For the sixth consecutive year the science and innovation festival Athens Science Festival at Athens Technopolis was a great success attracting 20,000 visitors. From 3 to 7 April 2019, students of all ages experienced science through a variety of activities, with Technopolis hosting 140 research, academic and education organisations, 103 different interactive events, 70 labs for children, 33 workshops, 25 talks, 3 competitions and a variety of activities for all ages.
Highlights of the Festival included talks by the American astronaut, Clay C. Anderson, who took the audience beyond Earth and guided them round the International Space Station (ISS) through stories about his life; the explorer-researcher Christian Clot looked at the adaptability of the human body, and the British Alexander Fefengha considered ethical implications arising from Artificial Intelligence (AI) invading the daily life of humans.
With this year's motto being ‘Something is coming’, the Environment and Energy Ministry (co-organiser of the 6th Athens Science Festival), gave a series of talks focusing on ‘bio-economy’, which, in coming years will be a key pillar of growth for the country. To prepare the younger generation of today for such a future, there were more than 17 labs for children on environmental protection.
The wide ranging activities even included using an old handset from the Telecommunications Museum of OTE to discover interesting information about the past and recycling in the prehistoric period, while old sneakers became imaginative artistic creations by George Samaras and guests viewed some original clothes created by the Athens Fashion Club reusing everyday materials.
As can be expected, research and technology institutes under the supervision of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology were well represented and immersed the audience in the magical world of science by presenting unique applications, experiments and innovative discoveries. Taking part in ASF 2019 were the research centres: National Centre of Scientific Research (NCSR) ‘Demokritos’, Research Centre ‘Athina’, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, National Observatory of Athens, National Hellenic Research Centre, Greek Atomic Energy Commission, BSRC ‘Alexander Fleming’ and National Centre of Social Research. Also participating were university research centres, schools, scientific associations and educational institutions.
Finally, the most notable science communication efforts were rewarded during the great Greek FameLab competition held to celebrate the 80 years of the British Council in Greece. The winner of the competition was Ermis Zacharopoulos, who will represent the country at FameLab International to be held in Britain in June.
At the Athens Re-Science Festival 2019, visitors got to know more about science, knowledge became a game and was enjoyable for them, and, ultimately, they discovered that science can change the way we act, think and live daily!
The National Documentation Centre (www.ekt.gr) once again provided Communications Support for the Athens Science Festival, highlighting the relevant activities and events on its websites, social media and eNewsletter