Bucharest Science Festival kicks off


The Bucharest Science Festival will open its gates to the science aficionados on Wednesday and stay open throughout October 2, with events in Bucharest City and the towns of Rasnov and Adjud.

Organisers say the festival this year is unfolded under the high aegis of Romania’s President.

Part of the festival will be exhibitions, seminars and guided tours related to sciences, coupled with experiments and demonstrations designed to show the applied side of sciences.

“We emerged and evolved millions of years ago in Africa and then we took the first step out of the continent. First, we colonised Europe and Asia, and little by little the entire Earth. We learned how to cross oceans and how to fly. We have always walked forward toward new horizons. Curiosity has always underpinned humankind’s progress. We have always walked forward and tried to discover what was hiding behind there. The time has come for a new adventure: colonising the Solar System. We are setting our sights on the Moon and Mars, on the Kuiper belt and Jupiter’s satellites. (…) Part of the Bucharest Science Festival 2016, we will address colonising Mars, looking into the challenges this unique historical endeavour will trigger,” says the festival’s director, Alexandru Toma Patrascu (photo).

Mars’ colonisation and related challenges – from the development of new space transport systems, securing basics (food, shelter and energy), to the establishment and management of an entire ecosystem – is the main theme of this the festival.

In its 4th edition, the Bucharest Science Festival gathers together scientists, exports and specialist from various areas of sciences, students and parents in a shared space which aim is to excite curiosity, finding about the environment and encouraging young people to follow a career path in science and technology.

Organisers say among the attending experts are Markus Landgraf of the European Space Agency; Catalina Curceanu of the National Laboratories at Frascati of Italy’s National Nuclear Physics Institute, renown around the world for physics lectures to young people, and Philippe Clergeau of the Paris National Museum of Natural History specialising in urban ecology.

Among the surprises for the science aficionados will be applied workshops, experiments and demos, lab visits, seminars, conferences and debates to be hosted by the Humanitas Bookshop, as well as meeting young scientists at prestigious Bucharest high schools. Kids will have their own chemistry lab set up at the Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science of the Bucharest Polytechnics with support from BASF Romania, where kids can conduct their own experiments safely and using kits that are adjusted for their age and knowledge.

Preparations for colonising Mars include building up the mock-up of a spherical space base 2 m in diameter. Themed tours include visits to the Vacaresti Natural Park; ROMAERO; a passive house which energy balance is positive, a unique project in Romania set up at the Energy Engineering Faculty as well as green houses in Bucharest City.

Organisers of the Bucharest Science Festival are the ASUR Secular-Humanist Association of Romania and the Science Planet, with support from BASF Romania, the European Space Agency, System Plus, the French Institute of Romania, Blugento and the Humanitas Publishing House.


President Iohannis: Less formal approaches easily stimulate the interest in education


President Klaus Iohannis sent on Tuesday a message due to the occasion of the 4th edition of the Bucharest Science Festival, in which he states that the interest in education, research and science can easily be stimulated through less formal approaches, free of institutional constraints.

“We live in a globalized world, interconnected where the changes rapidly succeed and the competition accentuates in all aspects, having an important impact on everyone’s life. All these new opportunities and challenges impose a permanent adaptation of the education, research and innovation to the society’s needs and ambitions, in agreement to their cultural values and identity. This is why it is essential for Romania to respond to this permanent changing context through science and education,” the head of state says in the message delivered by State Counselor Ligia Deca.

The President underlined that through the granting of the High Patronage to Bucharest Science Festival, he wanted to encourage the steps meant to bring the children, but also the adults closer to the world of knowledge, helping them to understand the scientific explanation behind all that surrounds them.

“I’m convinced that less formal approaches, freed from the institutional constraints, can easily stimulate the interest in education, research and science. I believe it is important to support similar steps in all the country’s regions, especially in the rural environment where this type of opportunities is limited,” the head of state points out.

He states that “The Educated Romania” means “not only a quality education system, but the growth of curiosity, the joy of discovering, the understanding of the phenomenon that surrounds us and the contribution to the transformation of the world we live in.”

“Science can be an ally that could ease our day to day activity and lead to an economic growth and to the competitiveness’ development,” Iohannis underlines.

The head of state hails the implication in this type of activities of the cultural institutes, the university environment, the research institutes, the national museums and the private environment.