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Building science among all, the key role of researchers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ERNMadrid2020 (Building science among all, the key role of researchers)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-03-31

The European Researchers’ Night in Madrid 2020 aimed to highlight the important role researchers’ labour in our society and its contribution to the improvement of societal welfare, not only running the engine of technological innovation but also by their enhancement of knowledge acquisition in Europe.

The MadridERN project was addressed to citizens of the Region of Madrid that aimed to bring researchers and their work closer to the public at large and to promote research careers among young people without gender barriers from very early ages.

To achieve this goal a continuous and wide-ranging awareness campaign was launched combining the traditional communication vectors (written press, radio, TV or street adverts) with the contemporary ones (virtual media or social networks and platforms). The event aimed to attract as much people as possible by transmitting the main messages of the Night, i.e: Science is built by all of us and for all of us; and emphasise the exceptional role of Researchers, which live amongst us.
Tasks undertaken (WP1):

Audience targeted: public at large regardless of age and scientific background, especially children and young people faced with a career choice or with the option of studying STEM subjects specially girls less willing to choose these subjects

Communication tools
Offline: posters displayed in educational and cultural centres; publication of articles and promotional announcements, interviews in newspapers; publication of press releases displayed to radio, press, TV channels. Public advertising: adverts in urban furniture, billboards and posters in metro stations; pre-events
Online: the project website and the social networks profiles, other institutional and popular websites, and e-mailing based on coordinator's and cooperating bodies' mailing lists

Results achieved (WP1) 2020
o Over 300 posters, distributed to the participants from all over the Comunidad de Madrid
o Outdoors advertising circuit in the main and longer streets in the centre of Madrid. Advertising in public places and public transport: city billboards and posters in main underground stations of Madrid
o Airing of announcements, advertising, programmes, interviews, news reports on radio and TV stations. Publication of articles, interviews, announcements, advertising in written press
o Publication of press releases, by the coordinator and some of the institutions involved. Sending of invitations to over 61.634 e-mail addresses, schools, universities, research centres, scientific and technological parks, etc.
o Organisation of pre-events, as a national event gathering all the ERN projects in Spain and particular pre-events carried out by some participants
o Distribution of posters in educational and research centres all over Madrid
o Revamping, constant updating and maintenance of the project website (411.085 hits from May to the end of November) and of website of the ERN in Spain. Links with the websites of the institutions involved. Revamping of social network profiles. Special hashtags: #NIGHTmadrid, #NIGHTspain, #MSCAnight, #ERN20 and #EuropeanResearchersNight used for all the ERN in Madrid, Spain and Europe; having more than 329.000 Twitter impressions in November. Instagram: researchers’ profiles were published with information about their hobbies, family. Posting of over pieces of news in print and digital press
o About 3.500.000 were made aware of the ERN objectives with the exterior advertising campaign, adding up a media impact reaching an audience of 15.633.840 people.

Tasks undertaken (WP2) 2019-2020

Locations: most of the activities were carried out in a virtual format, exposing the university campuses, research centres, museums, botanical gardens, cultural and innovative centres, including places where researchers carry out their daily work and places where people will not normally expect to see researchers.

Activities: hands-on experiments brought home, workshops, popular science lectures, virtual guided tours and lab visits, scientific gymkhana, cooking show, presentation of prototypes, display of films and videos, science shows, demos, games, contests, etc.

Results achieved (WP2) in 2019
o 72 activities, 54 organized by the participants institutions and 18 parallel activities
o Involvement of 665 researchers of whom: 75 having benefitted from Marie Curie scheme, 148 having benefitted from support under FP7/HORIZON 2020
o Overall number of attendees of 15.000 visitors

Results achieved (WP2) in 2020
o 98 activities, 91 organized by the participant institutions and 7 parallel activities
o 27 additional activities were organised simultaneously in South America
o Involvement of 650 researchers of whom: 40 having benefitted from Marie Curie scheme, 59 having benefitted from support under FP7/HORIZON 2020
o Overall number of attendees of 17.600 visitors

Tasks undertaken (WP3) 2020

o Ex ante questionnaire available on website
o On-going questionnaire handled to the attendees
o Questionnaires available in all the activities performed
o Collection by each organiser assisted
o Participation to the impact assessment rewarded
o Ex post questionnaires addressed to institutions
o Questionnaires addressing researchers and stakeholders available on Internet
o Short and clear questions to encourage people to answer easily
o Initial warning notice about the confidentiality and anonymity of the answers
o External evaluation by professors of the University of Comillas
2020
Display of:
966 ex-posts questionnaires; 205 ex-ante on line questionnaires.
Collection and processing of 622 random questionnaires

Conclusions
o Visitors: 60,2% female and 39.8% male, 81,0% aged under 50, 39,7% secondary/vocational training education and 53,6% university studies, 19,0% declaring advanced level and 46,8% average level of scientific knowledge
o Feedback: 95,0% considered activities interesting and very interesting
o Researchers: general consideration of the Night as necessary and very necessary (96,4%); to raise interest and enthusiasm (46,7%) and interact with the public (32,3%), to see the response of the youngsters and children (15,0%).
o Most attended activities were developed by the National Centre of Oncological Research (CNIO), followed by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), IMDEA Agua, SEBBM, etc.
o Most successful activities were workshops (80,5%), experiments (75,8%) and conferences (44,9%)
o Improved public image of researchers by 60% of the attendants, while the other 39% maintain their opinion about the researchers labour.
o Impact on interest for scientific careers: 65,8% would like to become a researcher and 48% of the attendees between 16-25 years old declare that they would like to study a scientific career in the future
o 89,2% of the public intend to attend future editions of the ERN (77,4% of public between 16-25% and 95% of >50 years old
o To be modified: difficulty to attract MSC fellows; need for reminding them of the Night's importance; difficulty to combine huge crowds and direct contact with researchers; need to simplify and shorten the questionnaires
o To be expected: retake the normal developing of the ERN, once the pandemic alert state, due to COVID-19 crisis, decreases with the risk of contagion
activity of Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC) 2
activity of IMDEA Energy 1
activity of Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO)
activity of IMDEA Software
activity of Real Jardín Botánico (RJB-CSIC) 1
activity of Real Jardín Botánico (RJB-CSIC) 2
activity of Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)
activity of Fundación para el Conocimiento madri+d
activity of IMDEA Energy 2
activity of IMDEA Energy 3
activity of Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC) 1
activity of Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
activity of Sociedad Española de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular (SEBBM)
activity of IMDEA Agua
activity of Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV)