Inspiring the next generation of Montenegrin scientists

EMBL participated in the recent Science and Innovation Days in Podgorica, Montenegro, sharing its passion for knowledge and curiosity

Female politician standing at a podium addressing an audience
Biljana Šćepanović, Minister of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro, welcomed the attendees, opening EMBL’s event at the Days of Science and Innovation in Podgorica. Credit: Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro

By Dadiana Chiran, International Relations Officer

EMBL and Montenegro have enjoyed a constructive and evolving cooperation ever since the country joined as a full member in 2018. Focusing on raising awareness, enhancing links, and expanding collaborative networks in Montenegro, EMBL participated in the Days of Science and Innovation Festival in Podgorica on 27 September 2023. The event was organised by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development, and EMBL used the opportunity to promote an interactive exchange aimed at stirring curiosity and informing the scientific community in Montenegro about EMBL’s vision, research, and training opportunities.

The event in Podgorica prioritised awareness raising, particularly about EMBL research and training opportunities for young students and the teacher community. Attendees were able to learn about EMBL’s 2022-26 Programme and its current objective to enhance our understanding of ecosystems, offering vital insights into some of society’s biggest challenges, such as pollution and loss of biodiversity.

Over a hundred students and teachers enjoyed the unique opportunity to experience a virtual guided tour of the World of Molecular Biology (WMB) exhibition  and peek inside the heart of EMBL, where powerful microscopes capture the most fragile processes within our bodies. The experience brought molecular biology, from cells to ecosystems, to the fingertips of the audience.

Inspired by the exhibition, the audience also had the opportunity to unleash their curiosity and engage with EMBL scientists present both on site and virtually. During the interactive Q&A session called ‘Ask the Scientist!’, the participants asked many questions about life at EMBL, the discoveries enabled by the scientists, career prospects, and the potential to make a lasting impact on our societies through science.

Touching on the essence of the event, Montenegro’s Minister of Science and Technological Development, Biljana Šćepanović, said: “Molecular biology isn’t just about genes and cells, it is about unravelling the mysteries of life itself, understanding the code that underlies existence, finding solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, from curing diseases to addressing environmental concerns.”  Minister Šćepanović encouraged the audience to “explore EMBL, engage, and embrace the wonders of the microscopic world, aspiring to be the researchers, innovators, and scientists who will shape a brighter future for all.”

A group of people in a seminar hall listening to a panel discussion
Minister Šćepanović and EMBL speakers introducing EMBL and the Virtual Tour of the World of Molecular Biology exhibition. Credit: Ministry of Science and Technological Development of Montenegro

“I am truly delighted to know that we are able to inspire the young generation with EMBL’s passion for science and our joy for knowledge, disseminating it and collaborating to find solutions that improve our lives and environments,” said EMBL’s Director General, Edith Heard. “I hope this exciting immersion into EMBL’s World of Molecular Biology stirred curiosity and motivated young students to join us in exploring life at all scales. We are actively engaged with the Montenegrin research and academic community and I hope that students and scientists will be even more motivated now to reach out and apply for the opportunities that are available at EMBL.”

The event is part of a series of actions that foster continuous collaboration to amplify EMBL–Montenegro cooperation channels and define a joint approach to a more intensive promotion and visibility of EMBL in Montenegro.

Tags: event, international relations, montenegro, sepe


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