Researchers’ Night

The European Researchers’ Night is held at the same time in around 300 cities across Europe on the last Friday of September (27 Sep 2019). This year it is possible to participate in the event in 11 locations in Finland. The University of Helsinki will arrange events at Think Corner, Helsinki Observatory and Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. The events are listed by location below. The programme will be updated during August.

The event was granted two-year funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, which finances European research and innovation projects.

At the Helsinki Observatory, visitors from schoolchildren to pensioners can learn about the wonderful worlds of natural sciences in the workshops led by researchers during Researchers’ Night. In addition to the workshops, visitors can, in the permanent exhibition, delve into the secrets of the Observatory building and of the universe itself.

Workshop 1: Impact craters and moon talk

It’s been 50 years since the first moonwalk. Even as we speak, there are many ongoing space missions to the moon. It is highly possible that in the new future humans will be searching glacial ice from the moon’s impact craters. This workshop gives you a chance to create your own craters and research these collisions with high speed video camera. The moon itself is considered to be a fundamental factor in the origin of scientific thinking.

Organiser: Department of Physics, University of Helsinki

Workshop 2: Step into the world of cross-section radiographs

Cross-section radiographs allows doctors to see beneath the patient's internal structure precision to under 3 mm. It will reveal bone fractures as well as cerebral haemorrhages. This Nobel prize awarded technique, known as Computed tomography (CT), is based on x-rays and mathematics. How does it work? After this presentation you will know the secrets of radiography and cross-section radiography. Come and test for yourself!

Organiser: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Helsinki

Workshop 3, only for school groups: Drone demo

Drones, often described as a fun activity or one more way to take landscape pictures or action filled films, are a frequent topic in the news. However they are capable of much more. By programming the drone to fly a specific route planned by the accuracy of one centimeter, material can be collected and used to create three-dimensional environments. Those environments are at best when viewed in virtual reality.

Organiser: Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki

Please note: This workshop is open only in the morning. In the evening, the workshop on particles in the universe will be organised in the same venue.

Workshop 3, only in the evening: Particles in the universe

In particle physics we research the smallest configurations of the universe. How are we able to detect particles the size of millionths of a millimeter? What is happening in CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and how are these small particles linked in the process of solving universe’s biggest questions? The workshop will demonstrate how magnetic force works and display some of the technologies that enables to detect particle radiation with bare eye. You can also ask researchers about their work in experimental and theoretical particle physics.

Please note: This workshop is open only in the evening. In the morning, the workshop on drones will be organised in the same space for school groups.

Organiser: HIP, Helsinki Institute of Physics

Workshop 4: Electromagnetic radiation

In this workshop you will familiarize youself with the genesis of light and infrared radiation along with learning about  finding life in outer space, climate change and spectrums – you may turn out to be radiant as well!

Organiser: F2K

School groups: How to sign up?

Workshops are open for comprehensive school and upper secondary school groups from 9 am to 10.20 am, 10.30 am to 11.50 am and 1 pm to 2.20 pm. Maximum group size is 26 students. We recommend the workshops from fifth grade up. Sign up via email: The workshops are free of charge. Please note: The programme is in Finnish.

Between 5 pm and 8 pm, the workshops are open to all public. The programme is in Finnish but the researchers speak also English. No entrance fee.

More information:

At the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, you get a sneak peak into the world of entomology. Listen to interesting presentations and get inspired by the lush atmosphere of the garden.

Presentations start at 5 pm, 5.30 pm, 6 pm and 6 pm, duration 20 mins. At 6 pm, artist Tuula Närhinen presents her research Insects among us. The greenhouses are open to public until 5 pm.

Presentation 1: Global trade of live tarantulas and scorpions: analysis through social media of its impact on wild populations of endangered species
Carol Fukushima, Finnish Museum of Natural History

The black market in wildlife trade is the fourth most lucrative crime and severely affects the environment. Even so, the international traffic of invertebrates is still largely unknown. This project is a global first intending to quantify (individuals and economic value) global arachnid trade through social media, detect spatial and temporal patterns and research on their driving factors. The aim is to provide, among others, synthesis data on the way that trade affects species populations and effective guidelines on best practices and legislation/agreements to combat illegal trade.

Presentation 2: Daily life of bats
Thomas Lilley, Finnish Museum of Natural History

Mammal curator Thomas Lilley sheds light on the autumnal life of bats. While insects, their main food source, diminishes bat’s need to gather enough fat in order to survive the hibernation. How are bats able to double their mass during the winter?

The sound of mosquitos: Music to my ears. Entomology turned into art.
Tuula Närhinen, Artist, Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts

Artist Tuula Närhinen presents her research Insects among us by pictures, words and sounds together with Professor Emeritus Jyrki Muona from Finnish Museum of Natural History. Only in Finnish.

More information about the programme at Kaisaniemi:

Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden website

Pub Quiz Night
5.30 pm, Stage

Are you well versed in the intricacies of urban inequality? What is behind the growing polarisation of societal debate and how does it affect ordinary people?

After two weeks of discussing these and many other today’s hot topics, it is time to put your knowledge to the test. Come and analyse this Crazy World of ours from the perspective of ordinary people, overlooked issues and shared rules.

You are welcome to participate in the Crazy World pub quiz by yourself or with an entire team! Refreshments and snacks for sale at Tiedekulma Cafe. The quiz is held in Finnish and in English.

The event is part of the European Researchers' Night programme and the Crazy World series, which explores the causes and solutions of an unequal and divided world. You can prepare for the pub quiz by participating in Crazy World events on the spot, following live on the web or watching recordings.

More information:

This year Researchers’ Night events in Finland take place in Espoo, Helsinki, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kajaani, Kuopio, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Sodankylä, Tampere, and Turku. The rich programme is offered by nine Finnish universities, the French Institute, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

The event was granted two-year funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, which finances European research and innovation projects.