Friday 30 October 2020

9:30 – 11:00  Parallel Sessions III

Parallel Session 3.1: Horizon Talks

The Pitch in the Noise: the Case of Berlin

A case study of science communication in Berlin will be presented in storytelling/comedy style.

By interviewing different stakeholders, I am discovering their approaches, target audience, media, formats, impacts and evaluation methods, funding methods, and views on science communication in Berlin.

Preliminary findings show that science communication activities in Berlin are sounds at different frequencies, each of which is audible only by a specific target audience. These institutions are also entwined with different stakeholders; collaborations are very common. Informal and inter-personal connections between the science communicator and a potential partner is a key to initiate collaborations. Some stakeholders also express that if scientists share their struggles with the audience, it helps humanize themselves and build a connection between them. The role of aesthetics, social media, and the physical environment in science communication is some of the findings.

Anna Weng Ian Au, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

DojoMór, a youth coding experience 

DojoMór is a day devoted to coding for children between the ages of 7 and 17. Thousands of children come together on the same day to code in multiple third level institutions nationally around Ireland.

This program stems from a global coding community, CoderDojo, that was founded in Cork, Ireland, in July 2011. Children meet once a week to learn code through self-learning in a Dojo.

In Belgium in 2015 the first MegaDojo was set up, where they got in excess of 1024 children to code. MegaDojo made its way back to Cork where it has, over time, morphed into DojoMór. The funding for DojoMór is primarily provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Ireland under the Information Technology Investment Fund. It is primarily aimed at children who have never coded before with this being their first introduction to coding. It is a fun filled day where the children learn to code games.

David Hodge
Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland

Moving the Academic Mountain 

The EU has taken the lead to make research more socially relevant by embedding the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in institutions Europe-wide.

The end goal is to democratise research, build social trust and tackle societal challenges. Takeup has been uneven. This horizon talk will use the University of Malta (UM) as a case study. Through the Horizon 2020 NUCLEUS Project, a small team studied the current attitudes of academics, staff and students, which led to concrete actions being taken and the setting up of an Engaged Research Committee.

The internal study kicked off a conversation with UM stakeholders around the concept of RRI. By conducting semi-structured interviews with different staff, we identified existing resources and opportunities to foster an engaged research culture at UM and to identify key champions. The researchers were also able to act as “connectors” to others that helped overcome barriers of institutional change to empower more academics to undertake public engagement.

Edward Duca, Daniela Quacinella and/or Nika Levikov
University of Malta, Malta

Ciencia al fresquito: A Midsummer Night’s Scientific Dream

Many towns and villages barely have scientific dissemination activities throughout the year. Most of those events are only organized in big cities, but not in small and medium-sized ones, where 2 out of 10 Andalusians live.

‘Ciencia al fresquito’ seeks to take advantage of the holidays, when many people move to the coast or return to their home towns to spend a few days with the family, to propose a different way to overcome the Summer heat.
The project of Fundación Descubre has the goal of bringing Andalusian research and science to small towns and rural areas, crowding the streets with a lot of science. Exhibitions, films, workshops, talks, Science cafés… a wide variety of formats to cater for all.
In addition, the project aims to promote Scientific Tourism as an alternative for local development, and an opportunity for any village or town to diversify its economy.

Miguel Carrasco Tellado
Fundación Descubre, Spain


Parallel Session 3.2: 2x 45-Minute Workshops

The story of unfolding food (tbc)

We waste 1/3 of all food produced while 800 million people in the world are still undernourished. If we are to feed the world’s growing population and maintain the health of our planet we need to change! 

At FoodUnfolded® we want to contribute towards this change by

  1. Reconnecting people with how our food is made
  2. Providing a space for dialogue
  3. Creating a movement to encourage change

In this session, through quizzes, trivia and other interactive activities, we will look at our own knowledge and behaviour in relation to our food. Through what we find out about ourselves and through examples and first learnings from setting up the FoodUnfolded® community, we will then explore how we can go about reaching systematic change with the ultimate goal of inspiring the future of food.

 The FoodUnfolded® Community

  1. Website to educate and engage (
  2. Social media to create dialogue
  3. Events to activate audiences

FoodUnfolded® is an online and offline community that educates, bridges misunderstandings and nurtures new relationships between the public, academia, experts and the food industry based on honest and trust-building dialogue.

Sofia Kuhn, EIT Food, Belgium

Art, humanities and science: lessons in transformation 

The fusion of science, citizen involvement and arts in research and science communication is a phenomenon that spread worldwide. Concepts like SciArt, BioArt, science shops and others have seen scientists, communities and artists working together to create groundbreaking research and new methods of expressing scientific ideas to engage citizens and attract new audiences.


The session will start off with flash talks on case studies deliberating how scientists, citizens and artists have worked together, highlighting the barriers that exist to running successful events and the diversity of processes that have been used for different target groups. The talks will focus on engaging communities through science festivals, co-creating science and art projects, science shops and engaging minority groups.

These will be followed by Zoom breakout rooms discussing how participants can think of diverse groups of people they can target and involve in their public engagement projects to match their needs and motivations to better reach them. Online games will be used to enhance interactivity and participation. (Text needs to be adapted on the website)

Simone Cutajar and Dr Edward Duca, University of Malta

Image: The Green House

Parallel Session 3.3: 90-Minute Workshop

Laugh and Learn: Comedy as a Tool for Engagement 

Sometimes science can feel like a joke. But that’s a good thing, because comedy provides an informal and welcoming environment where people are more open to learning.

This session gives an overview of Bright Club Ireland, a research/comedy variety night where academic researchers perform stand-up comedy about their work. Over 70 events have run in Ireland over the past 5 years, and we show that this approach has attracted novel audiences and improved the autonomy, competence, and relatedness of researchers who take part. Session participants will experience part of the Bright Club speaker training, using techniques from improvisation and theatre to shine new light on research communication. Finally, we will discuss elitism and hierarchy in science, and whether the subversive nature of comedy can help in breaking down barriers within science as well as between it and the public.

Jessamyn Fairfield, National University of Ireland Galway

Parallel Session 3.4: 90-Minute Workshop

UNESCO Learning Cities: Global Goals, Local Actions (tbc)

This session will share the Cork and Groningen experiences as members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.

Local authorities, universities and cultural partners join forces to maximize the opportunities for lifelong learning for all citizens. The Network supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education … ’) and SDG 11 (‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’).

We explore the possibilities of UNESCO Learning cities as regional networks for inclusive science engagement, to overcome (possible) existing bias against gender and/or social background in the scientific community. We share experiences of Learning City Award winning Cork, hosting a Lifelong Learning Festival since 2004 and the STEM learning ecosystem approach from Groningen (Netwerk Noord, Erasmus+ SUSTAIN). To learn from each other we will use an open space format to discuss the use of local challenges (for example energy, water, healthy ageing), regional traditions (such as prevailing industry or urbanisation) and the diversity of partners in the network.

Renske de Jonge, Science LinX – University of Groningen
Séamus O’Tuama – Director of ACE (Adult Continuing Education) at University College Cork
Denis Baret- Cork Learning City Co-ordinator, Cork City Council
Maaike de Heij – Science LinX at University of Groningen

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

12:00-12:15 Launch of the new EUSEA Science Engagement Platform 

Markus Weißkopf, EUSEA President and Annette Klinkert, EUSEA Director

12:15 – 12:30 Conference Summary – Handover to Hosts 2021

13:00 -15:00 EUSEA General Assembly

Please note that the Conference Programme can be modified without previous announcements.
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