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The European Research Council closer to the Spanish public thanks to an ongoing ERC-funded communications campaign

29 May 2017

The ERC=Science 2 project has engaged thousands of Spaniards in the research projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC) at the Parque de las Ciencias in Granada, Spain. An appealing topic, longevity, the best dates (Easter week and Anniversary of the museum) hands-on activities and relevant experts: all of these made up for a perfect combination to achieve a great success.

“Everyone is interested in longevity and everything linked with it. It has been surprising to observe how the activities organized were interesting to everybody, from teenagers to elder people. Many of them have asked for more. In fact “most attendees of the panel session requested a longer program dedicated to longevity facilitating the contact with the scientists”, explained Javier Medina, Director of the Science and Education Area.

The activities started with the display of the stand with multimedia content and information about the ERC research on this topic during a period of 13 days (from April 4th to 16th). It was the Easter Week in Spain and this fact allowed to engage more people. A total of 22.236 saw the stand, 8.894 interacted with interfaces of the stand and 817 participated in workshops organized to complete the content of the stand. Brain and bones deterioration and how they relate to longevity were the topics which people experienced first-hand through hands-on workshops.

In order to get more impact a panel session and a FabLab workshop were held one month later to coincide with the anniversary celebration of Parque de las Ciencias when thousands of citizens, students, teachers and scientists participated in a large science event. It was the best moment to invite the Spanish ERC grantee, researcher in Pablo Olavide University, Marta Artal who explained the objectives of her research and the importance of ERC funding to discover more about the ageing process by exploring the ways of adding ‘life to years’ as well as ‘years to life”. She was accompanied by other important Spanish scientists, professors of University of Granada’s, José María Peinado and Juan Antonio Maldonado, as well as the Head in the Neurology Service of Granada Public Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Cristóbal Carnero. Together they formed a panel that spoke to the audience of 100 people about different aspects related to longevity such as neurodegenerative diseases, pensions or elderly care.

The ERC grantee also participated in a FabLab workshop designed for 25 gerontology students. They could learn more about how robotics can help to improve the cognitive qualities in elderly people. During the workshop they had an opportunity to print a 3D prosthesis and other wearables to expand the visual capacity of the elderly, among other experiences. Most participants valued the activity favorably and admitted that they have gained very useful insights applicable to their knowledge area.

Through all the activities, thousands of people have been inspired to seek more information about the European Research Council and ERC-funded projects. “Besides that, another important achievement has been that the Spanish public has learned about the Spanish scientists highly recognized in Europe and the fact that they received funding by ERC to conduct their research” added Javier Medina.

ERC=Science2 is a Europe-wide communication campaign which uses popular scientific themes such as ‘longevity’ to tell stories about the breakthroughs in science funded by the European Research Council and the potential impact it can have on our lives.

The activities of the science centres and museums are coordinated by ECSITE, the European Network of Science Centres and Museums, while the project is coordinated by Science I Business.

To find out more about the ERC=Science2 campaign, featured ERC-funded research and the project multimedia content, please visit www.sciencesquared.eu

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For press queries, please contact: Mr. Shane McCollam at shane.mccollam@sciencebusiness.net.

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