Learning how to make a comet with space scientists in London, creating a cloud with meteorologists in Bolzano, Italy, and exploring the San Antonio volcano with geologists in the Canary Islands are just a few of the highlights of the 7th Researchers' Night, taking place at a host of venues throughout Europe on 28 September.
Around 350 cities, from Akureyri (Iceland) to Nicosia (Cyprus), going through Malta, will take part in the event, with the aim of discovering science in a fun way and raising interest in research careers. The public will be able to take part in experiments, join interactive science shows, visit usually restricted research laboratories and try out complex equipment.
"This is an opportunity for anybody to become a scientist for a night," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. "As well as being educational and fun, the annual Researchers' Night is a great way of getting girls and boys interested in pursuing research as a career.
"A youngster who learns how to make invisible ink in the classroom today may well become a scientist addressing Europe's most acute societal and economic challenges tomorrow," added the Commissioner.
During Researchers' Night, scientists from all disciplines take over public spaces – shopping malls, squares, historic monuments, parks, and museums - to show people of all ages how their work impacts on daily life.
Hundreds of events will take place in 32 EU and neighbouring countries. In Malta, Researchers’ Night will launch Science in the City, an entertaining science and art festival where Malta’s capital city Valletta will be filled with science-inspired installations, art exhibitions, music, dance, carnival parades, theatre and a live science TV show. This memorable night will also give exposure to scientists and their research. It will involve some of Malta’s leading artists and entertainers. More details at http://scienceinthecity.org.mt/
Researchers' Night takes place every year across Europe on the fourth Friday of September. There are events taking place in 24 EU Member States, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The three Member States which are not taking part this year are Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg.
The event has grown from 92 participating cities in 2006 to over 350 cities this year. Nearly 800 000 visitors attended it in 2011, and the number is expected to increase this year.