Thursday, 29 October 2020

9:30 – 10:00 Drop-in for a Virtual Welcome Coffee!

Enter the digital Conference Meeting-Space and start the EUSEA conference with a chat among colleagues and friends!

10:00 – 10:30 Conference Opening

Welcome and Introduction by EUSEA President Markus Weißkopf. Welcoming words by representatives from the Cork Institute of Technology.

Musical Warm-Up: “Clapping-Culture” and “Sounds of Dissonances”

Before diving into fruitful debates and mind-blowing sessions, EUSEA member Michael Bradke will warm us up with his swirling “Clapping Culture” and “Sounds of Dissonances”. To get our minds and bodies moving at the conference opening, we will try out fast and slow clapping rhythms, creative applause techniques and amazing sounds you can do with your hands. Any guess what you will hear when you put your electric tooth-brush to your ear? Michael will add stories about the science of sounds and the importance of dissonances in music.

Watch out for Michael’s interactive musical interventions during our virtual lunch- and coffee breaks!

10:30 – 11:00 Keynote

Why Innovation, Expertise and Impact are Important for Science Communications – An SFI Perspective

Margie Mc Carthy, Head of Education and Engagement at Science Foundation Ireland

Margie McCarthy is responsible for the strategic development and management of SFI education and public engagement division, within the SFI Science for Society Directorate. This involves the design, delivery and review of core engagement programmes to support SFI’s goal for Ireland to have an engaged and scientifically informed public.

The national SFI Discover funding programme is a key element in driving this objective. In her talk she will focus on why expertise and impact are important in Education and Public Engagement activity, particularly when publicly funded. Now more than ever, as science has proven to be a key element in societal decision making, Margie will touch on the importance of innovation in science communications.

Margie McCarthy is a strategic and creative thinker and leader with over 20 years’ experience across engineering, science, education, media, enterprise and academic sectors. She is a dynamic and passionate engagement expert and communicator.

11:30 – 13:00 Parallel Sessions I

Parallel Session 1.1:  Horizon Talks

Spectroscopy for all: Behind the scenes of using music to shake your bonds up

Music and Science are both universal languages. Music is also the perfect vehicle to deliver complex scientific concepts.

For example, Music allows us to construct easy to grasp allegories we could use to teach basic Physical Chemistry to non-specific audiences in a non-academic and interactive environment.

Here I present the project “Shake your bonds up”, a multi-activity science-fair stall funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The aim of this project is to engage young children and a broad audience with little knowledge of Chemistry with molecular structure, vibrational modes, and how scientists harness light-molecules interaction to do Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy, a technique that remains almost unknown to the public which has many applications in bioscience, industry and in everyday life. In this presentation, I will talk about our experience making the basics of IR Spectroscopy fascinating and fun for everyone using DIY costumes, music, a bit of acting and our audience’s best moves.

Shall we dance?

Maria Larriva Hormigos
Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford, UK

La Moulinette: a tool to remix your projects to get them even better! 

Like cooking, communicating science is a subtle mixture of art, love and technique, of which it is necessary to know how to master all the components, to balance all the flavours to make it work. While public communication of science always stems from good intentions, it may sometimes, be it out of clumsiness or naivety, has the opposite effect and ends up widening the gap it claims to close between science and society.

To win the public’s trust, a good public communication of science therefore requires a reflective approach in order to challenge practices that sometimes stem too much from habit or spontaneity. The aim of this talk will be to present you this tool, from the history of its design to the principles that govern its functioning, and most of all to make you feel like using it !

Horace Perret
Réseau romand Science et Cité, Switzerland

Augmented Lectures: communicate science by triggering emotions

This talk will present Augmented Lectures, an innovative science communication format where a scientist and an artist co-create and co-produce a staged theatrescience lecture performance. Theatre, storytelling and other art forms are powerful tools to elicit emotional responses and provide a more empathetic and inspiring communication of science.

This format, developed by Jet Propulsion Theatre ( <> ), has had demonstrable results in audience engagement with scientists through cutting edge scientific concepts, connecting with unsuspecting audiences, dispelling stereotypes and misunderstandings, and inspiring young audiences to pursue a scientific career.

Augmented Lectures are at the heart of the Theatre of Wonder Festival ( and have received the CULTIVATING CURIOSITY Bronze Award at the 2016 Reimagine Education Conference organized by The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania and QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

Andrea Brunello, Arditodesio Theatre Company Jet propulsion Theatre, Italy

Educational Robotics in Ireland 

Cork Institute of Technology are leading, through its Access Service, the VEX robotics programme in Ireland.

