1 Frascati Scienza (ITALY)
2 Sapienza Università di Roma (ITALY)
3 Frascati Scienza / INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (ITALY)
4 Frascati Scienza / Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati - Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 3356-3365
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1787
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
The aim of this paper is to present the impact achieved by Frascati Scienza Association on society and research through the European Researchers’ Night project funded by the European Commission within the years 2006-2015. The project has been devoted to raise awareness of researchers' work, encourage the dialogue between citizens and researchers and the choice of young people to pursue a career in science.

The first scientific activities and cultural events took shape in 2006, under the coordination of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), through the European Researchers' Night project (, the most important and significant event to promote the role of the researcher and bring people of all ages closer to the scientific world. The positive and successful experience of the first two events, pushed the researchers and citizen of Frascati Area, where most of Italian research center are located, to formally associate in the Frascati Scienza Association in 2008, who coordinated the events from 2008 to 2015. Frascati Scienza was driven by the need to promote educational activities to citizens, young people, schools, in order to involve the general public and to bring it closer to science and scientists.

Every year, the challenge has become ever more large and engaging with a progressive increase in exchanging and sharing activities among citizens and researchers, where the latter are dedicated to tell their passion about the scientific world and to transfer their knowledge to "non-scientists". The nine years of the European Researchers' Night experience had an interesting impact on the researchers who have realised that an interaction with the non-scientist people required to educate not only the society, but also the Research world, not used to deal with non-experts.

Since the first edition of the European Researchers' Night, we posed ourselves and to the actors involved several questions about how a science communication event could have an impact on both citizens and researchers to promote the scientific culture and to generate a greater understanding of issues and concepts related to research. How to engage people? How to explain and re-launch the role of researchers? How to investigate the opinions of those who think they should not be involved in research?

The paper describes the impact achieved in each year of European Researchers’ Night (ERN) and presents a detailed analysis of the 2014 edition (with 450 ex-ante and 543 ex-post semi-structured questionnaires) and 2015 results (with 304 ex-ante and n. 623 ex-post questionnaires for the quantitative analysis and on the qualitative information collected through the World Café methodology).
Science education, science communication, public engagement, research, innovation, impact assessment.