The Danish Science Festival 2022 – At a glance

04. May 2022

This year’s Danish Science Festival 2022 just closed after a week with a wide range of events in which several of our research centers took part. The festival not only gives citizens the opportunity to get close to research, but it also gives the researchers a unique opportunity to get close to citizens. The festival was a rewarding experience for several of the researchers.

Barn med forsker på workshop under Forskningens Døgn 2022
The workshop Walk in the footsteps of DNA- researchers. Photo: Ann-Britt Marcher

“The fascination with the research has no age limits. I met a 3-year-old child who had to stand on a chair to be able to see into the microscope, and 90-year-olds in wheelchairs who were thrilled to see cuts of fat and liver tissue under the microscope,” says Ellen Gammelmark, who is a Ph.D. student in the DNRF’s Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS), about being part of the Danish Science Festival.

Together with other Ph.D. colleagues from ATLAS, Gammelmark participated in a workshop where the participants could follow in the footsteps of DNA researchers. The ATLAS team, like researchers from other DNRF research centers, gained a lot of insights from communicating their research and answering basic questions that may help to clarify misconceptions among the general population.

“It comes as no surprise that obesity and overweight in recent decades have become a huge problem in the modern world. Many people, therefore, ask if we in the world of research will soon invent a magic pill so that we can all eat whatever we want without gaining weight —a pleasant thought, which, unfortunately, will probably never be realized. During the festival, we had the opportunity to meet Danish citizens and have a dialogue about the body’s internal mechanisms and complexities. This allows us to answer the relevant questions that a layman may come up with,” said Lukas McKenzie Oussoren, who is also a Ph.D. student at ATLAS.

Some of the participants from the Center for Interstellar Catalysis (Intercat) also shared this experience from their workshop “Time, Dust and Stars,” about which Ph.D. student Laura Slumstrup said:

“It’s great to see the excitement of people when I tell them about something as exotic as dust in space. And it’s always interesting to take a step back from your very specialized research and explain to people outside the field how and why we do research.

“I think it’s fun to see how impressed people become with things that are so normal in my everyday life – such as being able to image individual atoms on a surface,” added Steffen Friis Holleufer, who is also a Ph.D. student from Intercat.

Who participated?
Following is a list of some of the activities that the DNRF’s Centers of Excellence were part of during the Danish Science Festival 2022.

Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain (CNAP)
Pain – where and why? A lecture on the fascinating biology of pain
Smerter – hvor og hvorfor? Et foredrag om smerters fascinerende biologi — Forskningens døgn

Atlas – Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity
Walk in the footsteps of DNA researchers – laboratory for children
https://www.sdu.dk/da/delt/lightboxpages/forskningens-doegn/2022/vores-planet-vores-natur/dnaforsker

Center for Macroscopic Quantum States (BigQ)
What is a quantum computer and how can we use it in the future?
BØRN_Forskningens døgn_23april — Lyngbykultur

Center for Interstellar Catalysis (Intercat)
Time, Dust and Stars
Forskningens Døgn: Standaktiviteter kl. 14-18 (au.dk)

Music in the Brain (MIB)
Elite researchers inspire curious high school students at ATU East and talk about research as a career
Forskningens Døgn 2022: Eliteforskere inspirerer nysgerrige gymnasieelever hos ATU Øst og fortæller om forskning som karrierevej (talentfuldeunge.dk)