Science Week is an annual event that takes place in November throughout Europe. It is an initiative with the main objective of bringing science and technology closer to the public and fostering scientific vocations among the younger generation.
Its main feature is that institutions and research centers open their doors for one weeks so that the public can learn about the latest scientific advances and the main lines of research that scientists are developing.
The laboratories and other facilities of the Blanes Center for Advanced Studies (CEAB-CSIC), where some project members are located, have been open to visitors on November 15, 16, and 17. However, the mornings of these three days have been reserved for secondary education centers in the area.
Through six thematic routes, students have had the opportunity to discover the entire research process and to participate, as authentic scientists, in various phases, such as sample analysis in the laboratories.
A route to learn about research on high mountain lakes
In the “Conservation of high mountain lakes in the Pyrenees” route, students have learned about the impacts of fish introduced by humans in these high mountain lakes and the actions taken to restore these habitats to their natural state.
They have also had the opportunity to see all the material used to carry out field monitoring tasks in both the pelagic and litoral areas. They have visited laboratories where water samples, algal cover samples from stones, and samples to study the abundance and composition of macroinvertebrates are analyzed.
They have also discovered the “Clean Lab” an environmental DNA laboratory. It has been explained that in this laboratory it is genetic material sequence separating the groups of organisms by taxons to build these libreries of bar codes (barcoding) and establish a relationship between the taxonomic groups identified with the species and microscopy.
Origin of Science Week
Science Week has its roots in France, in 1991, when Hubert Curien, French Minister of Research, decided to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Ministry by opening its gardens to the public for the first time. This local event, with the aim of bringing science and its protagonists closer to the Parisian citizen, was the precursor to “Sciences en fête” (later “Fête de la Science”), which acquired national status and annual periodicity. Since 1993, the European Science Week has been celebrated every year.