The 2017 European Researchers’ Night will take place on September 29th over the whole continent. On which side will you be: with the researchers explaining science or with the visitors getting inspired?
The last NIGHT was two years ago. The succeeding one will be on September 29th, while one has to anticipate the following one in two years’ time. Sounds confusing? Yes, unless what we meant by NIGHT was the European Researchers’ Night, the event organised every second year by the European Union. What for? To bring researchers and citizens close to each other and share the beauty of science and technological innovation.
The European Researchers’ Night is an occasion for scientists and citizens to meet and learn from each other
The European Researchers’ Night (NIGHT) consists of activities that take place in more than 300 European cities (check here to find which NIGHT event is closest to you!). These activities serve as an avenue for researchers to present their investigation in a creative and playful way. The goal is to engage citizens and inform them of current scientific frontiers and research lines.
One of the research teams participating in NIGHT is the IESL-FORTH Institute from Heraklion, Greece, which participates actively in the LiNaBioFluid FET project. The outreach activity prepared by these scientists will be based on lasers. The audience will have the chance to observe and examine their effects on disparate types of surfaces. The demonstration will be interactive; kids will be asked to draw some paintings, which will then be used for the exhibition. How so? Well, we will keeping it as a surprise!
But scientists are only some of the actors active on the stage of NIGHT. The other main characters are, obviously, the citizens.
An example of how NIGHT can inspire people is the story of Matteo Iafrati from Italy. Ever since he was a teenager, Matteo had always dreamt of exploring the world of particle physics. Eventually, NIGHT played a key role in his future career back in 2009. On that evening, Matteo attended an event on nuclear fusion, which convinced him to specialise in plasma physics once he entered University the following year.
So, is your Friday night agenda still free? Perhaps, you may want to save the date. And enjoy the pleasure of letting science inspire you.
Cover image: via Wikimedia Commons
Research projects in this story
The LiNaBioFluid project aims at creating biomimetic surfaces with particular wetting properties. The study is inspired by the integuments or behinds of certain animals such as bark bugs and lizards. The objective of LiNaBioFluid is to modify the surfaces' properties using lasers. The results are expected to provide new insights and applications in the fields of friction reduction and lubrificants.