The festival of science – European Researchers’ Night is a yearly organized event throughout Europe and even wider. This event brings together a large public of people and researchers on the last Friday of September and it takes place simultaneously in about 250 cities.
The main aim of this festival of science is above all to familiarise the general public with science and research and to popularise these topics. The program activities are designed to bring research out of the laboratory and into the city centres, shopping malls, cafés, clubs or museums. The public can try out the latest technologies and instruments under the guidance of scientists, participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, watch demonstrations and simulations, exchange ideas and party with the researchers.
In Slovakia European Researchers’ Night is organized since 2007 and is funded by the Horizon 2020, the biggest Research and Innovation EU programme, within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.
The event is held in five Slovak cities – Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Žilina, Košice and Tatranská Lomnica and features more than 1,000 researchers from all scientific disciplines and is attended by nearly 200,000 visitors.
It is organized by SOVVA (the Slovak Organisation for Research and Development Activities), SAV (the Slovak Academy of Sciences,) EurActiv.sk and CVTI (Slovak National Centre of Scientific and Technical Information).
The exhibition presents the most interesting research findings in Slovakia as well as notable Slovak researchers, who have also been successful abroad owing to their research. Main types of activities are – hands-on experiments, demos, simulations, science shows, debates, discussions, chats with researchers, lectures, guided tours, science shows, stage happenings, science party, stargazing, discussion with astronomers, exhibitions and various competitions. Beside the scientific programme there is spectacular evening show and the Science Party, cultural programme and a lot of accompanying activities.
The most interesting findings of Slovak science are presented by leading Slovak universities, research institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences as well as representatives of innovative companies supporting research and development activities, few non-governmental organisations and institutions working with children. The visitors can admire their work and have the unique opportunity to communicate directly with the scientists and researchers.
The project naturally raises noticeable interest of the media as well as the interest of politicians and the regional government. Participating in the project has become a matter of prestige for scientists. More and more of them want to get involved in the project and present their work.