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Exploring the research ‘backstage’

Within the framework of the 19th edition of the Live Research Fair, organised by the Barcelona Science Park and “La Caixa” Foundation, over 100 researchers from 11 centres all over Catalonia move their laboratories to the CosmoCaixa Science Museum from the 18th to 22nd April, to invite citizens to participate in their projects, following the scientific method.

Some of the experiments which you can participate in include: creating protein crystals; handling biological samples to observe Alzheimer’s affected neurons and brains under a microscope; discovering photonic technologies and their impact on environmental protection; investigating out how cancer is researched using bioinformatics; interpreting antibiograms to assess the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics; obtaining a genome and comparing it with others; and even observing our galaxy and looking into how the data of 500 million stars are processed.

The Barcelona Science Park, together with the Victor Grifols i Lucas Foundation, has developed the didactic proposal: “Where should humanity be heading?”, which poses three challenges in bioethics and research: ‘babies à la carte’, the creation of living organisms in the laboratory and ‘transhumanism’ which involves the enhancement of the human condition through new technologies. The activity challenges the public to position themselves in favour or against these issues, by voting through an online app, or in person at the Fair.

Salvador Macip, Doctor, Researcher, Writer and Spokesperson, will lead six debates on these three bioethical challenges, in which 120 students who will have previously worked on the activity in their classrooms will participate. The materials from the didactic proposal will also be made available to all the educational centres visiting the Fair.

Bringing science closer to society and promoting STEM vocations

The Live Researcher Fair is part of the PCB’s Research in Society science dissemination programme that stages more than 100 activities involving almost 5,000 people every year. In the most recent fair, more than 1,600 visitors were given the opportunity to conduct scientific experiments with the help of 80 researchers.

The programme has received the Educational Quality Seal of the Pedagogical Council of Barcelona, promoted by the Barcelona Municipal Education Institute (IMEB), and enjoys the support of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), of the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, as well as the Culture Institute of Barcelona (ICUB), created by Barcelona City Council.

» Groups and activities of the Live Research Fair [+ info]