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Cementing Links between Science and society toward Engagement and Responsibility

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CLoSER (Cementing Links between Science and society toward Engagement and Responsibility)

Reporting period: 2017-02-02 to 2018-01-01

The CLOSER project, selected to organize the ERN in Piedmont and Aosta Valley, has started treasuring the capitalized experience of the 10 past editions: it has built on the results achieved along this thrilling journey and move forward, also on the basis of the European agenda defined by H2020 in relation to the science and society issues.

The main objective of the CLoSER project is to enhance researchers’ public recognition generating trust in science and making the whole society acknowledge the need for taking responsibility and taking part in the public debate on research and innovation.
The public at large in all its components, whichever their age and scientific background, will be offered the opportunity of discovering the “human face” of research via direct exchanges and discussions with the researchers, thus understanding the impact research and innovation have on their daily lives.

In order to achieve this main objective, the specific objectives of CLoSER are:

o Bring researchers, citizens, schools, policy makers, and industry closer to one another, making use of Responsible Research and Innovation values to engage them all in a dialogue about the relevance of science in society and the importance of taking responsibility;
o Tackle and challenge existing stereotypes about researchers and research, highlighting their necessary role in the knowledge society;
o Strengthen researchers’ awareness about the importance of communicating with the public at large and the need for reinforcing their communication skills, supporting them to gain/develop these abilities through training, tools and new formats;
o Actively involve the public in the event through citizen science projects, outreach activities and public debates mixing entertainment and educational aspects to increase their knowledge as scientific citizens and their trust in science and researchers;
o Increase the interest of young people in science and the attractiveness of scientific careers by bringing researchers close to young people, through specific activities tailored on young girls’ and boys’ interests;
o Enhance the innovation of the proposed activities with a specific support of those proposed by researchers;
o Point out the European support in favour of researchers and research, and stress the importance of European and International cooperation in research (European Stage for Research and Innovation);
o Make citizens reflect on the relationship between science and society, exploiting the mainstream media and social network capacity of reaching a wider audience to promote the event at local and national level (in conjunction with other Italian projects);
o Share good practices and most effective activities towards the achievement of the objectives between the cities involved in the Consortium and other ERNs across Italy.

Over the 2 years the CLoSER project successfully organised 2 editions of the European Researchers' NIght, the 11th and the 12th in Piedmont and Aosta Valley, both achieving the settled objectives and expected impact.
AWARENESS CAMPAING (WP1) / Overview of the results:
o Conception, realisation and display of promotional material and advertising (posters, leaflets, brochures, programmes, multimedia totem, billposting and event signage in the 7 cities);
o Publication of over 60 articles in newspapers and magazines;
o Project website: About 3.009 hints on project website, 851 unique visitors and 4.828 pages viewed between 1st January 2017 and 4th October 2017;
o Social network activity 5.289 likers on Facebook, 527 followers on Twitter and 245 followers on Instagram;
o Links with popular and institutional websites through official banner of the event;
o Publication of announcements and articles on linked websites;
o Promotional gadgets (T-shirts and 1 special gadget) displayed through the Infopoint, complying with the general guidelines available at
o Setting up of a dedicated press office that led to the publication of over 30 articles in newspapers and magazines, plus interviews on local TV and radio shows;
o Publication of announcements and advertisement in national and local newspapers: Giovani Genitori, La Repubblica, La Stampa;
o Publication of several press releases delivered to a series of media amongst which the most popular ones;
o Elaboration of a Researchers’ Night 2017 kit addressing specifically SMEs (booklet of presentation and coordinated headed paper);
o Local media relations and local awareness campaign conducted by local partners in compliance with general rules established at overall project level.
o About 500.000 people made aware of the Researchers' Night and its objectives through all the online and offline tools mentioned above.

ACTIVITIES DURING THE NIGHT (WP2) / Overview of the results
o Offer of over 150 activities as planned in Annex I part B to the Grant Agreement, including:
o o Exhibitions, prototypes;
o Fun and games
o Hands-on experiments;
o Science corners;
o Debates and informal chats with researchers;
o Presentations and lectures;
o Scientific treasure hunts;
o Thematic workstations;
o Conferences;
o Theatre performances;
o Radio podcasts (Ondequadre and Radio 6023);
o Video interviews (UnitoNews)
o 7 European corners;

o Over 2.500 researchers involved in the implementation of the activities, amongst which:
o 50 having benefitted from Marie Curie schemes;
o 300 having benefitted from another EU support;
o About 90 local institutions involved in the event (industry, research centres and foundations, policy makers, stakeholders, CSOs, cultural organisations)
o Over 38.000 attendees having taken part in the activities offered in the various venues and locations, distributed as follows:
o Torino: 25.000;
o Alessandria: 4.000;
o Aosta: 3.000;
o Asti: 3.000;
o Biella: 500;
o Cuneo: 3.000;
o Verbania: 500
IMPACT ASSESSMENT / Overview of the results:
o Collection, analysis and processing of 1000 paper questionnaires;
o Collection and processing of 200 on-line questionnaire addressing researchers ;
o Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors:
o Mainly , average age 20 years, both femal and male represented in balanced way in each group, (schools, families, groups of young people), wide range of backgrounds (scientific or not ) represented;
o Mostly regional origin (natural since the event was organised in the main regional cities);
o Overall positive feedback on the event (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, organisation, scheduling);
o Increased knowledge and enhancing of public recognition of researchers' work and its societal impact;
o Increased interest for research careers amongst young people;
o Overall will expressed to take part in similar future events; 2028
o Suggestion from researchers:
o Stronger focus on activities specifically addressing young people;
o Reinforced training to be provided by the organisers on new paradigms such as RRI and Open Science.
An invasion of researchers in the streets of the city centre in Torino
...While non stop experiments engaged public aged 0-99 the whole Night in the 7 cities
Special activities for kids opened the ERN in the afternoon...
Looking forward the XII edition