European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences

Our inspiring educational experiences share the scientific discoveries of EMBL with young learners aged 10-19 years and teachers in Europe and beyond.

Event report: Nacht der Forschung 2018

In 2018 the “Expedition: Curiosity” set foot in the Rhine-Neckar region with great success: The Nacht der Forschung Heidelberg | Mannheim took place for the first time last September 2018. The event organisation of this inspiring festival was undertaken by the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences of EMBL, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. The City of Heidelberg participated as a cooperative partner.

Ten partner organisations of the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan region invited the community on a research journey into a wide variety of natural and social science, medical and artistic disciplines. From 15:00 until midnight, interested visitors were able to listen to readings, attend lectures, enjoy concerts, observe demonstrations, and try out experiments. The many hands-on activities offered by the various institutions were especially well-received. The participating organisations were able to offer activities from a diverse range of fields such as molecular biology, astronomy, physics, robotics, medical research, biodiversity, geography, pedagogy, age-research, digital heritage, art and culture.

Alongside EMBL, the House of Astronomy and the Max-Planck-Insitute for Astronomy were represented on the Königsstuhl. The Neuenheimer Feld glowed with a wealth of research facilities as seven scientific institutions opened their doors to visitors – the University Hospital Heidelberg, the Botanical Garden, the Mathematikon, the Head Clinic, the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, the Institute of Computer Engineering, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the learning laboratory of ExploHeidelberg were delighted by the rush of visitors. Furthermore, the University of Heidelberg and the University Archive, the creative industries center D16, the German-American Institute (DAI), the Network Aging Research and the Technoseum as the Mannheim location all together offered a diverse array of program items.

Visitors could walk through an oversized large intestine, making plaster casts, exploring new meteorite impacts on Earth, conducting a DNA analysis, and many other activities, visitors gained insight into the diversity of international research activities. The project partners also succeeded in creating an atmosphere of fun, open communication and lively engagement.

The event organisers were pleased to welcome more than 10,000 visitors who sought to explore, discover and learn during the first Nacht der Forschung in the Rhine-Neckar region. The visiting of the research institutes was made accessible to the public by the free shuttle bus, which linked the institutions together, and by the free admission to all program activities.

Nacht der Forschung Heidelberg | Mannheim is part of the Europe-wide European Researchers’ Night funded by the European Commission, and it will be held again in 2019. The event in 2019 will provide even more insight into the research landscape as more science and cultural institutions take part as new partners. Join us on the 27th of September, 2019 as the “Expedition: Curiosity” enters a new round!