805   Insight talk

Mind the Lab: A Powerful Tool on Bringing Science to the General Public!

Author: Theodoros Anagnostopolos
SciCo, Greece, Greece

Mind the Lab (MTL) is a pioneering STEM awareness initiative designed to engage people with science in metro, bus and train stations. Current research, along with our own data, indicates that informal science activities mainly attract people who are already pro-science. Thus, the question arose: How can we stimulate interest in other publics?

Created by SciCo, MLT brings hands-on science and real scientists into metro, bus and train stations, to engage new publics that may not otherwise experience informal science activities. In interactive drop-in activities and experiments set up in the heart of the stations, scientists engage and enthuse passing visitors with current research through hands-on participation and informal conversation.

A MTL pilot event took place in the Athens Metro in Greece in 2017. Following its success, MTL Athens partnered with the Paul Drude Institute for Solid State Electronics (Germany), the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, United Kingdom). As a result, MTL Athens, Berlin, Madrid and Edinburgh events followed in 2018 with great success, reaching more than 200,000 people. Our goal within the next 36 months is to scale our developing MTL model to create a global network. This includes interest in creating partnerships with countries in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. We envision that MTL events will take place annually on the same day in a minimum of 20 different cities, motivating scientists, public engagement professionals and science communicators to collaborate and engage the public around the world with science and current research.

The "transformation" theme of PCST 2020 inspired our proposal to share our project and our learning so far in widening participation via new audiences and methods.

Additional co-authors:
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
J.Paterson, School of Biological Sciences, Janet.Paterson@ed.ac.uk
J.C.Denis, School of Physics & Astronomy / National Biofilms Innovation Centre, J.C.Denis@ed.ac.uk
F.Iezzi, School of Mathematics, Francesca.Iezzi@ed.ac.uk
J.Boss, School of Chemistry, Jenny.Bos@ed.ac.uk

Co-author: Mercedes Reischel
Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik, Leibniz-Institut im Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V., Germany

Co-author: Javier Baena Preysler
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Co-author: Maria Fanourgiaki
School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Co-author: Carsten Hucho
Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik, Germany

Co-author: Elsa de Cea del Pozo
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

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