This programme was introduced in Cork in 2012 with 12 DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) post primary schools participating. This has now grown to over 350 primary and post primary schools nationally, with most counties having at least one team. The programme is heavily supported by both CIT and Dell in the cork region and by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the Discovery funding call nationally.

Sharon Lawton
Cork Institute of Technology

Fine-tuning your training for online audiences

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, trainers are having to move their sessions online but this unearths a number of challenges. While some content can be delivered in a similar manner, other content must be adapted to work in an online space. On top of this, the barrier between the trainer and their students makes it difficult to observe, interact and support them. This talk will use the recent transition of STEAM science communication summer school into an online programme as a case study. It will explore methods for adapting your face-to-face sessions into digital ones that maintain the same level of engagement and achieve your desired learning outcomes.

Amanda Mathieson, University of Malta

SySTEM2020- Connecting Science Learning Outside The Classroom

SySTEM 2020 is Horizon2020 project where the number of transdisciplinary programmes will be evaluated to design the best principles for educators in this field.

Examining individual learning ecologies by piloting self-evaluation tools for learners is a novelty which will document science learning outside of the classroom. However, the key strength of the project is mapping the field across Europe.
The map is not necessarily presenting a geographical layout only, but also follows a thematic clustering (based on educational ambition or scientific field addressed), a journey focused visualisation (representing ecologies rather than geographies, similar to a metro map), or any other visually compelling narrative.
This unique opportunity to a significant dataset for research, as it is all open data, and a tool to find and connect with other STE(A)M initiatives across Europe is crucial in harmonising the STEM field.

Dr. Tanja Adnađević, Centre for the promotion of science, Serbia



Parallel Session 1.2: 90-Minute Workshop

Encouraging uptake in STEAM careers 

Participation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) fields can be increased through initiatives targeted towards different genders and interests; however, research shows that both sexes become disengaged from STEAM subjects at school.

This results in a lower likelihood for girls and boys to choose certain careers. Although dependent on culture and country, males tend to take technical careers while females are encouraged into care-based roles. The reasons for this are complex.
This includes a lack of knowledge about STEAM careers at schools, lack of female role models, unconscious bias and a tendency for males and females to be encouraged into stereotyped roles and careers. Key research findings and case studies will be used to encourage participants discuss major agendas in this fishbowl discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Danielle Martine Farrugia (Science Communicator & lecturer, Ph.D. student, University of Malta), together with Jon Rea (Engagement and Participation Lead Nottingham City Council) and Dr. Edward Duca (Science communication practitioner and lecturer), Simone Cutajar (Esplora Natura director, researcher) and will address SDG Goals 4 & 5 concerned with quality education and gender equality. The goal of this workshop will be to discuss the current models worldwide that are already in place and working to address skills gaps and encourage more STEAM careers.

Danielle Martine Farrugia, University of Malta, Department of Physics

Parallel Session 1.3: 2x 45-Minute Workshops

Maths in City: Public Engagement with STEM, in Public 

Maths Week Ireland is an annual celebration of maths taking place in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and is the largest festival of its kind in the world.

It has achieved this through an innovative partnership model linking academia with education at all levels, government bodies, industry & business. It is successful in using traditional and electronic media to spread the positive message further. Linking maths to the rest of STEM, to other disciplines and to art is important.
This session describes innovative aspects in the organisation, development and delivery of the festival and focuses on one activity. Maths in the City in Belfast and Dublin engages the public, in public spaces. In the second part of this session participants will engage as the public do in these fun activities.
The model has been fully replicated in Maths Week Scotland (2017) and Maths Week England (2019) and Maths in the City has inspired Oxford Maths Festival and Mathematicas en la Calle, Madrid.

Sheila Donegan, Calmast STEM Engagement Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Introducing Creativity into Chemistry

In TCD our PhD students complete a semi-structured programme with a number of flexible modules available to fit around their research.

The Outreach Module has formalised the education and public engagement training for our PhD students, with a summarised version of the module rolled out to other institutions as well. Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) is an SFI funded hands-on activity delivered in schools by postrgad student ambassadors from 6 institutions. It has been running in Ireland for over 5 years, giving hundreds of chemistry students a unique opportunity to hone their communication skills.

SIAS forms a key part of the Postgrad Outreach module in TCD and UCD since it acts as the core “work experience” component alongside other opportunities. The module also includes formal workshops in Science Communication, Evidence based Science Education theories and Self-Reflection. Starting last year, part of the module assessment now requires students to work in pairs to create and test new outreach activities, presenting their ideas to the wider TCD Chemistry community for critical discussion. They are assessed on the originality and accessibility of their idea as well as their presentation skills and style of delivery

John O’Donoghue, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:45 Parallel Sessions II

Parallel Session 2.1: Horizon Talks

Youth engagement in mental health research: does it have to be harmonious?

