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CORDIS - Resultados de investigaciones de la UE


Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EXPLORATHON 2020 (EXPLORATHON 2020)

Período documentado: 2020-06-01 hasta 2021-03-31

The EXPLORATHON 2020 project sought to bring researchers and the public together, expanding activities and widening exposure to research, and to build on previous editions of the NIGHT. We addressed issues of lack of understanding on both sides of Universities and the public and in different areas, from urban to rural to Highlands and Islands.

Our overall objectives were to:

Create a stimulating programme accessible to all to showcase the variety of our world-class research; increasing awareness of the importance of research in our lives and why it should be funded using public money;

Showcase the impact, relevance, and benefits of research and how investment in research tackles real life local and global issues;

Showcasing the range of locations where research takes place (not just universities) and highlight the multi-disciplinary, collaborative nature of modern research, through the ambassadorial role of MSCA Fellows and EU projects;

To use the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation to underpin our editions;

Showcase the variety of research careers on offer to both upper primary and secondary aged school children who are beginning to consider their future education and career choices;

Increase public understanding of the European Union and Scotland’s relationship within it; with a focus on the legacy of Horizon 2020 and the achievements of European Researchers Night in raising awareness;

Reach new audiences across Scotland;
Overview of the results for both editions of the Night in 2020:

Involvement of the Universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Aberdeen, St Andrews and the Beltane Network of the four universities in Edinburgh (Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier, Heriot-Watt and Queen Margaret).

Organisation of over 60 events across Scotland.

More than 60,000 attendees at events.

Over 300 researchers participated in the programme.

Delivery of a range of resources and materials in addition to the events, which has allowed researchers to engage with audiences beyond the reporting period.

A fully digital programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had never been undertaken before by the partners.

Common theme: "Research for all."

Delivery of social media campaign which raised awareness of the NIGHT and resulted in more than 250,000 social media impressions on EXPLORATHON accounts.
We have continued to build a strong reliable brand that is recognised in Scotland by both the public and our researchers. From the outset, the consortium was faced with a significant challenge: running an accessible, interactive and sizeable programme in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on the gathering of people. However, the partners rose to the challenge, delivering more than 60 events over a number of digital platforms.

All audience groups rated their experiences highly:

91% of attendees over the age of 16 rated the overall experience as good or very good

87% of participants aged under 16 reported that they had learned something new

Positive experiences at public events attributed to: activities being engaging, fun/enjoyable, and interesting

Our project

Reached new audiences:

In Scotland, postcode analysis of attendees suggests a wider attendee reach with audiences extending into Moray, the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland

Most audience members aged 16 or over had not been to an EXPLORATHON event before 2020

A more global reach, with 28% of attendees being from an international location

Increased awareness and understanding about research and its societal relevance:

93% of attendees ‘learnt something new about the topics/subjects covered’

75% ‘felt encouraged to ask questions or express opinions about research’

70% ‘improved their understanding of the relevance of research to everyday life’

64% ‘discovered something about the places where research happens’

Increased awareness and understanding about research funding:

33% ‘found out more about how research is funded’.

Improved attitudes towards research and researchers and motivated to find out more about research:

Respondents expressed generally more positive views of research or researchers; and better understanding more about real-life or everyday applications of research or the work of researchers

86% intended to ‘look for more information about the topics covered’

85% intended to ‘tell family and friends about the activity/event’ they attended

Events confirmed or strengthened positive attitudes for attendees who were already familiar with research.

EXPLORATHON 2020 was a successful public engagement activity. Events attracted an audience in excess of 60,000 from all age groups, with 51% being age 30 or younger. All events were delivered digitally to ensure the safety of participants as a result of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Partnerships with appropriate external organisations continued to benefit the project by allowing researchers to connect with different audiences. Whilst EXPLORATHON 2020 did attract attendees from across the socio-economic spectrum, more attendees were from A more affluent socio-economic groups than in previous years. This highlights that the partners will need to consider how to engage with harder to reach groups when delivering a digital programme more carefully for 2021.

Researchers embraced the opportunity to engage via digital platforms and more than 90% positively rated the platform used for their event and the event format. Based on feedback from both researchers and audiences, which highlighted a need to further optimise online engagement both in terms of attendee numbers and engagement, further training will be developed for 2021 to increase capacity and skills to engage via digital methods.