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University of Silesia in Katowice

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Logo European City of Science 2024

50 weeks in the City of Science

We are introducing the 50 weeks that will define the activities involved in Katowice being awarded the title of European City of Science in 2024! Ahead of us is one of the most exciting moments, namely the presentation of the programme arrangements that the academic community of the seven public universities based in Katowice has been working on in recent months. We will successively unveil information about the themes of the subsequent weeks, the curators and producers overseeing them, right up to 9 December, when we officially open the ECSK 2024 celebrations, But that’s not all – we will also invite all interested parties to co-create events that fit into the individual proposals.

Preparing the proposed list was made possible thanks to the exceptional involvement of the academic community of universities working together as part of the Academic Consortium – Katowice City of Science. The representatives of the city of Katowice also presented their proposals. The selection of the weeks’ themes, the combination of numerous motifs, and the coordination of the emerging offer have been supervised from the very beginning by Łukasz Lamża, PhD, Creative Director for 50 Weeks in the European City of Science.

What’s next? Take a look at the first ten! Find out more about the weeks and their curators and producers. However, we would like to remind you that there is still lots of work to be done. We are already inviting you to contact the ECSK 2024 office with your proposals for events, initiatives and activities that fit in with the theme of each given week. We look forward to the activities and initiatives that will soon have the chance to join the prepared offer. You can submit proposals by e-mail to emn@us.edu.pl (please indicate in the body of the email and in the subject line which week the proposal relates to). Please submit your proposals as soon as possible – we have adopted the general rule that the programme for each thematic week closes 8 weeks before it is due to start (with the exception of the initial 8 weeks of 2024.

Humour Week: 19 - 25 February 2024

Curator: Łukasz Jach, PhD, Associate Professor
Producer: Małgorzata Balewska
Week number: 8

Łukasz Jach, PhD, Professor of the University of Silesia – psychologist and sociologist associated with the Institute of Psychology of the University of Silesia. He deals with evolutionary psychology, psychology of humour, and psychology of science. Author of many publications, including such popular science books as Od ucha do ucha. Homo sapiens się śmieje [From ear to ear. Homo sapiens laughs] and Wyobraź to sobie! Psychologiczna opowieść o bujaniu w obłokach [Imagine it! A psychological story about having one’s head in the clouds]. He loves jokes and enjoys telling them even more.

Week description:

The ability to create and perceive humour is sometimes cited as one of the qualities that distinguishes humans from other creatures inhabiting the Earth, and shared laughter is one of the most important mechanisms for building social bonds. During ‘Humour Week’, we will try to show what science has to say about humour, laughter and smiling, and that humour itself is both a topic and a driver of interesting scientific research conducted from very different perspectives. Throughout ‘Humour Week’, we will be looking at both the psychology of humour and its different, cultural aspects. The week will be packed with events, such as lectures on the science of humour and humour in science, film screenings and meetings with people who work with humour on a daily basis. There will also be an opportunity to step into the role of a humour maker and test yourself in the craft of making others laugh.

What events can you expect?

    1. Funny science? Ig Nobel Prize and its winners. Introducing the famous prize, talking about its winners and meeting one of them.
    2. Humour in Polish – the classics of Polish comedy. Screening of a classic Polish comedy film combined with a talk on the film in question, the context in which it was made and its significance for Polish culture.
    3. Comedy on cue – the backstage of improvised humour.

Space Week: 4 - 10 March 2024

Curators: Milena Ratajczak, Jan Pomierny
Producer: to be determined
Week number: 10

Milena Ratajczak – PhD in astronomy, Assistant Professor of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw. Her scientific interests focus on double stars and extrasolar planets. She promotes science as the coordinator of the UNAWE educational programme in Poland and a member of the board of the New Space Foundation and the Polish Astronomical Society. She cooperates with popular science magazines, edits books and games on astronomy. Co-founder of the creative studio Science Now specialising in science communication and the development of new ventures at the interface of science, education, art, and entertainment.

Jan Pomierny (New Space Foundation) – creative director and producer who has been developing projects at the intersection of science, education and culture for over 20 years. Founder of the strategic design studio Science Now and the New Space Foundation. He built his professional experience as the founder of one of the largest thematic portals on the Polish Internet (Astronomia.pl), then as a journalist, publisher, creative producer, and director. One of the originators of the SPLOT Institute. Member of the Royal Astronomical Society. Initiator and producer of the sci-fi film Ambition, depicting the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission. One of the creators of the Polish Pavilion at the World Exhibition EXPO 2020 in Dubai. Ambassador of the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE since 2021.

