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University of Silesia in Katowice

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50 weeks of the European City of Science

22.06.2023 - 09:41 update 11.07.2023 - 09:03
Editors: wc-a
Tags: European City of Science

Widok z lotu ptaka na Międzynarodowe Centrum Kongresowe i Spodek w Katowicach

Katowice | materials of the University of Silesia

The year 2024 will belong to the European City of Science! For 50 weeks – from January til December – Katowice will become a living laboratory providing inspiration, education, and innovation on local, regional, national, and European levels.

We encourage you to participate in the unique 50 thematic weeks of the European City of Science, where each will focus on one carefully selected and prepared scientific topic dedicated to an essential issue in Polish and world science.

No matter if you are a renowned expert in your field, a young scientist at the precipice of your scientific career, or a Katowice resident interested in shaping its public space – the events organised under the year-round programme of the ECS 2024 will undoubtedly interest you! Here is how the work on the event programme will be carried out.

The Energy of Science

The year-round event programme created as a result of Katowice receiving the title of the European City of Science 2024 is a great opportunity to connect local and academic communities. We want to build a city in which identifying problems and making appropriate decisions is based on the principles of the scientific method – also by the city’s residents. Thanks to this approach, the capital of the Silesian Voivodeship and the entire region, known previously as the heart of Polish industry, will start beating supplied with a new kind of energy – the energy of science.

This is also why we are adamant about encouraging the academic community and the residents of Katowice, as well as the other cities in the region, to take an active part in creating the programme of the ECS 2024 celebrations. We are open to suggestions for subjects we could pursue during the 50 weeks.

We invite all residents, scientists, young researchers, and students to join us in creating the year-round programme of the European City of Science. Send in your suggestion regarding problems and challenges you find worth looking into. Soon we will launch a website where every interested person will be able to suggest their favourite topics and issues.

50 Topics in 50 Weeks

How will we build the EMN 2024 50 weeks programme? We draw suggestions for topics from various sources. Some of them stem from the needs signalled by residents, but they also come from the staff of the universities of the Academic Consortium Katowice City of Science. We have also gathered valuable knowledge from research conducted by universities on behalf of the City of Katowice. All ideas will be analysed by the programme committee, which will begin its work soon.

The content and form of each week will be managed by a curator – an expert in a given field. Employees of the universities affiliated with the Consortium will have the opportunity to become curators, but we will also invite renowned scientists from Poland and Europe.

Curators, together with academics, students, doctoral students, and community representatives will ensure the attractiveness and variety of the activities. We take into account the needs of all recipients, this is why we make sure to include activities interesting to children, young people, and the elderly. We want the events organised as part of the European CIty of Science celebrations to take place also in other cities in the region. They will be implemented in cooperation with various cultural institutions.

We intend to invite also Polish and European leading scientific centres and research and educational institutions, such as CERN, ESA, and others.

The events included in the 50 weeks of ECS 2024 will fulfil needs at one of the four levels: local, regional, national, and European. We will show the local community that the initiatives implemented as part of the ECS 2024 will have a real impact on their day-to-day lives. At the regional level, we will attempt to strengthen the integration of the academic, educational, and economic communities, at the national level, we would also like to increase the attractiveness of Katowice with regard to tourism, and at the European level, we aim to make Silesian universities more visible and recognisable.

The ideas of the 50 thematic weeks will focus on topics of the 6 thematic routes of the European City of Science:

  • Health and Quality of Life – proper public space planning, promotion of health and sustainable development to ensure a good quality of life
  • Climate and Environment – issues related to ecology and climate change economy, as well as concerning sustainable cities and communities
  • Industries of the Future – new solutions in transformation and development of the creative sector, such as e-spot and gamedev
  • Social Innovations – bringing attention to the importance of the concept known as citizen science, which, with the support of local residents, has a real chance of influencing the work of scientists
  • Industrial and Cultural Heritage – processes of social and economic transformations in regions with industrial past and culture established around the industry
  • Creation and Criticism – activities centred around, among other things, the issue of creating and conveying a narrative, but also critical reflection on the activities undertaken.

Citizen Science

We want the 50 weeks of ECS to be implemented in the most engaging way possible. We recognise the importance of ‘bottom-up’ initiatives. We believe that science is not only created by academia but is also influenced by the people of the region – it is their everyday needs that give rise to the research problems which we attempt to solve at universities.

Initiatives within the European City of Science will also be based on the concept of citizen science, which emphasises the importance of citizen participation in the scientific process. Everyone can contribute to knowledge, regardless of age. We will soon begin to announce details of the implementation of projects in this strand.

Diverse ECS Event Programme

50 weeks of ECS is not the only attraction we have envisioned as part of the European City of Science 2024 celebrations. In addition to the main event programme, we plan to include youth activities, educational programmes (with the leading topic of ‘teachers for teachers’), as well as strategic events, including:

  • 9-11 December 2023 – opening of the European City of Science celebrations in the Spodek Arena and the International Congress Centre during the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE together with the science and art performance opening the City of Science
  • 12-15 June 2024 – EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF 2024) international conference in the International Congress Centre in Katowice
  • June-September 2024 – European Science in the City Festival – an initiative of the European Commission with a wide range of popular science activities concerning the European research missions
  • June 2024 – EU Talent Fair – a European job fair initiative for researchers,
  • September 2024 – European finals of EUCYS: European Union Contest for Young Scientists
  • September 2024 – organising TalentOn – a European initiative for young researchers,
  • October 2024 – Interuniversity Inauguration of the Academic Year 2023/2024
  • 6-10 December 2024 – closing of the European City of Science 2024 celebrations in the Spodek Arena and the International Congress Centre during the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE.

Lasting Effects

The practice of science is not limited to university campuses and laboratories. An important premise of the ECS is that solutions developed together should be put into practice and have a real impact on our everyday life. It is not only about discovering new ideas but also about putting them to use. One of the lasting effects of ECS 2024 is to be the declaration of the City of Science, which we will invite everyone to draft and sign. We want one of the lasting effects of using the year-long programme to be an increase in residents’ competence in using the potential of science – to make it easily accessible, handy, and close to everyone who would like to use it.

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