The events of the Researchers’ Night in Slovenia took place on September 23rd 2011 in:
- Ljubljana, organized by Jožef Stefan Institute and
- Novo mesto, organized by Faculty of Information Studies Novo mesto.
The objective of all events corresponded to the INSARTY project main goal “to enhance public recognition of researchers and their work, notably through offering the public at large, regardless of age and scientific background, opportunities to discover their human face and share with them experiments, ideas, problems, concerns, hopes, passions and fun”, as well as the following project objectives:
- Bringing researchers and public at large closer to one another, pointing out the “ordinary character” of the researchers and in such a way facilitating their integration in the social fabric;
- Stressing the societal importance of research, not only for competitiveness and economic growth but also towards citizens’ daily lives and well-being; •
- Stimulating young people to embark on scientific careers by underlining the fascinating and fun aspects of research;
- Illustrating the European dimension of the event, pointing out the EU support in favour of researchers and research and underlining the importance of European and international cooperation in research.
Organized events had had intensive preceding awareness campaign and provided insight on what and why the event is important and organised.
The target audience included children, students, local authorities, researchers, teachers, etc. Additionally, 20th Anniversary of first Internet connection in Slovenia, that was part of European EUREKA-8 COSINE project (1988 – 1992), celebration and the regional R&D and youth researcher award Nahtigalova’s awards ceremonies were integrated into the programme of the project to stress significance of the event and to attract as many visitors as possible.
To ensure interactivity with visitors – various expositions, live experiments, show and hands on experiments from various fields of natural and social sciences were placed around main stages. The general public had opportunities to meet scientists, attended and actively contribute in the events. Present EU corner provided much information on the initiatives on science and research. In addition to questioners and materials provided by the DG at the corner, various leaflets promoting science provided by the contributors in the project were distributed among visitors, together with project’s t-shirts and balloons.
The main location in Ljubljana was Prešeren Square – the centre of Ljubljana’s street life, other locations were Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI), House of Experiments and Academy of visual arts (AVA) both located on Trubarjeva street, Thermal Power Plant – Heating Plant Ljubljana (TE-TOL), and across Ljubljana moors Nature Park.
Even with budget limitations imposed, political turmoil (the government of Slovenia was abdicated two days prior the main event date), the team promoting and organising the event and whole project as a great success. We estimated total number of visitors at all venues between 3000 – 4000. High interest reflected with over 23.000 total visits on a dedicated web page and 754 “Likes” on projects Facebook page.