Popularization of Science
For many years the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology has been involved in various public events aiming at popularization of science, such as the Science Festival and the Science Picnic of the Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre. Both of these events have greatly contributed to the general public’s appreciation of science and scientists. In 1998 the Polish Foundation for Science Advancement (PFUN) and the Society for Science Promotion and Knowledge Dissemination have awarded the organizers of the Science Picnic and the Science Festival with a joint Professor Hugon Steinhaus Prize for holding outstanding science promoting events.
The staff of the Nencki Institute has been involved in organization of workshops for teachers with Centre for Innovative Bioscience Education and seminars for the Polish Children’s Fund recipients. Meetings with smaller groups of students have been arranged for those interested in research activity of individual scientific teams.
dr Anna Wasik, The Coordinator.
The idea of the Warsaw Science Festival originated in September of 1996. Originally 72 meetings were held within 2 days at 44 research institutes and organizations. In the subsequent years the project has developed significantly. At present the Festival includes more than 500 meetings and 200 seminars held within 10 days. Festival activities are proposed by over 100 research institutes. The Nencki Institute has been involved in the Festival from the very beginning. Some events during the Festival remain invariable from year to year:More
- Clubs and discussions – afternoon open lectures;
- Weekend meetings – lab presentations for a limited number of participants. These are delivered in the format of presentation only or presentation accompanied by lecture;
- Festival Lessons are held on weekdays mainly for primary or secondary school students. They are usually composed of a richly illustrated lecture with hands on experiments
In 2009 a new lecture series for high school graduates has been added to the Festival programme under the so called “Youth Club”.
In 2006 the Researcher’s night was organized during the Festival for the first time. It was co-funded by the European Union. At the same, scientists throughout European meet with the public to explain their work and describe their environment, trying to debunk a stereotype of a scientist being a “weirdo locked in the ivory tower” and having no personal life, family or hobby. Scientists may differ in terms of personalities, interests and dreams but they are definitely humans sharing a passion for learning.
PhD students from the Nencki Institute organized a happening called PhD students are human beings too. Participants had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the ‘science museum’ exhibits, practice parachute folding, visit the cooking area and listen to a presentation on extreme sports. All these activities were accompanied by music played on drums and guitars. At the same time various scientific lectures and meetings took place.
The Science Picnic of the Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre is the biggest outdoor science event in Europe. The first Science Picnic (BIS Polish Radio Science Picnic at the time) took place on June 14, 1997 in the New Town Square in Warsaw. Since 2008 it has been jointly organised by the BIS Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre. Its main goal is to disseminate scientific knowledge through experiments and tests. Both simple experiments and the latest achievements of Polish scientists are presented to the public. The personnel of the Nencki Institute also contributes to its organization. Every year the Picnic has a different theme and our task is to prepare a special presentation on the current theme. This extremely popular event is visited by tens of thousands of visitors.More
Centre for Innovative Bioscience Education (formerly The Science Festival School) is an educational undertaking initiated in October of 2002 by The International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS, The Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics PAS and The Science Festival Since 2010 is also supported by the Department of Biology, Warsaw University and the BioEducation Foundation.More
Polish Children’s Fund is an independent, non-governmental organization established in May of 1981. The Fund’s activities are based on co-operation with numerous higher educational institutions, research institutes, cultural establishments and other institutions, as well as individual academics willing to offer their time and experience to work with particularly talented children. One of its major objectives is to help highly gifted pupils and students to pursue and develop their academic interests and artistic talents and to adjust the educational system in Poland to accommodate the special needs of highly gifted children. Every year the Fund’s recipients visit the Nencki Institute and participate in lab activities and research training.More