Week description:

If you are interested in discovering the mysteries of the Universe, would like to learn about the backstage of space missions, take a look at Poland’s role in space and understand how satellites help monitor our planet and its changes – Space Week is perfect for you!

Get ready for a time full of cosmic events, during which every enthusiast of the night sky will find something for themselves. For the youngest, we have prepared a series of out-of-this-world workshops which will convince you that flying into space is no easy feat. Slightly older visitors will be able to engage in discussions with scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and representatives of space agencies during panel meetings. Don’t miss Space Women’s Day and a demonstration of experiments that can be carried out by an astronaut on the International Space Station.  There will also be inspiring lectures and night sky observations.

What events can you expect?

  1. Workshops for children on astronomy and astronautics;
  2. Space Women’s Day – it is they who create the Polish cosmos! Meet women who are involved in space research on a daily basis;
  3. Lectures on astronomy and space topics;
  4. Panel discussions on the role of space technology in everyday life;
  5. Presentation of selected experiment concepts for the International Space Station;
  6. Night sky observations.

Crystal Week: 10 - 16 June 2024

Curator: Magdalena Szubka, PhD (University of Silesia in Katowice)
Producer: Agnieszka Jankowska, MA (University of Silesia in Katowice)
Week number: 23

Magdalena Szubka, PhD – academic, physicist, assistant professor at the Institute of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Silesia. She conducts scientific research on the electron structure and microstructure of advanced materials used in photonics and modern technologies. Science communicator, member of the Scientific College of the Children’s University of Silesia, author of lectures and workshops for children, young people, and schools.

Week description:

We invite you to discover how fascinating the world of crystals is and what their unique properties are during the Crystal Week. It will also be an excellent opportunity to learn more about their use. Due to their diversity and uniqueness, crystals are used in many aspects of everyday life as well as in advanced technologies. Not everyone is aware that we are surrounded on a daily basis by a multitude of substances, materials, and objects that have a crystal structure. The diamonds we are all familiar with are crystals of pure carbon, but salt and sugar are also crystals. Crystallography, electronics, optoelectronics, jewellery, chemistry, biology, pharmacy or medicine are a few fields in which crystals play an important role.

What events can you expect?

  1. The week will feature lectures by eminent specialists from national and international research centres;
  2. Exhibitions and workshops for students;
  3. Polish National Crystal Growth Competition;
  4. Field games to generate interest in the exciting beauty of the world of crystals.

Information Week: 7 - 13 October 2024

Curator: Karina Cicha, PhD
Producer: Paulina Świtała
Week number: 40

Karina Cicha, PhD has been working for 12 years at the University of Economics in Katowice as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Design and Analysis. She is mainly concerned with what conveys content through image, i.e. visual communication, information design, digital media with particular emphasis on websites and their marketing potential. She is the originator of the Visual Communication Design major in the Journalism and Social Communication degree programme, which she has been managing since 2018. Her research interests focus on technologies and their use in teaching. Outside the university, she runs a marketing agency working mainly with the SME sector.

Week description:

Information is the basis for the functioning of modern society. It is both the basis of the communication process, but also a valuable commodity. We communicate privately and professionally, face-to-face and online, in small groups and through mass media. There is information that we look forward to and information that we would rather not hear. Information is presented by professionals, but also by us – every day. Information is everywhere. However, information is not only the answer to a question. Our own organism provides us with information. We are also informed by animals. Information is hidden in outstanding works of art. Information can be delivered in unusual forms. Finally, information, especially sensitive information, can and should be protected. The Information Week aims to provide information about information. During workshops, presentations and lectures, participants will learn about the different facets of information, where and in what form we encounter it, how to create it, and how to deal with information overload. The Information Week includes events combining many disciplines of knowledge and is aimed at people of all ages.

What events can you expect?

  1. The Information Week will show how different information can be and how many places it can be found in. Sometimes also in places that are not very obvious. We are dedicating the Information Week to people of every age and professional group, hoping that the variety of events we are offering will prove interesting to the widest possible audience.
  2. The main events will focus on those disciplines for which information is a key element, namely journalism, communication sciences, and computer science. Since we know that information goes everywhere, we also propose meetings and workshops on information in quite different scientific and popular science contexts.
  3. The Information Week is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on information in the digital world, on the role of information in contemporary society, on the human need for information and, above all, to be an opportunity to bring together a range of experts from many fields who are united by the study of information.

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