CORDIS - EU research results

European Researcher's Night in France

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - STORIES (European Researcher's Night in France)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2019-11-30

Science Dissemination faces many differents issues. We adress our view on them, for each category of person concerned by the European Researcher's Night.

Our goals are :

For the general public:
o Attract a public that is not familiar with science by means of our offer of an exciting event and ensure that the public spends a long time at the event (more than two and a half hours) to truly interact with the researchers;
o Help the public understand how research works (and not settle for merely being informed of the results) by :
- sharing “science in the making”: what are the questions, the procedures, the alliances, the successes and the difficulties? (Our themes “stories” and “investigations” were chosen to underline this.)
- involving visitors in the scientific process (by means of participatory experiments and more generally our invitation to join in the showcased investigations cf. § 1.2);
o Involve members of the public and awaken the desire to develop and maintain a connection with research before and after the event.
o Make the support provided by the European Union visible (and humanize it) by organizing festive meals and by creating events with foreign researchers who are taking part in European projects;
o Impact a large swathe of the French territory, including one overseas territory, Reunion Island;
o Make it clear that the community of researchers is an international “hive” teeming with challenges

For the general public and researchers:
o Bring researchers and members of the public together around shared activities and show that researchers are not necessarily from another planet and that visitors have more to contribute than they may think!;
o Demonstrate that the issues facing researchers are of interest to the general public, and vice versa.

For researchers:
o Encourage researchers to make their science understandable for the general public by helping a large number of them to successfully do so for the first time (and by training them);
o Show that popularizing one’s work entails multiple advantages: public participation (data!), new partnerships, the satisfaction of talking about one’s experience and of being able to share it (which is important psychologically), a new way of looking at one’s own work and, last but not least, encouragement for research !
o Gain understanding of the way the public at large perceives researchers’ work.

For the media:
o Show the mass media that it is possible for them to talk about European research by easing access to researchers and their backgrounds;
o Allow non-scientific media (e.g. the local press) to discover research topics and many fascinating researchers who are “just around the corner” but sometimes out of sight;
o Provide direct access to experts and, more generally, reinforce the idea that the media are not afraid to solicit the expertise of researchers.

For the community of mediators, French governmental and scientific institutions:
o Show the community of mediators that it is possible and rewarding to work with researchers;
o Invite such institutions to join in upholding the Researchers’ Night event and in helping spread know-how in the researchers-general public encounters we foster;
o Make Researchers’ Night one of the major events of culture in France;
o Continue to analyze and share our experimentation in PCST (Public Communication of Science & Tech.) gatherings and Citizen Science seminars.
"The ERN 2018 happened during the first period, and it was a great success for the project.
The communication campaign (WP1) took place before the events, both locally in each of the 12 cities, and nationally with national media, online but also in an important national Newspaper.
All the activities during the night (WP2) that were planned in the GA took place as expected. It was an interesting opportunity to bring innovation in Science dissemination in France with new activities, some of which were a great success both for the public and for the researchers, like “choose our own adventure” researcher, or the fake news lab. The usual activities like “speed searching” and the general staging of the events also were greatly appreciated.
Thanks to the Impact assessment (WP3) we can say that the theme STORIES attracted nearly 32.000 persons, with a mean time spent at the event around 2,5h. It shows a great satisfaction from both the public and the researchers. More than 1000 researchers were trained and benefited from quality interaction with the public. In the survey for researchers, they declared being ""boosted"" by the interactions with the public, and some reported new ideas that emerged from discussion during the Night.
2 national meetings took place during the first period, one to prepare the event, and one for the assessment, exchange of difficulties and best practices.
With nearly 20% of participating researchers benefiting of EU support (MSC and others), the public had the opportunity to understand the importance of EU during this event.

The ERN 2019 happened in the second period, attracted more public and motivated more researchers.
Compared to the period 1, the communication campaign focused more en Social Media and had a great success in our community. Activities took place as expected, and the Great Participatory Experiment (novelty compared to the ERN 2018) was very successful, especially with children. Young public was much more present than usual, as this activity was designed for them.
Results of impact assessment allow us to tell that we had more than 34.000 visitors, speding as usual a mean of 2,5h speaking with ressearchers. The theme of the event was a great motivation for reseachers, as 1300 of them participated in the event, and reported great satisfaction about the conversations they had with the public and about the training the had in scientific dissemination. As usual, MSCA fellow were put forward in the events, and EU support was visible both in communication support and during the events."
"The ERN in France is an event in wich new activies are created each year, taking rewarding risks by moving researchers outsid of their ""comfort zone"". STORIES was a great success on this point : several activities were perpetuated and integrated in the usual programmation of some partners. Our activities were even an inspiration for science dissemination institutions outside of our consortium."
activity with scholars : meeting with researchers at the museum, between art and science
researchers and small groups of people having quality interaction in a staged room in Marseille
EU corner in Angers in the beggining of the ERC