Background: 1 month to get ready, a 5.000 euros budget and a million things to explain about the Brain... is it possible to get something nice out of this? Yes, it is! Objective: Make scientific knowledge about the brain available for a general public Hypothesis: people learn when we have fun Materials: : For this experiment we used: a medium venue inside of a disco, several tables and chairs, computers and screens, a video, 4 music bands,some special scientific instruments and the good will of around 50 people. MethodsThe method, new for us, was to mix in the same space and time, music performances and highly interactive scientific experiments. As the event was confined to a single afternoon, we used a web-site and all the available mailing lists to make it get to as many people as possible. Results: We received the visit of around 500 people and media coverage (1 TV programm and national press). We consider this a good achievement, given the parametres we were working with. We must consider that it was a local science event on a Sunday afternoon, with no organised visits from schools or organizations. As well, there was a permanent queue in all the experiments until closing time and the general opinion of the public was of a funny and interesting activity. There's no data available regarding the ratio between the people that received the information and the ones that actually attended the event. Conclusions: We consider that this event has two main results. The first one is that people can have a very good time while they learn; the key point is to stimulate their curiosity and to increase the attention by means of fun. The second one, as this was the first time for all of us to set up something like this, is a large list of learned lessons to apply for the next time.

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Sciece Fair "The Ilusions of the Brain", Barcelona 28th October 2007
An example of what can you do with a little bit of money and several good experiments.

Guillermo Santamaría   Ciencia por Libre

Maria del Mar Dierssen   Centre de RegulacioÌ€ GenoÌ€mica

Background: 1 month to get ready, a 5.000 euros budget and a million things to explain about the Brain... is it possible to get something nice out of this? Yes, it is! Objective: Make scientific knowledge about the brain available for a general public Hypothesis: people learn when we have fun Materials: : For this experiment we used: a medium venue inside of a disco, several tables and chairs, computers and screens, a video, 4 music bands,some special scientific instruments and the good will of around 50 people. MethodsThe method, new for us, was to mix in the same space and time, music performances and highly interactive scientific experiments. As the event was confined to a single afternoon, we used a web-site and all the available mailing lists to make it get to as many people as possible. Results: We received the visit of around 500 people and media coverage (1 TV programm and national press). We consider this a good achievement, given the parametres we were working with. We must consider that it was a local science event on a Sunday afternoon, with no organised visits from schools or organizations. As well, there was a permanent queue in all the experiments until closing time and the general opinion of the public was of a funny and interesting activity. There's no data available regarding the ratio between the people that received the information and the ones that actually attended the event. Conclusions: We consider that this event has two main results. The first one is that people can have a very good time while they learn; the key point is to stimulate their curiosity and to increase the attention by means of fun. The second one, as this was the first time for all of us to set up something like this, is a large list of learned lessons to apply for the next time.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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