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Brussels, 6 June 2005

New EU initiative to promote interest in researchers and their work

8 June will see the launch of a Europe-wide initiative “Researchers in Europe 2005”. The campaign aims to promote better awareness of the exciting multi-faceted lives and careers of researchers – ordinary people with a passion for science, without whom our society’s progress would not be possible. A wide range of activities will take place between June and November 2005, all designed to improve public understanding of the key role played by researchers in our society, and to attract young people to careers in science. Events include open-door days, exhibitions and theatre productions, with the highlight being “European Researchers Night” on 23 September, where events will be held simultaneously in cities and regions across Europe. The launch will be attended by the European Commissioner, Janez Potočnik and the Luxembourg Minister for Research, François Biltgen.

Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research said “This is a great opportunity for people to find out what it really means to be a researcher and to learn more about those who carry out this exciting work on a daily basis. I hope people will come away from these events with a better appreciation of what science today is all about, and that many will be encouraged to consider a career in research.”

There will be more than 50 events across Europe as part of the campaign, including:

  • a “science on stage” event at the Avignon Theatre Festival, one of the world’s leading theatre festivals (9-24 July 2005) with the production of a new play “Le cas de Sophie K” on the remarkable story of the Russian mathematician Kovalevskaia. Public discussions and scientific meetings will be organised around the production, building bridges between science and art.
  • a “European Researchers’ Night” on 23 September 2005, when cities and regions across the EU-25 will hold co-ordinated events for the general public and young audiences. These will range from science cafés and behind-the-scenes tours of research facilities, to exhibitions and "Science in the Streets." The star guest of the keystone celebrations in Brussels will be ASIMO, the most advanced humanoid robot in the world, developed with strong contribution from EU scientists.
  • a closing event in Dublin during the Marie Curie Week in November 2005. On this occasion participants and event promoters will present their projects and exchange ideas for future activities.

The objective of the “Researchers in Europe 2005” initiative is to bring science closer to the citizen, through greater awareness of the people who are at its core. It is part of a broader programme of career and mobility initiatives proposed and managed by the European Commission, such as the European Network of Mobility Centres and the Researchers’ Mobility portal.

These initiatives complement the well-established Marie Curie grant and fellowship schemes, which already benefit thousands of scientists. The Commission also recently adopted the Code of Conduct and Charter for Researchers, designed to counter the current fragmentation of research careers and move towards a single labour market for researchers.

For more information and a full listing of events:


- IP/05/282 On Code of Conduct and Charter for Researchers

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