Scientific discoveries and the scientific world must be available to everyone. And research should be performed with the public’s best interest in mind.
STARBIOS2 aims to connect universities to with their local districts, to make science available to society. Engaging with your local community is a way to address the needs and demands of society, and to educate and inform the public of research findings. Engaging with and spreading scientific knowledge to your local community is an important part of the responsible research and innovation approach. It can increase the public’s trust in science and encourage young people to consider a career in research.
The STARBIOS2 team at the University of Rome, Tor Vergata set out to engage with their local community at the European Night of the Researcher in Rome, an event organised to increase children and teenagers’ interest in science. And an opportunity to promote “Quality Education” and “Good Health”, in alignment with UNESCO’s goals for sustainable development.
A team of students at Tor Vergata developed brochures on personal hygiene and sexually transmitted diseases, for children and teenagers respectively. Creating a link between research findings and societal benefits to increase their interest in science education. With the benefit of raising awareness of infectious diseases and the importance of prevention. The brochures also provided information on the local structures that deal with these problems.
“Engaging with your local community is important. It also establishes the universities position as a trustworthy source of information. Getting local children and teenagers interested in science at a young age encourages them to choose a career in science” says Antonella Minutolo, researcher at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.