As complex as scientific research can be, getting the general public excited about science can prove even more challenging. This is the mission of Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums, gathering more than 350 member organizations committed to inspiring people with science and technology. Their annual conference is a must-attend event to all professionals working to engage audiences with science and technology, a perfect networking environment for museums leaders, researchers, and creative professionals. This year the Ecsite conference turned 30, and they chose Experimentarium in Copenhagen (Denmark) to celebrate science from 6 to 8 June.
The European Research Council joined the Ecsite conference for the first time this year, in a bid to explore new ways to bring Europeans closer to the revolutionary scientific and technological research financed by European institutions. The COMPASS team had the pleasure to be one of the two groups invited to participate at the ERC stand, together with SCHI Lab from Sussex University.
Juan Luis Gonzalo and Ioannis Gkolias from COMPASS guided attendees through a VR tour among the surprisingly large amount of human-made object in Earth orbit, and showcased the countless services provided by satellites. Next to them, Marianna Obrist and Emanuela Maggioni from SCHI Lab offered the unusual opportunity to become a tree, from its underground birth to an untimely fiery death, through a multisensorial VR experience.
Juan Luis also participated in a special session where projects were introduced through a two minutes talk organized around a physical object. Our object of choice could be no other than an old compass, as our research aims to do for space exploration the exact same thing these tools have done for sailors since centuries: to help them find the best way forward.