Time for the next European Researchers’ Night, this time about TIME
The Czech Researchers’ Night is taking place on September 24th. Also this year is part of the European Researchers’ Night, an international event with a variety of countries organising it a national level, such as France, Portugal, England or Israel. The Czech organisers have revealed the theme for this year: TIME.
For the second time in a row, coordinators from the Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO) and the University of Ostrava have received a prestigious grant to hold the European Researchers’ Night, under the call H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2021. “Receiving the project last year was a major commitment to all organisers, and we wanted to succeed again,” says Petra Halíková, VSB-TUO spokesperson. “We had to exert a great deal of effort, and we made it eventually thanks to the spirit and work of the whole team, in particular the International Project Team.”
The date of the event across Europe falls on September 24th, the last Friday of September. Every year the Czech Researchers’ Night revolves around a central theme. 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 Petra Čubíková, coordinator of the University of Ostrava.
The organisers pose the question ”How much time is left?” and answer in the same breath: “That depends. Time can, but need not be measured. Either way, it stimulates imagination and opens up an adventurous world. Lets reveal the mystery of relativity, immortality, ageing or evolution. Come in time and get to know that time is more than a physical quantity.”
The visual side of the event goes hand in hand with the diversity of the theme. “Every single graphic feature is significant, be it growth, old age, the past, the present, or the future, the phases of the Moon, or the theory of relativity. A mysterious, rebellious feature, the red dots indicate European capital cities in different time zones,” explains Jitřenka Navrátilová, manager of the national coordinator.
Following the experience from last year, the coordinators also prepare a virtual alternative of the event. It is clear that the individual institutions will present at least part of their programme online. “We want to be prepared for every eventuality. In today’s turbulent times it is impossible to predict what will happen in September. Certainly, we give preference to an offline form of this popularisation event. We are hoping that it will be possible eventually, at least partly for a limited audience,” says Ms Halíková from VSB-TUO.
This year’s event, just like the three previous years, is organised by the national coordinator, a consortium of two universities situated in Ostrava (the University of Ostrava, and VSB-Technical University of Ostrava). More than 20 Czech universities are involved in the event, with two universities, Prague University of Business and Economics, and College of Polytechnics Jihlava, joining newly this year. Additionally, more than 40 research institutes, science centres, observatories and other institutions are involved.
Researchers’ Night began as a result of the European Commission’s initiative in 2005 and it aims to show that science deals with fascinating phenomena and can bring a wealth of knowledge, and is thus far from boring. One evening and night every year, the public can attend guided tours, presentations, workshops, experiments, science shows, music performances and other events presented by hundreds of institutions, such as universities, research institutes, science centres and other facilities all around Europe. The goal is to disprove the myth about scientists constantly locked in their laboratories by showing them as “ordinary people” who contribute with their work to each and every one of us, who can present their work to the audience in an attractive manner, but who can also have a good time.