On Friday, 27th September the European Researchers’ Night (ERN) took place in European Metropolises (https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/european-researchers-night_en).
As part of my project, I am doing a secondment in Oxford Instruments Nanoanalysis, in the UK. Therefore, I participated in the ERN that took place at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London.
I took part in the ‘EU pub’ event in the Central Café. It was a cosy and picturesque venue, several small tables were set out in rows and laid with striking blue cloth and the EU flag. Our guests were directed to have a chat with the researchers waiting at each of the tables about a topic they were interested in. People were enthusiastic and asked questions ranging from: how to encourage young girls raised in patriarchal societies to pursue careers in science, to the modern problem of information overflow. People from all over the world showed up to talk about science over a drink.
Several different events were happening at the same time all around the museum, there was something for everyone. For example, neuroscientists from the project EDEN2020 had brought a human brain replica made of hydrogel in a bowl of water and kids were absolutely amazed, because they were allowed to touch it.
It was the first time I participated in such an event and I am very happy I did so, as I had the chance to gain feedback regarding how recent generations feel about science. Lastly, I deeply believe there is always a way to communicate science and the merit of critical thinking to people regardless of their background. Scientific developments can make our everyday life easier. It is very important for scientists that people value and understand science and that scientific knowledge and achievements are available to any audience.
We wish to see you all next year, too!