the Scientist - Program for students: 110 activities with 7959 participants and Continuous Action Plan - Program for general public: 39 activities with 5 821 participants

In terms of WP2 the programme of activities was designed to stimulate discussion and debate on topics related to scientists’ work. There were 3 European Corners in Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon.

Overview of the results
Organization of 357 activities of which 45 were build-up and the remaining 312 happened on the researchers’ night – 29th September 2017 (with more than 550 researchers)
Over 30 368 visitors in all locations from which 20 000 were attendees during the build-up activities and the remaining 10 368 participated in the event of 29th September 2017.


The Impact Assessment Work Package objectives let to designing of three different questionnaires: one to visitors, other to institutions hosting activities and another to researchers
This assessment tools allowed us to characterize the public participating in the main event, and to identify best practices for the implementation of the event and to increase the rate of response of visitors to the evaluation survey.
The project is engaging stakeholders from different age groups, educational levels and professional backgrounds throughout the entire ERN 2016-17 timeline, and not just in the weeks previous to the event. Importantly the consortium is involving sectors of the population that are currently excluded from science and technology debates – for instance, schools and young people have been invited for several Meet a scientist events.

Regarding the Impact assessment a total of 902 questionnaires were collected, corresponding to a response rate of 8,92%.

The following main conclusions were drawn:
• The age of visitors in 2017 increased comparing with the age reported in 2016;
• The majority has completed a bachelor degree (34,74%);
• ERN is bringing new audiences to the local science centres and museums;
• More than 90% of the respondents were very pleased with the initiative;
• 99% would recomend the event to friends, family and colleagues;
• 61% of the respondents had already contacted with scientists before the visit to ERN 2017;
• The researchers’’ participation in the activities was considered very good and visitors we very pleased with the content of activities.

The researchers’ involved in the ERN2017 work mostly in Natural and Environmental sciences (25%), Life and Health sciences (29,9%) and Exact sciences and Engineering (34%). Least represented were the Social and Human sciences (6,9%). A total of 556 researchers participated in 2017 edition of ERN and we obtained 144 questionnaires. These surveys allowed us to trace the profile of the participant scientists: mainly Portuguese women between 21 and 35 years old.
• 55% of the respondents are female ;
• 63,8% of the researchers are aged less than 35 years, 9,7% are aged between 36 and 40 years, 9,7% are aged between 41 and 45 years old and only 1,7% are above 65 years old;
• 34,3% had already participated in any previous edition of ERN;
• 23 researchers that never experienced science outreach before;
• 48% of researchers claimed to be very high satisfied and 35% claimed to be very satisfied with it.
Researchers were pleased with ERN 2017: 99% would recommend the event to friends, family and colleagues and other 96% would participate again in future initiatives. Most of them (82%) had already participated in other science outreach activities before attending ERN 2017, mostly in lectures or meetings (28,1%), Open Days (24%) or visits to schools (17%). However, for 8% of the respondents ERN 2017 was the first experience in science outreach activities
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