Valencian and Murcian Universities and Entities say goodbye to September with the Mediterranean Researchers’ Night ‘Goes To School’
- Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
- September 30th, 2022
The cities of Valencia, Castelló de la Plana, Alicante, Elche, Murcia and Cartagena celebrate the XIII European Researchers’ Night coordinated under the project Mediterranean Researchers’ Night Goes To School (Mednight GTS). The consortium, formed by 10 representative universities and entities of research and scientific dissemination of the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia, offers a program of activities for all audiences that takes place in the last weeks of September and will also have as a finishing touch September 29 and 30, and October 1, 2022. The agenda of activities is available on the website mednightgts.eu.
Among the free and open access activities, were workshops on the street, shows and informative stands that aim to bring scientific research closer to citizens in an entertaining and fun way throughout the Mediterranean arc. The intention of Mednight GTS is that research is accessible and close to all sectors of the population, from the general public to groups with specific needs. Ultimately, the aim is to promote the interest of young people in learning scientific and technical skills that will make them the future professionals.
In Valencia, the Night was organised by the delegation of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in the Valencian Community, the University of Valencia, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the INCLIVA Health Research Institute and the Foundation for the Promotion of Research Sanitary and Biomedical of the Valencian Community (Fisabio). These five institutions are part of the European projects MedNight –in the case of CSIC, Fisabio and INCLIVA– and MedNight GTS –UV and UPV–.
On September 30, a major science outreach event took place within the framework of the Príncipe Felipe Museum. Throughout the day, researchers from the entities organising this activity offered the attendees, primary and secondary students in the morning and general public in the afternoon, more than 30 science workshops and talks to bring science closer to Valencian society. In addition, researchers who lead important European projects met with students and teachers at 1:00 p.m. in the so-called European Corner to share their experiences and their vocation for science. The Museu de les Ciències, the Oceanogràfic and Esciencia Scientific Events also collaborate in collaboration with CaixaForum Valencia (belonging to the “la Caixa” Foundation), with its project Researchers’ Night.
This Tuesday, the 27 at 8:00 p.m., at the Ice Factory, scientists from the five institutions stared in a monologue session on topics such as microplastics in the human body, myths about the impact of cows on climate change, new ways of capturing C02, the need to invest in food science or the dangers of not knowing.
Castelló de la Plana
In Castelló de la Plana, on the afternoon of September 30 (from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.), the Jaume I University has organised collaborative workshops with practical experiments, demonstrations, and games for all audiences and ages in the Agora of the Riu Sec Campus, with guided visits to the Garden of the Senses. In addition, boys and girls could explore science autonomously and experientially in different spaces for spontaneous play and discovery. A conversation with researchers from different fields of knowledge explored the solutions that science can provide to the challenges of the resource crisis and the environmental emergency. And in the European Corner, the informative space on European action, the experience of young people committed to building a European society based on knowledge will be presented, with the participation of Europe Direct Castelló. In addition, other activities related to music, sports or technology have been planned.
The University of Alicante (UA) proposed more than fifty activities with scientific and technological experiments and shows, routes, exhibitions, and an astronomical observation at the San Vicent del Raspeig campus, as well as workshops and talks at different Scientific Stations (Ibi, Alcoi and Santa Pola) and in the Alicante City University Venue. The UA researchers and students presented to the public, in a didactic and playful way, basic concepts of their Mediterranean Science disciplines: archaeology, ecology, nutrition, chemistry, biology, humanities, geology, economics, robotics, etc.
Also, in the city of Alicante, the Valencian Community Foundation for the Management of the Alicante Health and Biomedical Research Institute (ISABIAL) organised SCI-DATES “Appointments with researchers” on September 29 and 30 in the Espacio Séneca (Old bus station). A space where meetings were held between the population and biomedical researchers to share their advances in topics related to health such as the functioning of drugs, pain, death, or ageing. SCI-DATES, which could be visited in the morning and afternoon, will also feature an exhibition with information on ISABIAL’s 43 research groups, workshops for schoolchildren and the general public at ISABIAL’s Alicante Simulation and Innovation Laboratory, and the presentation, with educational activities, of the Research Support Platforms of the health centre such as the Biobank, Epidemiology (Preventive Medicine), Pathological Anatomy and Microbiology. The event, which has the collaboration of the Alicante City Council, offered an acoustic concert in the afternoon of September 30 in Plaza Séneca.
In Elche, the Miguel Hernández University of Elche and ATAMA have organised an afternoon of fun science focused on young audiences that includes an interactive theatre show and the projection of audiovisual pills on the achievements of different renowned scientists and a science theatre session at the city centre (Plaça de Baix) on the afternoon of the 30th. Likewise, coinciding with the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the UMH, on October 1 a full day held dedicated to families in which the audience will be able to enjoy scientific workshops, informative stands, games, art and animation. Programming began at 10:00 a.m. and featured the participation of researchers from the different campuses and research areas of the institution, with dynamic and interactive workshops.
In Murcia, the University of Murcia (UMU) developed on the afternoon of September 30 more than a hundred scientific and technological workshops in the Plaza de La Merced. The researchers presented in a didactic and playful way basic concepts of Mediterranean science, through games, contests, monologues, experiments, exhibitions, shows and linguistic routes through the city, all under the umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Unique masters of ceremonies accompanied this Night: the actors of El Hechizo became renowned scientists to interact with the attendees. For its part, the Seneca Foundation produced an exhibition on inventions that have emerged in countries, empires, or regions of the Mediterranean basin throughout History. It has been launched during the 2022 Science and Water Museum of Murcia.
In Cartagena, the Polytechnic University of Cartagena hosted its main act in the Heroes of Cavite esplanade, a privileged place in the heart of the city. Students, professors from the Polytechnic and specialised disseminators from different parts of Spain exhibited in the middle of the street and in three museums the capacity of science and technology to transform society and solve all kinds of challenges, from the need for cheap energy that contribute to global warming to the sustainability of consumer products such as cosmetics, going through the new digital manufacturing techniques and the great achievements of Roman constructions in Cartagena, which were explained with interactive workshops at the Roman Theater Museum and a talk by the historian and public works engineer Isaac Moreno, presenter of the documentary program Roman Engineering. Parallel to the main event, other actions were carried out at the UPCT Water and Energy Museum, located on the Alfonso XIII Campus, at the El Soldadito de Plomo cafeteria and at the Las Matildes Mine Interpretation Center, from where an astronomical observation will be made. Previously, dissemination workshops on nuclear energy were held at the Polytechnic Industrial School, as part of the activities of the congress of the Spanish Nuclear Society, which is being held that same week in Cartagena and which included a mentoring event for students interested in Engineering. With these scientific dissemination activities, the new quarterly program of Cartagena Piensa also kicks off and the leisure offer in the city continues after the Carthagineses and Romanos festivities.
MEDNIGHT GTS is a project associated with the European Researchers’ Night initiative of the European Union, funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, with call identifier: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-CITIZENS-01 (MSCA and Citizens 2022). The activities of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit are part of the scientific dissemination activities plan funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.