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Researchers Changing Society

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CHANGE (Researchers Changing Society)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2017-12-31

European Researchers´ Night gathered a great audience in all thirteen localities it took place in Finland. Altogether around 24 000 people visited Night´s workshops, performances, lectures and clubs. The theme of the event was Change.

Popular events were workshops for schools and entertaining evening events such as Science Battle in Turku. Jyväskylä and Kuopio attracted more visitors than ever in their previous science events. The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers chose Doctor of Philosophy Olga Davydova-Minguet to be the Academic of the Year in the European Researchers´ Night in Joensuu.
”I am very proud of the researchers who presented their work all over Finland. It was great, but I felt even more delighted to see how many genuinely interested people there were to listen to the researchers and ask good questions!”, event coordinator, Academy Research Fellow Janne Pakarinen from University of Jyväskylä tells.
This year European Researchers’ Night activities in Finland were organized in Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kuopio, Lahti, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Savonlinna, Sodankylä, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa. Over ten Finnish universities participated, together with Science Center Heureka, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and Technical Research Center of Finland VTT.

Overall objectives:
1) Shed light on the forefront research carried out in Finland: illustrate the cutting edge research carried out in Finland, introduction to the general public of the large number of researchers and the significant work they perform, in numerous science fields;
2) Break stereotypes the general public may have on researchers, highlighting that researchers are ordinary people amongst us, bringing researchers to the centre of activity, in direct contact with the audience, as well as –whether possible- presented in a different environment, than their workplace, showing various facets of their lives such as hobbies, sport talents, passions…;
3) Attract students towards scientific careers: encourage young people to embark on scientific careers, in particular towards high school and university students, and as a rule towards young people facing or about to face a career choice;

The project reached its objectives and proved to be successful.
Overview of the results
2016:
o Conception, production and display of promotional material;
o Publication of press releases (3 at national level, 21 at local levels);
o Public advertising through posters hung (650) all throughout Finland, in schools and public places;
o Publication of 31 articles in national publications (newspapers, magazines), such as in Helsingin Sanomat which has 324 451 readers per issue, Suomen Kuvalehti with 324 000 readers per issue and Tieteessä tapahtuu -magazine which has 6500 readers per issue;
o Publication of advertisements in regional/local newspapers;
o Airing of report ion the events by Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE in the national morning TV-programme and YLE Oulu on local TV news;
o Airing of promotional spots on some local radios;
o Setting-up, constant updating and maintenance of project website, including a website article presenting a special programme addressing schoolteachers;
o Conception and production of numerous videos, photos and articles;
o Publication of announcements through newsletters;
o Links with other popular and institutional websites, and posts on such websites;
o Blogs, posts, posts on universities websites, event calendars
o 12 907 visitors on the website during the months September/October only;
o Setting-up, constant updating and maintenance of social networks profiles:
o Facebook: having attracted mostly people aged 25–34 (26 %), followed by as 35–44 year old (23%) and 45–54 (14 %), majority of female, mostly from the biggest cities involved in the project, having reached thousands of people, 13.907 unique visitors, 108 posts reaching 106.224 people, 1.138 likes prior to the event, and 1.228 afterwards, 9 Facebook events with 4.103 people interested and 1.146 participating;
o Twitter: 342 followers prior to the vent and 374 afterwards, 437 tweets up to 12 October, 178 tweets from organisers, with 674 likes and 502 retweets;
o Instagram: 44 followers prior to the event and 58 afterwards, 35 posts at national level, 69 posts by local organisers with 1.792 likes and 3 reposts, sharing of 15 videos with 2.733 views
o Publication of 31 articles in 15 different off line newspapers around Finland, such as Uutistamo and Tiedetuubi;
o About 800 000 – 1 million people made aware of the European Researchers 'night and its objectives.

2017
o Revamping and constant updating of project website
o Revamping and constant updating of social network profiles
o Facebook:
Reach of people of different ages, mostly people aged 25–34 and 35–44 (both 18 %) by Facebook post, followed by people aged 45–54 (12 %), of which 68 % were female;
7.977 people reached, 88 reactions and 278 clicks;
o Twitter:
68 % women and 32 % men, most followers aged 25-34;
"Overview of the results
o Collection, analysis and processing of 1418 feedbacks (staff surveys: 147, visitor surveys: 794, school surveys; 477)
Main conclusions:
o Typology of visitors: (including schools): significant female representation, various educational backgrounds, with 60 % having a university level, 88% being Finnish, mostly already interested in science (84 % somewhat interested with 77 % very interested and for students 70 % interested, of which 39 % very/extremely interested in science);
o Knowledge about the event: word of mouth, social media for young people, people aged under 17: school, word of mouth, over 36: advertisements in newspapers;
o Overall positive feedback about the events (activities, interest, contacts with researchers, concrete organisation, locations and venues, scheduling..) (98 % satisfaction, among which 85 % very/extremely satisfied, school children: 93 % satisfied with 72 % very/extremely satisfied);
o Evolution of public opinion on researchers and their job: modification of visitors opinion (70 %), even for those already interested in science;
o Interest for science : increased interest for science expressed by visiting children( 57% of those initially not interested);
o Successful knowledge transfer to attendees (although potential improvements): gain of knowledge for 90 % responders, over 50 % stating that they gained a lot, and 82 % children having gained (somewhat, very much, extremely much…);
o Improvement of the public image of scientists: 36 % responders considering the researchers' image in media is wrong (slightly or very)49 % responders considering it somewhat correct and 17 % absolutely adequate;
o Interest for a science career: 75 % responders under 25 somewhat, very or extremely interested in science careers, 44 % students responders having a rather high interest (over ""somewhat"");
o General will to attend future similar events expressed by 85 % responders (over 90 % students);
o Opinion of the staff involved: over 90 % staff very/extremely satisfied, over 92 % interested to be actively involved in a future similar event, over 92 % intending to recommend to their peers to organise some similar activities, 87 % satisfied of the audience's reactions and 13 % somewhat satisfied;
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