“BIOpop” results of the combination of the words “BIOtechnology” and “POPular”: the name of this European project refers to its aim of bringing science from the laboratories into the streets. Being aware of the need of citizens to know more about science, which increasingly influences their lives, the intention of the young European Biotechnology researchers was to test and develop a new approach to Science communication, characterized by two key aspects.
First, students and young life sciences researchers assumed the role of communicators; second, the communication context was represented by an open lab environment where visitors had the opportunity to be involved in experiments, games, animations and public discussions on life sciences issues and to interact actively with young researchers.
This open lab was organized in an ad-hoc designed tent set in two cities’ main square. The first one was held in Bologna on 8 and 9 of October and hosted 4000 visitors, the second was organized in the city of Delft in the Netherlands, on 1 and 2 April 2006 and saw the participation of 2900 visitors.
BIOpop was financed within the Sixth Framework Programme for RTD of the European Commission. It was coordinated by ANBI, an Italian professional association of young biotechnologists, that worked together with the respective associations of France, Germany, Poland and Netherlands, in collaboration, among others, with Observa, the University of Bologna (Italy), the Young European Biotech Network, the European Federation of Biotechnology, Marino Golinelli Fundation and the Life Learning Centre Network.
The role of Observa was to evaluate the impact on the public of this participatory approach during the events of Bologna and Deft, using a combination of social research methodologies and comparing the results with those of other successful European projects.
Further information in the official website of the project www.biopop-eu.org