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Tutkijoiden yö

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TY2020 (Tutkijoiden yö)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-02-28

The European Researchers’ Night 2020 in Finland was celebrated on the last Friday of November, 27.11.2020 in three cities with five organizers. This year all the programmes were virtual in due to the national coronavirus pandemic situation in Finland.

The event offered new experiences, practical research demonstrations and discussions with enthusiastic scientists. People of all ages experienced the work of the researchers and saw how science influences our everyday life. This year there were around 8100 virtual participants and hundreds of researchers participating.

The audience got familiar with research through workshops, science lectures and laboratory visits. Popular programmes this year were for example LUMA science sessions and department of Chemistry’s and Physics’ demonstrations in University of Jyväskylä and stand-up show “Tiedettä ja komiikkaa Tutkijoiden yössä” in University of Eastern Finland.

All in all, this year the event was held in Jyväskylä (JYU & VTT), Joensuu (UEF) and Helsinki (HIP & IFF).

Overall objectives:
1) to shed light on the forefront research carried out in Finland
2) to break stereotypes the general public may have on researchers
3) to inspire and enhance vivid public engagement of researchers
4) to encourage childrens’ and students’ interest towards scientific careers

The project reached its objectives and proved to be successful.
The project reached over 1.3 million people through press releases, articles in the media, website, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) channels and advertisements.

The Facebook and Instagram campaign reached in total over 243 000 people. The Facebook posts about the program in different cities were advertised in the areas where the events took place and succeeded to attract engagement from people in those areas.

Facebook-site posts reached most people in Jyväskylä (3147 people). The next biggest reach was in Capital region (Helsinki) (2306 people) and then in Joensuu (1188 people).

Facebook posts reached well different age groups, mostly people aged 25–34 and 35–44 (16% and 14% respectively). The next biggest groups were people aged 45–54 (10%) and 65+ (10%). Most of the people reached by the page were women (61%).

In Twitter, the overall reach was 300 108 people during Sep-Dec 2020. The amount of followers grew from 864 (Oct 1, 2019) to 912 (Dec 1, 2020). Twitter profile had over 600 visits and tweets had 1 159 impressions during November 2020.

In Instagram the event has now 740 followers. The amount of followers grew well from last year (518 followers Oct 1, 2019). During Oct-Dec 2020 feed posts reached 463 078 people and Stories reached 191 976 people.
Overview of the results


Participants’ satisfaction rating - The event was a success with participants
o 87% of the general public enjoyed the event very or extremely much, 11% somewhat enjoyed it
o 70% of kids and school groups enjoyed the event extremely much, 30 % enjoyed it very much

Changes in the participants’ opinion towards science with respect to their opinion prior to the event - The event was successful in changing the opinion of a large amount of participants towards science
o The majority of participants from the general public (85%) were already very interested in science
o The opinion of 95% of the participants changed positively after the event.

The event had a positive impact on the opinion towards science of kids and school groups
o 50% of the expressed extremely or very much prior interest to science and 40% of them were somewhat interested

Success in knowledge transfer - The event was very successful in transferring new knowledge to attendees
o Approximately 47,50 % of participants from the general public said they gained very much new knowledge from the event
o 90% of school children said that they gained very or extremely much new knowledge

Success in changing societal stereotypes about scientists - The event successfully demonstrated that the image media portrays for scientists is not entirely accurate
o Only 17,50% of respondents considered that the media gives extremely accurate image of scientists
o 20% thought the image is slightly wrong. The largest portion (40%) believed that media gives a somewhat correct image
o This is very important since it shows that one of the main goals of the event (= breaking of stereotypes about scientists) is a needed one

Willingness of young participants to follow a scientific career - A good proportion of the young visitors expressed an interest towards following a scientific career
o Of the people under 25 years old participating in the general questionnaire about 75% said they were somewhat, very or extremely interested towards following a scientific career
o The response of kids and school groups was a bit more moderate. 44% expressed interest extremely, very much or somewhat. Anyhow this is a positive result
Success of the event with attracting the attendees to similar future activities
The event was successful in this aspect with
o About 92,5% of general public across all ages said they would visit a similar event in the future extremely or very much eagerly
o 70 % of kids and school groups expressed an interest to visit similar events extremely or very much eagerly
o 30 % of kids and school groups expressed an somewhat eagerly

Success of different advertising media - Online media were again more successful than more traditional forms of advertising
o Most participants (67,5%) were informed about the event through word of mouth and social media
o 20% were informed through the websites
o The radio was the least successful form of advertising with a total of 2,5%
o Other channels were for example email-lists and TV-programmes


Staff satisfaction by the outcome of the event - The participating staff was very satisfied by the outcome of the event
o About 70% of participating staff were very and extremely satisfied by the outcome of the event

Staff members’ willingness to be involved in similar events in the future - The participating staff would be keen to be involved in similar events
o 90% said they would be very or extremely interested.

Staff members’ willingness to recommend hosting of similar activities to their peers - The participating staff members would be keen to recommend such activities to their peers:
o 100% would do so at some level
o 40% would be extremely willing to do so

Staff’s satisfaction by the public’s reaction towards their programmes - The staff members were very satisfied with the public’s reactions
o Approximately 78% said they were very satisfied and approximately 11% were slightly satisfied
o This also has similarities with the public’s response to the similar question