Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SHARPER (SHAring Researchers’ Passion for Evolving Responsibilities)
Reporting period: 2020-05-15 to 2021-02-14
SHARPER 2020 highlighted how Researchers’ are key players to reach a sustainable development and what is their role in the process to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in the AGENDA 2030. These two concepts are summarized in the acronym: SHARPER means SHAring Researchers’ Passions’ for Evolving Responsibilities.
The Sharper programmes focused on some of the more complex issues that are relevant to all of us: from fundamental research problems such as those related to health and medicine to fundamental research problems, such as those connected with space science or artificial intelligence; from societal challenges such as high quality education for all to environmental issues like pollution and climate change. The constant quest for solutions to theoretical and practical problems proves, not only the researchers’ insatiable curiosity but also their passion for challenging the limits of our knowledge and innovate, going beyond the known, being able to lead and adapt to the changes and, in a sentence, to show a profound passion for new responsibilities.
The SHARPER Night 2020 was held in 13 cities: Ancona, Cagliari, Camerino, Catania, L'Aquila, Macerata, Nuoro, Palermo, Pavia, Perugia, Terni, Torino and Trieste, and where a national network of more than 200 partners successfully pursued some shared objectives:
• Convey the message that researchers are passionate persons who have a key role in tackling global challenges
• Stress that the researchers dialogue with all the social actors to reach common goals through a shared knowledge
• Motivate young students to enter researcher careers and become key actors of the future
• Describe strong collaborations between researchers and citizens aiming at innovation triggered by excellence
• Provide motivated audiences with opportunities of deeper knowledge of the researchers’ work
• Encourage children to discover researchers as role models because they are passionate and knowledgeable
• Use researchers’ emotions and enthusiasm to make excellent research accessible and comprehensible to everyone
Pre-events during the summer also strengthened the process involving over 5000 people through events onsite developed respecting the social distancing and regulations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Pre-events were a part of the awareness campaign also characterized by and intensive action online and offline as witnessed by the results listed below:
- Press releases on different channels: 406 total articles (online and written press) and 24 radio and broadcasting TV programs (mong which RAI Radio3Scienza, RAI RADIO2, RaiNEWS24, SKY, RAI3) and all the local televisions in the territories involved
SHARPER 2020 had the highest impact since 2013, first edition of the Night coordinated by Psiquadro under the name of SHARP Night as official European Reseaachers’ Night, an effective online edition determined the following outcomes:
- Websites statistics (including all the partner main pages): Sharper Night www.sharper-night.it and Marathon (maratona.sharper-night.it) and sharper-night.lngs.infn.it: 130.146 unique visitors
- Social networks
-- Facebook has been one of the main online social communication tool used in the awareness campaign to convey the Researchers Night messages and to inform a big number of people about detailed events in the programme;
Strategy: One unique SHARPER page or account for the 13 cities: https://www.facebook.com/sharper.night in order to keep the unicity of the event spread over towns;
“Promoted postlink”, proved to be extremely successful, allowing to advertise the events towards several different target audiences and related to different contents of the campaign, the target audience being divided by age, location, field of work, related interests;
Facebook Page @sharper.night - Total like to the page: 13.137 - 260.000 reached accounts
-- Twitter account @sharpernight: #sharpernight hashtag in national tendencies on November 27th with more than 36.000 tweets views in one month (November)
-- YouTube Account (Sharper Night Official): more than 27.000 video views
- TOTAL VIDEO VIEWS (web, social, TV) 302.539
- Flexibility. Management methods to handle a crisis for public engagement events were tested during the preparation phase of the project and implemented both for onsite pre-events and online events during the night.
- Cross fertilization within the creative cultural sector. Some online events allowed to explore new engagement formats jointly developed with professionals coming from different cultural background and fields of expertise.
- Multi - channel communication for all the events: onsite and online revealed to be a key to reach out to new audiences and communities.
The need to develop and online experience also revealed and highlighted some limits and challenges. Some of them were already clear from previous editions, others were new and must be considered as stimulus for the future editions:
- Training for complexity in research communication. An increasing need to avoid naive solutions to complex problem in research communication emerged. The blossoming of digital platforms for communication online poses the question of how to involve effectively researchers in different platform. Who does fit best a specific platform? A need for technical and communication training emerged (TV, radio, web, etc). Training shall increase the sense of researchers for the diversity of communication contexts and tools.
- Social relevance of the researchers’ role. The pandemic has irreversibly put the researchers at the heart of the communication of complex issues. As well as for the climate changes or other socially relevant challenges the future Nights will increase the role of researchers not only as mere research popularizes but as political actors and social activists for a desirable society and planet and advocates for inclusion in cultural processes.