Sharing our research and the beauty of our marine organisms at Forskningsdagene
The annual science festival creates enthusiasm and understanding for research through local educational and research institutions. Held every year since 1995, it is one of Europe's largest, nationwide research festivals.
Forskningsdagene is a collaboration between the city's research and educational institutions, with the University of Bergen being a major contributor. Held under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway, the 12-day festival aims to raise awareness, spark enthusiasm, and celebrate science. Across the country, around 200 organizers are involved in creating events that include Researchers' Night, Researcher Grand Prix, school visits by researchers, and student research days. In Bergen, the festival attracts approximately 10,000 visitors.
Forskningstorget (Research Square) was a two-day event during the festival, held on the 22 and 23 of September. In Bergen's city center, two large tents hosting 15-20 research booths were set up which included The University Museum, the Department of Informatics at UiB, the Institute of Marine Research, the Center for Climate and Energy Transition (CET) at UiB, and NORCE. The Michael Sars Centre, which has been involved in the festival since 2013, was among the participants displaying different marine organisms including the appendicularian Oikopleura, the sea anemone Nematostella, the sea squirt Ciona, and the ctenophore Mnemiopsis - also known as the sea walnut. Marion Lebouvier who coordinates outreach activities for the Michael Sars Centre was impressed with the number of enthusiastic visitors who came to the booth this year. "Not only were kids curious to discover our animals, but adults were also very engaged and had lots of questions for us as well," she said. "Seeing so much interest in our work and the marine environment from the public was really inspiring."
We were lucky to meet so many enthusiastic visitors at our booth this year! Not only were kids curious to discover our animals, adults were very engaged and had lots of questions for us as well. Seeing so much interest for our work and the marine environment from the public was really inspiring
- Marion Lebouvier
This year, Forskningstorget was visited by approximately 1,200 children on Friday and attracted around 2,000-3,000 visitors on Saturday. Bachelor student Catharina Kolner from the Michael Sars Centre had a lot of fun sharing her research with students. "My favorite part was encouraging the shy kids to come closer and then watching their smiles as they became fascinated with the animals", she said. "When I was a kid, I was really excited by all of the really small animals that I didn't know yet, so to see them smiling when they saw them in the microscopes for the first time was a really positive experience".