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Workshop on ‘Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures’ attracted 90 participants

Date: By Inês Crespo, 09/07/2015

The workshop was a great opportunity to share expectations, experiences, and give examples of work conducted in European research infrastructures.

Workshop on ‘Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures Workshop on ‘Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures

Where: Garching, Germany

When: June 18-19


On June 18-19 the workshop ‘Public Awareness of Research Infrastructures’ was held at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, co-organised by ESO, the European Association of National Research Facilities (ERF-AISBL) and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ). This was the 8th of a series of workshops and seminars organised by the ERF-AISBL.
The workshop brought together around 90 people, counting with press officers and heads of several research facilities, social researchers from Europe and the United States, as well as project managers and funding agencies. The aim was to present expectations, experiences and give examples of their work on public relations. This was a very good opportunity for participants to learn from each other and hold many fruitful discussions.
Keynotes speakers from ESO, CERN, the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) delivered inspiring presentations about their outreach activities, challenges related to bringing science to a political level, as well as on the importance of engaging stakeholders about the impact of our science.
While a number of participants already carry out well established collaborations, events like this one make it possible to finally meet in person and have more time to discuss future steps and how go further together.


The programme included 34 different talks, a guided tour to ESO and one to the FRM II neutron source, speed networking, and of course a typical Bavarian dinner. Please see below for further details.

Plenary talks:
  • Welcome by Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director, and Jürgen Neuhaus (replacing Wolfgang Sandner, ERF Chair and Director General and CEO of ELI-DC International Association AISBL)
  • Of Dogs and Cats – The Communication Challenge for Scientists and Politicians by Claus Madsen, ESO
  • CERN – Education and Outreach by Rolf Landua, CERN
  • Stakeholder Engagement in Big Science by John Womersley, STFC
  • Challenges and goals of outreach and communication of research at large scale infrastructures by Ina Helms (replacing Anke-Rita Kaysser-Pyzalla), HZB
Parallel Sessions:
  • Public engagement with research infrastructures
  • Communication to target groups
  • Risk Communication
  • PR of a facility under construction
  • Best practice
  • Using social media for wide spread communication

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