FUTURES - European Researchers' Night, 27-28 November 2020


In November 2020 FUTURES will host its third Festival of Discovery as part of European Researchers’ Night, funded by the European Commission. FUTURES2020 promises to be bigger than ever before with researchers from the University of Bristol joining those from the University of Bath, Bath Spa University, University of Exeter and University of Plymouth to showcase their work.

FUTURES2020 is one of just two UK based projects that are part of the European Researchers’ Night 2020. This year the European Researchers' Night, funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, will include 51 projects across 30 European countries that bring researchers closer to the general public. The Night showcases the diversity of science and its impact on citizens’ daily lives, stimulating interest in research careers - particularly among young people. In 2019, it attracted 1.6 million visitors across 400 cities in Europe and beyond.

The FUTURES2020 Festival of Discovery will take research directly to the people with digital activities, science shows, games, quizzes, competitions, and exhibitions.

The Festival is an opportunity for people of all ages to explore the past and discuss the research that is shaping our future with researchers from the region’s Universities as they lead interactive activities and demonstrations across five counties in the South West.

FUTURES2020 was originally scheduled for Friday 25 September 2020, however, due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will now take place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November 2020. We anticipate many of our plans can go ahead with measures in place to protect against COVID-19 but we will also be taking  FUTURES2020 online, creating digital opportunities to engage with exciting research. The full programme listed below. The Public Engagement Team is leading on the development of a range of exciting engagement opportunities in Bristol as part of FUTURES2020, Discovery Talks, Curiosity Carousel - virtual researchers' fair, I'm a scientist get me Out Of Here! If you would like to be involved and share your research with participants, watch this space or drop us an email for more details.

FUTURES2020 Programme

Curiosity Carousel 
Friday 27 November, 18:00-21:00
We are delighted to be hosting Curiosity Carousel, a virtual researchers’ fair, as an alternative to face to face activities with the public. This remote research fair uses an online platform to replicate an exhibition hall. The public will be able to stop at researchers’ tables, where they will be able to watch and listen to a presentation or demonstration and converse with you about your research, and we are collaborating with the SS Great Britain who will deliver a presentation from the main stage. A practice session will enable you to become familiar with the platform. Places are limited so please contact us as soon as possible.  

Discover and Discuss 
Friday 27 November. Resource creation and one 45-min webchat, 10:00-15:00
Our schools engagement activities for FUTURES2020 will be remote activities because of COVID-19. You are invited to produce resources (digital, or potentially physical) that can be used by school pupils to facilitate engagement with the topic or broad theme of your research or field of expertise. In addition to producing a resource, if you are willing and available on Friday 27 November, we hope to arrange a web-chat of approximately 30-45 minutes between you and a school group who have completed your activity. This would be an opportunity to talk about what happened when pupils did the activity (you could consider showing them how it goes in an ideal world, or create a video demonstration). It would also be an opportunity for pupils to ask further questions about your research and why you became a researcher. This interaction is intended to engage young people with research and to break down some of the stereotypical images of who researchers are.
Places are limited so please contact us as soon as possible.

Do Try This At Home
Resource creation for online dissemination.
Do Try This At Home aims to enable families to engage with your research before or during European Researchers’ Night (27 and 28 November 2020) in their own time and using simple materials they can source themselves. You can contribute to Do Try This At Home by producing downloadable resources or online resources aimed at young people. These will be hosted on the Do Try This at Home section of the FUTURES2020 website, and they will be promoted to youth groups and using forums for parents, particularly those who are currently home-schooling their children.

I’m A Scientist
16 November – 27 November, intermittent online activity.
We are running a special FUTURES edition of the popular online activity I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here! This is an opportunity to engage school children across the South West from the comfort of your desk, through online chats and Q&As, answering their questions about your area, what it’s like to work in research and what the future might hold. Everything happens online; you take part from your desk or smartphone. There’s no need to prepare activities or leave your lab, office or house. Chats will take place in the days leading up to FUTURES2020 with a final event on Friday, when children will vote for who should win the £500 public engagement prize.
The deadline for registering to take part is October 26th. Please contact us as soon as possible.

Discovery Talks
Saturday 28 November, individual 30-minute talks between 12:00 and 18:00.
The FUTURES2020 Discovery Talks programme combines individual talks and panel discussions prepared by research institutes. The Discovery Talks are aimed at a non-specialist adult audience, but it is expected that some interested young people will be part of the audience. All talks will be broadcast online. Researchers giving an individual talk will be allocated a 30-minute slot in the programme. Researchers should speak for 20-25 minutes, leaving 5-10 minutes for questions from the audience. Audience members will be able to submit questions using a text-based function in Zoom and researchers will be able to respond via video and audio.
The programme contains a limited number of slots; if you are interested we recommend contacting us as soon as possible.

Researcher’s Tales
Friday 27 November, 18:00-21:00
‘Researchers’ Tales’ see researchers from across the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences perform short stories about their research and what it means to be a researcher in front of a live audience, via Zoom. In a compelling and entertaining way their stories will bring research to life and help break stereotypes of what it means to be a researcher. A 2-day storytelling training workshop will take place on 2nd and 3rd November to help you make your research accessible and impactful. You will work with professional storyteller Clare Murphy to improve your storytelling skills.  Through training in technique, voice, content, presence and framing, this workshop will help increase your confidence, develop your relationship with the public, help you overcome nerves, and improve your understanding of what powerful storytelling is. Whether you speak in public all the time or speaking in public terrifies you, this workshop will help improve your speaking skills and help to reduce your feelings of fear or nervousness.  We will also work on finding and honing your story. The training is open to researchers in ANY field of study. Places are limited.

FUTURES Exhibits:
Online Exhibitions hosted through Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November.
Various exhibitions will be hosted on an online platform and, circumstances permitting, in the Galleries shopping centre. If you have images, or images and text, that you would like to share with the public it may be possible to host a virtual exhibition.

Other information 
Every activity will come with training to support you in the development of activities (dates tbc), so don’t worry if this is your first public engagement experience, you’ll get lots of advice from the team. 

We’ll also be keeping a close eye on developments with COVID-19 and will adjust activities if needed.