About Institute
Working Groups
Popularization of Science
European Grants
Press Release
Calendar of Events
Visitor Information
nencki.gov.pl » Education » Popularization of Science
Popularization of Science  

Science Picnic of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre (previously The Radio BIS) is the biggest outdoor science event in Europe. It was established through the initiative and ideas of prof. Łukasz Turski from the Centre for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, and Robert Firmhofer and Krystyna Kępska-Michalska from Polish Radio. The event has been held annually since 1997 at Warsaw's New Town Square and Podzamcze. Its main goal is to disseminate knowledge in various areas of science through interesting experiments and tests. Both simple experiments and the latest developments of Polish scientists are presented to the public. The Nencki personnel is also engaged in its organization from the very beginning. Every year the meeting has a different theme. The 10th jubilee picnic motto was “The world in ten years’ time”. The future was discussed in aspects of inevitable changes, discoveries in various disciplines of science, but also threats and risks to be considered.

The Picnic was extremely successful. The number of organizing institutions, exhibitions, presentations and participants were record-breaking. The New Town Square was visited by an impressive number of people.

The Nencki Institute set up two stands where visitors had the opportunity to see presentations on two main topics: “Brain and behaviour” and “Save the Polish ant – it may be gone in 10 years!”. Both stands were heavily loaded until late in the evening. Our quests could learn about easy ways to fool the human sight and trigger optical illusion or visual deformation of the object. The visitors were extremely interested in testing their time of reaction to simple visual stimuli. There were made to familiarize the public with neurobiological basis of emotional processes. Test were conducted to check whether it is possible to undoubtedly recognize fear, surprise or anger. A lot of people, especially children, were subject to tests measuring the activity of face muscles, and therefore allowing to assess one’s emotions.

Presentations of the Polish ants’ colonies were a huge success. The ants’ biology and role in forest ecosystems were explained. The visitors were explained how dangerous is to ants and to many other species forest degradation and cutting out trees.

The 11th edition of the picnic motto was “Maths and us”. The Nencki Institute took part in it again setting up the presentations under the title “Brain in numbers”.

During the presentations there was the occasion to learn how the human behavior is represented in the brain, as well as how it is possible to measure and present some aspects of human being in values? How many neurons are in the human or in the rat brain? Is it possible to measure the emotions? Does the left-handedness has it's neurobiological basis? Is our brain able to measure the time interval length?

In 2008 12th Picnic motto was "Learn the language of science" and Nenckis’s workers prepared the presentation “Brain asymmetry.”

The participants could test their reaction time for emotionally positive and negative stimuli. They were introduced to the scientific methods using in studies on neurobiological basis of emotions, language, visuo-spatial abilities and time perception.

Our guests were disappointed the picnic was only one day long. The only comfort was our declaration that next year they would meet us again.  

Science Picnic of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre 2008

top of the page

Published at: 2008-07-04 14:23

Search WWW Search this site