Involving young people in co-developing and conducting research is essential to ensure research output is relevant and responsive to their needs. The focus of this talk is an open innovation strategy of the D.O.T. research group for mental health of children and adolescents implemented as an extensive youth engagement process.

The talk offers insights into the engagement process itself, an overview of different forms of engagement (long- /short-term and group/individual) and a short summary of learned lessons. A special emphasis is placed on the involving experts by experience in research and the importance of transparency, value proposition and teamwork in this process.

The moments of harmony, moments of dissonance and the silence in between will be discussed as well as their value and necessity for a functional and meaningful youth engagement in mental health research.

Maria Mitic, Ludwig Boltzmann Society, D.O.T. research group, Austria

Revealing dissonances with citizen science to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Citizen science, referring to the involvement of the public in academic research, can be a bottom-up approach for reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Researchers may benefit from volunteer engagement by having a solid research base or by changing the participants’ behaviour. Volunteers on the other hand may benefit by acquiring scientific literacy or in-depth knowledge of a discipline that may be the basis for informed decisions in their everyday lives.

When engaging with communities, not only dissonances between the SDGs but also societal dissonances can be revealed and addressed. Since citizen science also means a joint endeavour, local community engagement and local support, it plays a crucial role in attaining the SDGs. Since the identified challenges serve as a basis for discussion and help solve problems on a local level this bottom-up approach complements top-down approaches to achieve the SDGs.

Barbara Heinisch, University of Vienna

A quartet for a school project

The Scientists’ Collaborative Project with Educators (SCoPE) brings together scientists, teachers, learning specialists and designers to co-create A-level and GCSE biology teaching toolkits.

SCoPE fosters a culture of mutual learning while bringing new practical activities and contemporary research into the classroom. The aim is to support parts of the biology curriculum (e.g. stem cells, cell differentiation, gene engineering) which feature in the exams syllabus and are also studied at the Gurdon Institute research centre.

Scientists develop greater understanding of how their research fits in with the curriculum and how it is perceived by students. Teachers deepen their knowledge of fundamental biology and current techniques, and will expose their students to materials and information that they may not otherwise have access to. Students will appreciate the importance of the topics they are studying when connected to current research, encouraging them to see research as a relevant and attractive career choice. The talk will retrace the SCoPE octet’s journey and address the challenges in conducting harmoniously an ensemble of diverse experts.

Helene Doerflinger, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge (UK)

Attuning science communication to diverse audiences

Science communication both empowers people to use science to better their lives and communities and improves scientific research. When scientists have conversations about their research with non-scientists, they encounter new thoughts, opinions and perspectives on their work. However, people can’t be empowered and scientists can’t be affected   unless diverse groups of scientists meet diverse communities in a meaningful and respectful way. So, how can we make science communication more inclusive so that more people can benefit from science and so that science can benefit from having more people involved?

The horizon talk by Simone Cutajar (researcher) and Dr Edward Duca (Science and arts festival manager)  opens up a critique on the accessibility of science communication. Having worked with underrepresented communities, they will reflect on the impact of some activities they led which infused their work with more diverse perspectives and allowed them to be more attuned to societal needs.

Simone Cutajar, Dr. Edward Duca, University of Malta

Parallel Session 2.2: 45-Minute Workshop

The Do-Re-Mi of science self-efficacy: Developing scales to evaluate the impact of science engagement activities on participant’s science confidence

Being a good composer of education and public engagement (E&PE) means conducting quality evaluation of your activities. E&PE actors may be interested in assessing the impact of their activities on participant’s science self-efficacy beliefs i.e. their confidence to do science.

This workshop will guide participants through the steps involved in developing and evaluating science self-efficacy scales to assess the impact of specific E&PE activities.  The workshop aligns with an Open Innovation model, encouraging both the use of existing resources, and sharing newly generated resources with others.

Workshop outline (45 min):

  1. Group activity: Can you score that basket?
  2. Presentation: Overview of science self-efficacy and existing instruments
  3. Group activity: Developing & evaluating new items
  4. Questions & participant feedback

Sarah Carroll, Cell EXPLORERS at National University of Ireland Galway

Parallel Session 2.3: 45-Minute Workshop

How we learned to talk about dying in The Departure Lounge

Science communication both empowers people to use science to better their lives and communities and improves scientific research.