A cup of coffee “After the End of the World”
(Setting by engineer and artist Natalie Jeremijenko, Estaciò Ciutat, CCCB) It was heavily raining on that Saturday and was yet not sure that we would be able to maintain our event of the day after. But on Sunday, November the 5th, we woke up to a clear blue sky. Although it was cold outside, we did carry on with our first “Science Café”.
Way before the starting time, we wanted to ensure the setting did not look too formal. Proudly, we offered coffee because it was impossible to have a Science Café without it, wasn’t it? And people started arriving.
First, a short explanation on the project’s desire of organizing a series of Scientific Cafés inside the artistic exhibition called “After the End of the World”, and then our first expert was called to scene. Dr. David Rojas, ISGlobal researcher on Air Pollution and Health, is one of those scientists that move outside their comfort zone, usually reaching out to civil society. David is also InSPIRES’s impact evaluation coordinator.
David triggered the most animated part of the event. During a bit more than one hour, a deep exchange of questions and answers between the participants took place: “600 premature deaths a year related with air pollution in Barcelona”; “Thousands of children live less than a kilometre away from their schools and they go there by car”; “How to take them away from those cars?”; “Forbidding without offering alternative solutions does not work”.
It is now with great motivation and illusion that our team is waiting for the second Science Café (December 2017) for another discussion between researchers, environmental associations and the general public on the topic of Transport and Health.
InSPIRES will close each of these events explaining what a Science Shops is and hoping to gather social concerns from the participants. The Science Shops research approach is not well known in Spain, and great effort is needed to stimulate the demand. The exhibition organized by the Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona is undoubtedly a great opportunity for InSPIRES to get known in Barcelona and hopefully contribute to strengthen the link between community and the public research sector.