The Czech Researchers’ Night put on the European map
National coordinators of the Researchers’ Night in Ostrava, in particular the Technical University of Ostrava, managed to receive a grant under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). This enables the Czech Republic to be part of the European Researchers’ Night map along with Finland, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Iceland and Great Britain. The event has been moved from September to November 27 across the board in light of the Coronavirus pandemics in Europe.
After two years the work of the University of Ostrava and the Technical University of Ostrava, the event leader and coordinator in the Czech Republic, yields new results. Apart from becoming part of the European structure of organisations to hold the European Researchers’ Night (RN), the coordinators will also receive the H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2020 grant, known as Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, which can raise the overall benchmark of the event. „We know how difficult it is to obtain the grant as we tried to get the funding last year. There is a massive competition, and we stood an approximate 10-percent chance of success. It is thanks to our RN team and the department of international project cooperation that we have succeeded this year,” says Petra Halíková, TU Ostrava spokesperson.
“Change of the event date at the time when organisers and researchers were already working on the schedule and arranging the venues may be a major complication, but the organisers have reached an almost unanimous agreement that thanks to the grant it is worth it,” says Jitřenka Navrátilová, manager of the national coordinator, and adds that there are more than 40 bodies, such as universities, science centres and other institutions, involved in organising the event in Czechia.
Every year they come up with a central theme that permeates most of the events. This year it is HUMAN AND ROBOT to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Karel Čapek, a Czech novelist and dramatist, and the 100th anniversary of R.U.R., the book in which he used the word “robot” for the very first time.
“We are going to take different perspectives, since a robot is not only a humanoid, it can be a kitchen blender, a mobile phone or an online ad. Besides, robots constitute potential competition on the labour market, or they can be perceived as home companions with a possible impact on social bonds,” says Navrátilová. “We believe that the programme will be so attractive everywhere that our visitors won’t mind the changes of the date,” she adds.
This year for the third time, the event is taking place under the patronage of the consortium of two universities in Ostrava (the University of Ostrava and the Technical University of Ostrava).
Have a look at the invitation video: https://youtu.be/_MdVdZK2mNU
Stemming from a European Commission’s initiative, Researchers’ Night began in 2005 with the aim to show that science is a source of fun facts and fascinating phenomena which are far from boring. One evening and night in the year, hundreds of places all around Europe, among them universities, research centres and science centres, open their doors and hold guided tours, educational lectures, workshops, experiments, science shows or musical performances free of charge to dispel the myth about scientists as people locked in their labs and to show to the public that scientists are “ordinary people” who do beneficial work, who can present it to us in a funny way, and who can also have a good time.