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Outreach News

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Celebrating nanoscience at the European Researchers’ Night

Every year the European Researchers’ Night brings researcher’s closer to society, through talks, workshops, and activities. The aim is to share their scientific and technological knowledge with general public. This year, the ICN2 participated in some of the outreach events, organized across Europe, all week, celebrating the last Friday of September 2021.

Since last year’s edition, the European Researchers’ Night (Nit Europea de la Recerca) followed a hybrid model, with both live and online events (“La Nit de la Recerca”’s Youtube Channel), with over 200 different talks, games, and workshops. This is an European public event organized by the European Commission within the Marie Sklodowsca-Curie framework of the Horizon 2020 program. It is celebrated in more than 300 cities from 30 European countries. More than 50 scientific institutions in Catalunya participated this Friday 24th of September, in different locations in the main Catalan nodes: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, and Vic.

In this edition some of the ICN2 members offered talks at schools to explain their science to young students, such as Dr Jordi Fraxedas, CISC Scientific Researcher of the ICN2 Thermal properties of nanoscale Materials Group, and Dr Regina Galceran Vercher, member of the ICN2 Physics and Engineering of Nanodevices Group. After a long time of presenting talks online due to the COVID pandemic, they had the opportunity to return to face-to-face talks and workshops. It makes a huge difference for the students as they are more engaged by a real scientific visiting their schools.

The Catalan Science Communication Association (ACCC) organized an entire week of fun scientific activities for curious people, from all ages. Members of the Marketing and Communication department, such as Joana Pi-Suñer and Ana de la Osa, gave an in-person workshop on Art and Nanoscience. This event was held in the Barradas Auditori of l’Hospitalet, on Thursday 23rd of September. We talked about the nanoscale, nanostructures, nanotechnology, and applications, to conclude the activity the participants made a paper-based gold nanoparticle stained glass.

Also this year, the ICN2 participated in a larger event organized at the Cosmocaixa Science interactive Museum in Barcelona to celebrate the European Researchers’ night. Along with other institutions as the ICMAB, the CRAG, and the IBEC, the ICN2 had a stand to discuss with attendees about nanoscience and nanotechnology, the education program Nanoeduca and the European project Braincom.

Side by side with Dr Amador Pérez Tomás, Senior postdoctoral researcher of the ICN2 Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices Group, we launched the virtual reality experience of the European project BrainCom, led by ICREA Prof. José Antonio Garrido. It is a new way of communicating science to society, in an immersive and attractive format, that was the star of the fair. Participants of all ages got to know the laboratories and the people behind the technology of brain-computer interfaces in a 360º experience. This project was led by the communication team, mainly by Àlex Argemí, Head, and Joana Pi-Suñer, Communication Officer, and will be presented to ICN2 members and society very soon... Stay tuned!

The following video captures the ambiance and environment of the event at CosmoCaixa: