Researchers‘ Night held online and offline. Most scheduled items have been released
This year, Researchers’ Night begins on September 24th, this time in a “hybrid” mode, online and in person. Universities as well as other scientific and research centres, observatories or planetariums across Czechia will cover the topic of TIME. Most of the items have already been published on the Researchers’ Night website.
Researchers’ Night, as every year, is an evening packed with science. On account of the pandemic, however, the majority of organisers have also prepared an online programme. “We prefer to meet in person with those who want to experience science. Therefore, the online version should show such content to the people that we would be unable to show in person. For instance, some laboratories can’t be accessed publically or are located outside the premises where the event is held,” says Jiří Arleth, coordinator of the Technical University of Ostrava. Another advantage is the extended availability of the content until the end of the year.
As regards the date, the event falls on the last Friday in September throughout Europe, September 24th. The specialty of the Czech adaptation is a central theme, which changes every year. This year, it is TIME. “Being much more than a physical quantity, time sparks imagination. We can talk about time in relation to changes in life, development of technologies or medicine, considerations about the society or waste disposal,” says Jitřenka Navrátilová, representative of the national event coordinator. The visitors can already see the coordinators’ perspective, as the programme has been released on the event website www.nocvedcu.cz.
The central theme helps organisers approach scientific disciplines from new angles and involve new institutions that deal with it. As a case in point, Palacký University in Olomouc is going to present the Time Expo in Šternberk, a town in the vicinity. “We try to come up with novel ideas that would broaden the horizons of our regular visitors by bringing them to new places. For this year’s topic, it was tempting to use the interactive rooms in the Time Expo in Šternberk, where visitors can perceive time from different perspectives, be it the big bang theory, perception of time in space, or through the lens of measuring history from the most primitive of gadgets to the atomic clock. Organisers, in collaboration with Palacký University, have also prepared quizzes for children, presentation of Lukáš Richterek, a physicist, or an exhibition by Petr Horálek, an astrophysicist awarded by NASA,” says Tomáš Franta, a member of the organising team from Palacký University in Olomouc.
For the fourth time, the nation-wide event is held under the umbrella of the national coordinator, a grouping of two universities in Ostrava (the University of Ostrava and the Technical University of Ostrava). More than 20 universities are involved in Researchers’ Night, and among the newcomers are the Prague University of Economics and Business, and the College of Polytechnics Jihlava. Apart from that, more than 40 scientific institutions, science centres, observatories and other facilities are involved.
Researchers’ Night began in the wake of European Commission’s decision in 2005. Its aim is to show that science is far from boring, but it is a source of interesting, fascinating phenomena. Once a year, ordinary people can access hundreds of institutions across Europe in the evening and at night, such as universities, science and research centres, and can take part in guided tours, educational presentations, workshops, experiments, science show, music shows, etc. The idea behind Researchers’ Night is to disprove myths about scientists, who are said to spend the whole time working in the lab, by showing that they are “ordinary people” who do work beneficial to all of us and are able to introduce it to us in an attractive manner, and who can have a good time, too.