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My Science - Our Science

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Our Science (My Science - Our Science)

Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2019-12-31

The impact of researchers’ work on society and citizens has never been more apparent than now. At the same time, there is an impending risk of losing citizens’ trust in science, due to the post-truth phenomena and increased amount of misinformation about science and research. This development constitutes a possible threat to the way in which the general public perceives researchers and their role. Therefore, it is important to promote the key role that researchers have for the necessary development and growth of our societies in a national and international context, and for keeping the public informed about critical challenges and scientific discoveries that have an enormous impact on our daily lives.
The main objective of the project is to enhance a positive public perception of researchers by facilitating an open and active dialogue between researchers and citizens of all ages, especially focusing on families with children and young people that could consider a career in research. The idea is to portray researchers as ordinary people with fascinating jobs and to combat the stereotype that many people may have of scientists as absent-minded nerds in white robes and glasses. This will be done by bringing researchers closer to the general public with a view to making people aware that being a researcher is inspiring and fascinating. The aim is also to allow people to experience first-hand what research and innovation activities are all about and create an understanding of the actual impact that these activities have on modern society and our lives. In addition to highlighting the importance of researchers’ work, the initiative provides a rare opportunity for researchers to communicate directly with the public at all ages and even to involve citizens in the road to scientific discoveries, by inviting them to become citizen scientists, thus contributing to the transparency of the work that researchers do.
WP1 Awareness Campaign
o Identification of the overall communication strategy
o Definition of the concept of the programme, with a specific synergy with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
o Setting up the schedule for organising and implementing the tasks;
o Cooperation established with regional knowledge and research centres, in order to create synergies and maximize effects and efficiency of the awareness campaign at national level;
o Pre-events and activities with participating researchers to raise awareness of the main event
o Citizen science activities preceding the event
o Identification of the target groups and messages
o Communication means defined, as well as promotional material design, off line and online.
o Mobilisation of national media, with emphasis on TV and radio;

Results achieved
o Successfully devising an overall communication strategy and relevant material
o Public advertising: display of advertising posters in schools and public places
o Organisation of 3 science cafés prior to the event
o Display of various spots in national newspapers
o Broadcasting of 5 radio interviews and features
o Display of 6 text-ad spots in prime-time TV ads
o Banner appearance in largest media websites and banners on universities and research organisations websites
o Extensive impression on social media
o Estimate of 300.000 people made aware of Researchers’ Night and its objectives.

WP2 Activities during the NIGHT
o Definition of topics, theme and overall programme
o Mobilisation of researchers to be involved
o Organising venues and programmes

Programme of activities during the NIGHT
o School visits early afternoon at 13:00-16:00
o Opening ceremony at 16:30-17:00
o Science communication award presented at 17:00
o Exhibition area open 16:30-23:30
o University for the Young science workshops open between 13:00-16:00 for school groups and also 17:00-22:00 with interactive activities
o Stand-up scientist and micro-talks from 17:30-23:00
o Coding for creativity at 18:00-20:00, workshops on coding for girls and boys
o Special focus ws placed on European year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 in close cooperation with national priorities of the year, focusing on two themes

WP3 Impact Assessment
o Quantitative data about the event: number of attendees, typology of attendees with focus on age and gender, rating of the event, the extent of participation in the activities, number of hits on website, number of friends and followers on social networks, number of promotional items distributed and media coverage. Quantitative data compared and assessed based on evolution from previously organised ERN in Iceland;
o Qualitative indicators: opinion of participating organisations on researchers and their job, interest expressed for science and research careers, intention to attend similar events in the future and involvement of researchers funded by Horizon 2020, including Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions in the activities of the NIGHT. Qualitative comparison w made with opinions from impact assessments from past events to assess the evolution.
o Short questionnaire and quiz distributed to visitors on-site, with the potential for a prize for those that fill it in and return it, addressing attendees (young people and adults) and addressing also the way the attendees became aware of the event with a view to identifying the most effective communication vectors according to the various audience targets;
o Internet survey after the event, addressing researchers
o Level of satisfaction -venue, logistics, organisation, practical support
o Trends and development compared to previous events

WP 4 Management
Tasks undertaken
Management structure
o The coordinating institution, RANNÍS, is responsible for the project management and supervision of all tasks
o Project working group is composed of relevant RANNÍS staff
o An advisory committee worked with the ERN team
Awareness raising was focused on a comprehensive linkage of the overall communication strategy and a very forward looking digital and social media campaign, which proved to be extremely successful. It is also more cost-efficient than many traditional p0rmotional campaigns.
As for the European Researchers' Night itself, which is Icelandic is called Vísindavaka, there was a huge challenge facing the coordinator for ERN2018. This was the first Researchers' Night in 4 years, and the challenge was first, to re-intriduce the event, and second, to promote it again in a new venue.
For a country that does not even have a science museum, the presence of such an event once a year, can generate even more impact, as guests and participating researchers rely on it as the only event providing opportunity for direct interaction between researchers and the public at large. So the ERN 2018 was missed and widely and sincerely welcomed back. This impact cannot be overlooked, and should be stressed especially.
Everyone can try
Young scientist, adult guest
Nature is wonderful
Interested scientists of the future
Trying out some gadgets
Hands-on experiements
Research by the Blue Lagoon
Prize for science communication 2018
Fascinated young guests
Science workshop
Moderator of the main event
Presenting the prize on the main stage
Chemistry is the best
Overview of one part of the event