“Nano” is a term that yields interest and scepticism in the general population, bringing to mind high-tech innovations and potentially invasive medical treatments. How can we educate non-scientists, from kids to adults, about what “nano” really means, and the impact that nanomaterials and nanotechnologies have on their lives? BNN attempted to bring the topic closer to the public at European Researchers’ Night 2022 on September 30th in St. Pölten, Austria!
The European Researchers’ Night (ERN) is an event that takes place simultaneously once a year throughout Europe and invites the public to get a taste of the everyday life of research institutions.
This year, the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) and the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten organized jointly a hands-on event for Austria under the motto “Life is Science – in a digital world,” targeted to all ages, from school classes to families to students considering careers in science, focused on the topics of Health & Food, Climate & Environment, Digital Transformation and Culture & Community at the crossroads of cutting-edge research and everyday life.
BNN, represented by Beatriz Alfaro Serrano and Caitlin Ahern (Project Communications), had a booth in St. Pölten, roughly half an hour from Vienna, with the topic “Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology”. They created a poster with an overview of nanomaterials & nanotechnology in our everyday lives, and had an interactive matching game about nanomaterials, linking the general information tailored to a broad public to the developments in the 19 different, complex European projects we are currently involved in.
More than 50 people stopped to chat with us and play our games, ranging from children to students to adults. We were impressed with the level of awareness the visitors had about everything “nano”, and had many interesting conversations. We also enjoyed perusing the other EU projects stationed nearby.
In addition to the exhibition hall with the many interesting booths where people were able to perform experiments, visitors could attend live workshops, watch a science film and visit the keynote presentation by Niki Popper. All in all, an enriching evening!