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Festivals of Science

ICTP research and innovation on display at Trieste Next 2022, Researcher's Night

Festivals of Science
Festivals of Science


Trieste is gearing up for its annual festival of science, Trieste Next, as well as the European-wide Researcher's Night, and ICTP will participate in both events with an exhibit, interactive activities, panel discussions and outreach to local schools.

Trieste Next 2022

From Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 September, ICTP research, along with that of other local science institutes, will be on display in Trieste's Piazza Unità, which will be transformed into a showcase of the city's technology and innovation for the Trieste Next science festival. The ICTP exhibit space, shared with SISSA, will be open all three days, with a programme of activities for schools as well as hands-on activities for people of all ages.

The theme of this year's Trieste Next is "The Boundaries of Science", with a focus on ethical limits and new frontiers in innovation and research. In total, organisers have planned some 80 events, with 300 speakers in presence, 50 exhibits in Piazza Unità, and the participation of 400 researchers and PhD students from throughout Europe for this year's festival of science. In addition, this year's event is the first to offer a programme in both Italian and English.

The full programme for Trieste Next is available here; ICTP's activities are highlighted below.

ICTP exhibit activities (note that the exhibit will be open during the following hours: Thursday 22 September from 9-20:00; Friday 23 September from 9-22:00; and Saturday 24 September from 10-20:00):

  • Going Back in Time: Travelling at the Edge of the Universe
    From the Big Bang to star and galaxy formation, from black holes to dark matter, from large-scale structures to dark energy, from cosmic background radiation to gravitational waves: what do the amazing images from modern telescopes really represent? How do astrophysicists and cosmologists manage to travel back in time to the beginning moments of our Universe?
  • Research for a Sustainable Future
    Basic science and research play a key role in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 global sustainable development goals for issues ranging from education to climate to gender equality. As a United Nations’ sponsored institute, ICTP has taken these goals to heart. This poster exhibition shows how research done at ICTP is contributing to all 17 of the goals.
  • The Interactive Science Corner
    Who says basic science is abstract and boring? The Interactive Science Corner will feature interactive activities that let the public actively engage in and experiment with big themes in contemporary physics, from a game about the risks associated with climate change and the weight of policy decisions on the environment, to simulations of bias in artificial intelligence algorithms, to a group activity that travels through the dimensions of the Universe.

Panel discussions:

  • Climate Science is for Everyone
    Friday 23 September 2022 / 09:00 - 09:45
    Location: Area Talk

    Climate change, in terms of its communication to the general public, is not a scientific topic like astronomy, chemistry or botany. Indeed, the science that studies climate is not just a collection of data or an illustration of scientific evidence. It is rather an issue with huge social implications and profound consequences for all. That is why clear communication is one of the fundamental actions necessary to successfully tackle the climate crisis. (In Italian, with Erika Coppola and Rita Nogherotto of ICTP's Earth System Physics section, and Davide Faranda, a researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research). Livestreaming is available here (in Italian).

  • Alternative Energy: Strategic Planning, Ethics And Sustainability
    Saturday 24 September 2022 / 10:00 - 11:15
    Location: Urban Center Trieste, Corso di Cavour 2/2

    With rising gas prices, war, and the pressing need to rapidly transition away from burning fossil fuels, new ways of storing energy are getting a lot of attention. This  international panel will discuss different alternative energy sources and their storage, and the  implications for science and society. (In English, with Nicola Seriani of ICTP's Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics section; ICTP scientific consultant Claudio Tuniz; IAEA-INPRO Methodology Nuclear Engineer Carolynn Scherer; and Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci, Professor for Physical Chemistry and Director, Linz Institute for Organic Solar cells (LIOS), Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria). Livestreaming is available here.

Researcher's Night

The European-wide Researcher's Night will take place on Friday 30 September, with satellite events happening during the week leading up to that date. ICTP participation includes:

  • MEZZOCIELO 2.0: performance-dialogo di music, scienza e visual art
    Sunday 25 September 2022 / 18:30
    Location: Teatro Miela

    What emotions does a pianist feel while playing music? Tension, concentration, anger, happiness? Is it possible to "see" these emotions? In "Mezzocielo 2.0", a neural EEG helmet will transform brain impulses into images in real time, in a performance-dialogue that will involve music, neuroscience and visual art. Matteo Bevilacqua, concert artist and performer, will share the stage with experience designer Alessandro Passoni, while Claudio Tuniz, an ICTP physicist and expert in paleoanthropology, will talk with cosmologist, musician and science writer Lorenzo Pizzuti. The event is a Researcher's Night event, in collaboration with Trieste Next, and will be in Italian.

  • Let's Ask a Scientist: Oceans and Climate Change
    Friday 30 September, 18:00
    Location: Science Centre Immaginario Scientifico, Magazzino 26 del Porto Vecchio

    What is the impact of oceans on global climate and climate change? How does the climate crisis affect ocean circulation? ICTP climate scientist Riccardo Farneti will answer these and many other questions in a dialogue with students from the Italian Association of Physics Students of Trieste, to discover more about the close relationship and mutual influence that connect oceans and climate.

The Researcher's Night programme includes outreach to local schools; several ICTP scientists will be sharing their love of science with students, including earthquake expert Abdelkrim Aoudia and climate scientist Rita Nogherotto.