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Czech European Researchers´Night 2020

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SCIENCzEch (Czech European Researchers´Night 2020)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-08-01 do 2021-03-31

The objectives of the Czech European Researchers’ Night were:
- giving public and local communities the opportunity to meet with researchers, learn about science and research, discover the latest inventions, innovations, technologies and new trends.
- showing research careers as interesting, enriching and useful job that might entail a career path for everyone.
- making science and research available in a simple and playful way.
- promotion of the EU, highlighting the necessity and benefits of the international cooperation.

The event focused also on science education, on the development of scientific literacy of the both pupils and students in order to raise the numbers of graduates with science qualifications but also of the general public/adults as only the informed public - critical consumers of scientific knowledge are able to understand and face global challenges of today´s world.
The importance of public engagement was highlighted via broad spectrum of activities in order to mobilize the public, to facilitate interaction and mutual feedback between the researchers and general public in order to deliver the best possible outcomes from the science and research.
The Czech European Researchers´ Night 2020, exploring the theme of Humans and Robots, was held completely online for the first time. The platform www.nocvedcu.cz offered virtual interactive tours, online discussions, educational videos, remote workshops, streamed broadcasts, live science shows and podcasts, observations of stars and much more. Each interactive activity dealt with the topic Humans and Robots.
Organisers focused on key current topics, such as digitisation, robotisation or automation, taking the industrial and technological perspectives, but also the context of human life. It was also a commemoration of the 130th birth anniversary of Karel Čapek, a Czech writer, and the 100th anniversary of RUR, his play in which the word robot was coined.
Čapek's work is still a hot topic of potential misuse of science, dehumanization of relationships in society and of the risks associated with the development of artificial intelligence, therefore his timeless visions can be understood as warning for future generations.
The theme “Humans and Robots” was covered not only by universities, but also science and research centres, observatories and planetariums around the Czech Republic. More than a hundred institutions were involved in the event. Each institution approached the online environment differently, and the programme, which was available on the platform nocvedcu.cz was therefore equally diverse.
A network of Eurocentres joined the programme as well to disseminate information about the EU for the general public and experts and to educate and entertain families with children. They offered numerous activities, such as videos, quizzes, competitions or Actionbound, a virtual trip to interesting spots with special tasks,”
The event also aimed to approach English speaking audiences. The central web and 22 programme items were translated into English and tagged “English friendly”.
A total of 49 items were selected and translated into sign language and tagged Český znakový jazyk (Czech sign language. The event was for the first time translated into the Czech sign language. The attendance of hearing impaired was large and the feedback very positive.
Visitors really enjoyed the resulting online content, moreover it has been used by primary- and secondary-school teachers as an additional material in virtual classes, which has been held in a great deal of schools these days.
The Night outcomes:
The event was organised by 19 universities and 22 other organisations in a total of 38 cities in the Czech Republic. A total of 121 employees employed under the project, and further roughly 900 researchers and other staff (students, employees, managers, IT experts, etc.) participated in the preparation of the event.
A total of almost 700 program items were created by the involved institutions. 86 thousand unique visitors had visited the website nocvedcu.cz. On aggregate, the pages were viewed 667 thousand times, with visitors spending 3:42 on the web on average.
Due to the governmental restrictions related to the spread of COVID-19, the event was for the first time carried out fully online. A significant task was thus the development of a highly flexible online environment. Over the period of two months, the central web portal had to be transformed into a platform to carry the whole online programme (almost 700 items).
Due to the online format promotion on social media was markedly enhanced, along with the use of mailing lists to acquaint more than 300 schools with the fact that they could share the programme with their students and even use the individual items in remote classes.
The results of the survey showed that most participants in the event fell in the age groups 25-34 and 35-44. They mostly watched the programme alone, with children or in couples. They most often learned about the event from social networks.
The participants appreciated the online format of the event due to the possibility of a larger selection of items and the possibility to watch the programme even after the event has ended.
The programme and its wide range were evaluated very positively. The respondents most often appreciated the programme and the topics they had been dealing with and enjoyed for a long time.
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