Thursday 27

‚ÄčTurning RRI into an interactive experience at Northern Europe biggest music festival

Posted by Experimentarium on 27 Aug 2015

In the beginning of July the RRI Tools project took on a great challenge in Denmark; to engage 130.000 participants at the annual Roskilde festival in responsible research and innovation. The aim was to create fun and engaging experiences and memories that facilitated reflection about each individual's role in science and society.
Roskilde festival is a valuable platform for communication because of its huge impact and focus on responsibility. The festival annually hosts 130,000 people from all over Europe and has a great focus on societal impact and sustainability. Since 1994 the organizers have been constantly trying to reduce the environmental impact and make a change by donating profits to humanitarian purposes, selling fair trade products, using renewable energy sources, aiming at a maximum level of waste recycling and informing about environmentally friendly behaviour.

Consequently, this gave us a relevant physical space to conduct our RRI activities and challenge participants to reflect upon their own role as citizens and innovators of the future. To create an understanding of the futuristic perspectives of RRI we named our area "Roskilde 2045". Three posters of future scenarios 30 years from now of Roskilde Festival framed the area. They demonstrated topics like future foods, technology, social interaction and climate change.

The area had activities where people could have a taste of future science and a chat with our explainers and ambassadors of RRI. In one activity it was literally possible to taste the future by eating live mealworms, which are examples of a high protein source that takes little resources and leaves few CO2-footprints. Festival guests could also experience an on-stage Paul McCartney concert through Virtual Reality glasses, and discuss the use and evolution of this technology in the future; should VR provide experiences to elderly or handicapped people who otherwise could not participate or could it even substitute the real live experience of going to the concert to young people? The area also had drawing contests; cut-outs which provided photo opportunities and devices to enhance your senses. Browse through this photo album to get a sense of the activities offered.

In our experience, Roskilde 2045 was a great space for introducing the public to relevant topics of RRI. During 6 days of festival we had thousands of people by, and even though some were just there for the ride, we had loads of great conversations with people of all ages about their knowledge, culture, practices and preferences about science and society.
At Experimentarium we create interactive experiences about science every day. Still, there is a great difference between portraying the objective and logical phenomenon's of science and making people reflect on their own role and opinions about future science and which society they want to live in. The experience at Roskilde left us inspired to create exhibitions and activities about science that reaches in to the future.

Read more about RRI in practice at the Roskilde festival in the enlightening and fun article "RRI for beginners", published this summer in the Ecsite magazine "Spokes".

See some pictures of this experiment on our Flickr album.

Mai Murmann

Mai Murmann works on RRI Tools at the Experimentarium in Copenhagen, the RRI Tools Hub for Denmark

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