The European Researchers’ Night, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on September 25, is a big annual party promoted by the European Commission, in which scientists from hundreds of organisations across the continent bring their fascinating work closer to people through talks, interactive scientific demonstrations and guided tours of scientific laboratories and workshops. This year, like every year, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) will be participating in the event, welcoming 200 visitors who will be able to see first-hand how the Centre works.
With the slogan Meet the scientists, be a scientist!, around 40 CNIO researchers from 7 different countries will greet visitors and show them the video CNIO for Kids (link to video). Thanks to this virtual tour of the facilities, visitors will discover what a typical workday is like at the Centre, narrated in an entertaining way by predoctoral (CNIOSA) and postdoctoral (CNIO-PDA) scientists. In addition, several young researchers will explain what led them to choose a career in the sciences, how they arrived at the CNIO and what it is like living and working in other countries.
Afterwards, participants will learn how to extract DNA from a tomato that they can take home, an activity that always arouses a great deal of excitement among those attending. The Night will close with a speed
dating session with scientists, at which they can ask questions about science and research careers.
This year, as a new feature, a European Corner will be set up, providing information on EU research programmes and policies, along with some examples of the international environment experienced at the CNIO.
A NIGHT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH SCIENCE
One of the aims of the CNIO is to attract and promote new talent. Not surprising, since one of its distinctive characteristics is the youth of its scientists: 67% of the nearly 400 researchers at the Centre are under the age of 40. Researchers’ Night is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the impact of science on everyday life, encourage careers in science and foster entrepreneurial spirit among young people.
“We want to share with them what it means to be a scientist in an entertaining and simple way, and explain why the work we do is so important,” explains Eleonora Lapi, a researcher in the Epithelial Carcinogenesis Group and one of the organisers of the event. “We place special emphasis on children and adolescents to encourage them to choose a career in science. We want to show them that not all researchers are crazy grey-haired professor types, but rather just ordinary people with an extraordinary job” (full interview in Spanish of the Foundation for Knowledge madri+d).
The European Researchers’ Night, which has been taking place simultaneously in more than 300 cities since 2005, is a project for scientific dissemination that forms part of Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In Madrid, the activity is promoted by the Regional Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and coordinated by the Foundation for Knowledge madri+d.
Meet the scientists, be a scientist!
September 25, 2015, 5:00-11:00pm
Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Melchor Fernández Almagro, 3, 28029 Madrid
About the CNIO event in 2014: https://storify.com/CNIO_Cancer/noche-investigadores-2014-cnio
About the European Researchers’ Night in Madrid: http://www.madrimasd.org/lanochedelosinvestigadores/