CERN scientists take to the streets for PopScience

Science on the streets of Geneva: A CERN researcher demonstrates liquid nitrogen (Image: Guillaume Jeanneret/CERN)

Every year, on the last Friday in September, 300 cities in Europe celebrate European Researchers’ Night, a chance for researchers to show people their work with interactive science shows, workshops and talks. CERN researchers have been no exception, from opening the control rooms to student visitors to hosting a night of Origins, CERN has been active in European Reseachers’ Night activities for many years. This year was no exception. CERN researchers hit the streets of downtown Geneva with “PopScience”, an event that promised to bring science to everyone through a mix of talks, poetry, and, of course, liquid nitrogen and even marshmallows.

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"Drole de Physique" ["Strange Physics"] demonstrators at FNAC (Image: Guillaume Jeanerret/CERN)

CERN researchers left their laboratory behind and headed to the Geneva store, FNAC, to showcase their work through “Ask a Researcher” discussions and “Drôle de Physique” science shows, which attracted new audiences to the work going on at CERN.

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Astrophysicist Hubert Reeves and physicist Michel Spiro lead the discussion at European Researchers Night 2014 at the FNAC store in downtown Geneva (Image: Guillaume Jeanneret/CERN)

Hubert Reeves and Michel Spiro animated one of the eight cafés scientifiques on the programme, organized by CERN with the University of Geneva at the FNAC Urban Café and the Théâtre de la Madeleine in Geneva, as well as the Théâtre du Bordeau in St Genis, in neighbouring France, attracting a total of 1000 visitors.

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A young science enthusiast builds a detector from LEGO bricks at European Researchers Night 2014 (Image: Guillaume Jeanneret/CERN)

Six poets from five countries revealed the poems they had composed after being inspired by particle physics during a visit to CERN in July: (left to right) actress Aude Bourrier, reading on behalf of Italian poet Davide Rondoni, Swiss poet Catherine Fuchs, PopScience organizer (standing) Paola Catapano, French poet Paul Guillon, former CERN President of Council Michel Spiro, Spanish poet Raquel Lanseros, Danish poet Gitte Broeng and Swiss poet Frederic Wandelere. Their poems can now be downloaded from the PopScience website. More images of the event are available here.

Are you inspired to write your own poetry about science, if so, the PopScience poetry competition is open until 30 October.

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Six poets read their poems inspired by particle physics. European Researchers Night 2014, FNAC store, Geneva (Image: Guillaume Jeanneret/CERN)