On 29 October 2015, the Finnish science academies organized an event popularizing the scientific Nobel prizes of the year. The event was the first of its kind in Finland and was organized with the Council of Finnish Academies (the cooperative body of the Finnish academies), the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists. Aalto University and University of Helsinki were also partners in cooperation.
The event was streamed live on HSTV. The popular event was preceded by campus Nobel lectures held by the experts for students and university staff in Aalto University and University of Helsinki.
Leading Finnish scholars gave the audience a peak in to the work of this year’s Nobel laureates. These experts work in the same field as the laureates’ and were able to share interesting and thought-provoking talks about this year’s awarded scientific contributions and their significance for society and science. They linked the awarded works to people’s everyday life – f.ex. by telling the audience how DNA repair mechanisms actually work in our bodies – and brought science to life on stage. The keen audience asked the experts scholars many questions related to how science innovation contributes to improving our lives, but were also interested in how scientific research is actually conducted.
From the point of view of the Council of Finnish Academies, this format of a popular video-streamed event, accompanied with campus lectures, is a good way for science academies to gain visibility together and bring science closer to people – a central role for all science academies.