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Humanities Rocks! Science on stage in Ljubljana for 100 years

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Humanities Rocks (Humanities Rocks! Science on stage in Ljubljana for 100 years)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2019-11-30

In contemporary societies there are still certain prevailing stereotypes about different professions. The most common stereotype about researchers is that they are weird individuals – typically male – who detached from the general society, conducting experiments in laboratories, surrounded by complicated technology and lacking communication skills to interact with ordinary people. Although social science researchers and humanities scholars do not necessarily fulfil the requirements of the above stereotype, they still use vocabulary which is largely incomprehensible to lay people. The overall objective of the HUMANITIES ROCK! project is to bring researchers closer to the general public and to increase awareness of research and innovation activities, with a view to supporting the public recognition of researchers, creating an understanding of the impact of researchers' work on citizens’ daily lives and encouraging young people to embark on research careers.
The specific objectives of the HUMANITIES ROCK! project are:
• to increase awareness among the general public of the importance of research and innovation and to foresee more favourable general attitude towards its public funding,
• to improve understanding of the key benefits that research brings to society,
• to foster curiosity and deliver positive messages: promote researchers` career as an interesting job and a way of life, that science is fun, interesting and useful, etc.,
• to reduce stereotypes about researchers and their profession,
• to increase, in the long term, the number of people taking up research careers,
• to improve understanding of the European Union among the general public,
• to improve the understanding and awareness of the cultural heritage we share in order to become an inclusive, responsible and tolerant society,
• to enable people to become closer to and more involved with their cultural heritage (material and non‐material culture).
To reach the objectives, it is absolutely necessary for researchers to communicate with the public at large, and between each other. Researchers do their jobs in various research institutes and centres, within and outside of academia, in nature, laboratories and in society. Their research is in many ways related to the public and the private sphere. We are aware of the gap between the general public and academiae and we will strive to bridge that gap. To show that investments in research are necessary not only for technical improvements but also for a better quality of life for everybody. We will address children, youth, adults, families and older people. Each of us is part of multiple social networks and adults contribute to the decision-making process among the young. Teenagers, when they are facing the decision about their future lives, ask their parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends for advice in order to make their decision more convincing and more sustainable.
The preceding activities of the Night were part of the awareness campaign, which consisted of on-line and off-line activities. Pre-events, presentations of research professions and work were performed at secondary schools across the country, in order for secondary school students to get to know researchers from various scientific fields and to enable them to participate in competition and at events. Researchers, in most cases, returned back to the high schools they attended to present their careers, life paths, decisions and work. They delivered, beside the messages of the project, also more personal messages such as I was sitting in your chair once and now I am here! You can do it! It is there for you! The awareness campaign of the HUMANITIES ROCK! Project is twofold: online with a website and social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You tube) constantly updated with information (videos, programmes, descriptions, follow-ups, etc.) about the Researchers` Night 2018 – 2019 project and in by more traditional means with printed materials (e.g. posters, programme leaflets, roll ups). A different pre-events were organised to rise awareness of the Night. We organised round tables, three-day winter school for young mathematics, storytelling for kindergarten children and observation nights at Observatory Golovec, Ljubljana.

At the European Researchers' Night 2018/2019, we organised 96 pre-events and 99 events on 26 different locations (20 locations in Ljubljana, 1 in Koper, 1 in Murska Sobota and 1 in Lendava, 1 in Ilirska Bistrica, 1 in Ihan and 1 in Ljutomer). 99 events were prepared by 247 researchers from 15 different faculties and academies from the University of Ljubljana, and so we covered all different fields of research work (humanities, natural science, social science, etc.). We also involved three MSCA fellows in our project. All events in 2018 were dedicated to the European Year of Cultural Heritage and in 2019 to 100 years of University of Ljubljana. Our aim was to inform the general public about what researchers do, putting extra focus on young people, so most of attendees were kids (age 4-15) and young people (age 17-25), especially in the morning time, and in the afternoon mostly families and people after their work attended the events. In the evening, a lot of visitors and passers-by listened to the concert on the main stage on the Novi trg square. One of the events – The Proactive Social Role of Science – was completely aimed towards researchers to inform them about EU projects, new possibilities of applying for EU projects and workshops. The Humanities Rock! was project activities were covered by the national television and radio and the national newspaper.

To mesure the impact of our project in 2018: 960 survey questionnaires were filled out on the streets and in secondary schools (363 before the main event and 597 after the main event. Qualitative data collected from the attendees show that at least some of them noticed the promotion of the main event in the media and most of them expressed interest and/or positive attitudes towards science as a result of participating at the events. In 2019: 800 survey questionnaires were filled out on the streets and in secondary schools (400 before the main event and 400 after the main event). The results show that the most positive attitudes were expressed about the importance of the social sciences and humanities, followed by attitudes about research in general and attitudes towards the EU. In comparison with the event in 2018, all attitudes are on average slightly more positive. Again all percentages of agreement are higher than in 2018.
The expected impact of the project is:
• Increase in the awareness of the importance of research and innovation;
• More favourable general attitude towards its funding;
• Better understanding of the key benefits that research brings to society;
• Reduction in the stereotypes about researchers;
• Increase of people taking up research careers;
• Increase in the public recognition of individual researchers;
• Reduction in the stigmatisation of humanities and social sciences;
• Increase in the recognisability of various scientific fields;
• Increase in the employability of young researchers;
• Increasing synergies with local institutions;
• Better understanding of the European union among the general public.
Sky observation at Observatory Golovec
Economics for curious at Faculty of Economics
EU corner at EU house Slovenia
Isolation od DNA from fruts at Faculty of Pharmacy
Presentation in Murska sobota
Final event - concerts at the Novi trg square
Old guys say yes to comunity presentation of Erasmus+ project results
Science bazar at Novi trg square
playing game at EU corner at Novi trg Square
Festival Antiquity at Foerster's garden
Elephant toothpaste at Faculty of Pharmacy
storytelling for kindergarten children
EU corner at the Novi trg square
Collecting stamps at Veterinary Faculty
One of the stations of Veterinary Faculty