Brussels, 24 September 2010
European Researchers' Night: Science fiction becomes science fact
Beam me up! More than 200 events will be held across the European Union today as part of the sixth annual 'European Researchers' Night', which aims to promote careers in science and research. Around 500,000 people are expected to attend the events, which range from a virtual eco-system disco to laboratory-induced indoor lightning and an exploration of the science – fact and fiction – that lies behind teleportation and invisibility. Star Trek and Harry Potter fans may be surprised to learn that their heroes' disappearing acts are not necessarily pure fantasy.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "The European Researchers' Night showcases the work of hundreds of brilliant scientists involved in European research and innovation. Support for research and getting more young Europeans interested in science as a career is key to the EU's future competitiveness in the globalised world and creating the sustainable growth and jobs that Europe urgently needs."
Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "The Researchers' Nights are a chance for everyone to see Europe's researchers bringing inspiration and imagination to driving progress in areas from fashion to forensics. Events like this - much more than political speeches - show people that science matters, that science changes everyday lives and that science is fun."
Visitors to European Researchers' Night events across Europe will have the chance to handle sophisticated research equipment, meet researchers and enjoy fascinating demonstrations that bring the world of science to life. More than 600 museums, university campuses and laboratories will open their doors to the public.
Highlights of the hundreds of events which have been organised all over Europe:
A full agenda is attached below.
The first European Researchers' Night was organised in 2005. Since then, the number of countries taking part in the initiative has doubled and the number of cities involved has increased tenfold. Last year, 450 000 people attended European Researchers' Night events.
The European Union supports European Researchers' Night through the People Programme. The 2010 events have a budget of € 3.5 million.
The European Researchers' Night is managed by the Research Executive Agency (REA).
Research career development is supported through the Marie Curie Actions, which will have a budget of €772 million in 2011.
Agenda of the Researchers' Night events all over Europe:
EU 2020 Strategy: http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/index_en.htm
People Programme - 7th Framework Programme for Research:
Marie Curie Actions: http://ec.europa.eu/mariecurieactions
Research Executive Agency: http://ec.europa.eu/research/rea/