EDEN2020 on show for a night of fun and revelry in the name of science.
The Natural History Museum, London opened its doors after-hours for a festival of scientific exploration called The European Researchers’ Night. The tangled ‘world wild webs’ as went the theme of the night welcomed the public to interact with an eclectic mix of research and science from pop-up displays to one-on-one conversations over a pint in the ‘EU Pub’ and ‘Dialogue Den’. EDEN2020 was amongst other Horizon2020 projects on show with their interactive pop-up science station.
Hundreds of museum-goers squeezed a gooey brain-model and had a go at the computer simulation as they connected with EDEN2020 medical engineers from Imperial. It was great to see so many engaged public members from the very young to the very curious learning how EDEN2020 is leading the way on innovation action in robotic neurosurgery and medicine delivery.
The team of EDEN2020 regularly participates in public outreach events but this night was special. The European Researchers’ Night is another EU-funded initiative, and Dr Marta Archanco, project manager of EDEN2020, explains that regular engagement in public outreach events serves as a conduit in which scientists can express why their research matters while furthering the projects’ social impact. For this particular event, Marta says “what many people may not realise is that this event occurs simultaneously across Europe for one night of the year. Last year, during the 2018 Night, in cities across Europe over 1.5 million people were connected with science. This is a beautiful thing and we are so proud to have our Horizon2020 projects apart of this public event.”
Such public outreach activities at the European Researchers’ Night continue to be a great opportunity in which to inspire and motivate younger generations to pursue scientific futures as Prof Ferdinando M Rodriguez y Baena, coordinator of EDEN2020 says “ten years ago we decided to explore the design in the context of soft tissue surgery and that basically is what eventually became EDEN2020….[so] it is important for the public to understand what is currently happening… it is very important for us to try to incentivise the next generation of researchers to join projects like these”.