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The popular nationwide science popularization event Night of Scientists will be held a week later than usual this year, on Friday, 6 October. Once again, dozens of universities and other scientific and educational institutions will take part. The theme that will permeate the entire evening and influence the programme activities of the scientists and scholars has just been announced by the event organisers. The magic of this year's Scientists' Night lies in its Mystery.

The Night of Scientists science popularization event will be held a week later than usual this year - the organizers decided to do so because of the Czech National Day holiday, which is due on Thursday and for many of us it will be an opportunity for a prolonged weekend away from home. Universities and other educational institutions will be therefore closed to visitors after sunset this year until Friday, 6 October.

Uncover the secrets using scientific methods

Each year the theme of the Night of Scientists is new, original and paramount to the event. This year, the theme of Mystery runs through all the activities. "As mysterious, elusive and complicated as science may seem to some. But that's why Scientists' Night is here, to open the doors of the places where science, in all its many forms, happens. And when else are the real secrets revealed than after dusk?" says Jitřenka Navrátilová, manager of the national coordinator.

Hundreds of years ago, many processes and phenomena not only in nature but also in society were shrouded in mystery. The movements of cosmic bodies, the storage of energy, the spread of disease and its cure, the motivations and behaviour of both individuals and entire societies - these and much more have been regarded as indecipherable mysteries for centuries. And although science has painstakingly unravelled, described and explained the mysteries over many years, new and more complex questions have arisen and continue to arise.

"Scientists' Night is a great opportunity to take a playful and interactive peek under the hood of such mysteries across all fields of science, social science, art or technology," adds Navrátilová.

In Prague, the organizers of the Night of Scientists of all five public universities (Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Charles University, Prague University of Economics and Business and Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague) are working closely together and, as last year, are preparing a joint activity. Its content will remain a secret for the time being. "Thanks to the cooperation of the organisers, communication, popularisation and links between the Prague universities will be deepened and visitors will be able to visit several departments in one evening", says Dana Kardová, coordinator of the Night of Scientists in Prague.

In addition to universities, other institutions will participate in the event

In addition to universities and dozens of scientific institutions, smaller organisations will also be involved in the organisation of the Night of Scientists. Some new secondary schools, departments of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic or libraries will participate this year.

The Prague "nest" also welcomes nearby smaller institutions such as Dvořák Gymnasium and SOŠE Kralupy nad Vltavou and at the Václav Beneš Třebízský Gymnasium in Slaný town, who come up a new record every year. What secrets are they preparing for this year?

Český Vševěd 2023

The Night of Scientists will be accompanied again this year by the czech science popularizers competition Český Vševěd, the aim of which is to convey to the audience not only enthusiasm for science, but also a piece of knowledge itself in an understandable form.

All science popularizers can apply for the competition until the end of April - details can be found on the Night of Scientists website. The final evening will take place at the modern City Campus of the University of Ostrava on 6 December.

About the Night of Scientists

For the fifth time now, the Night of Scientists is represented by a group of two Ostrava universities (University of Ostrava and VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava) as the national coordinator. The event also involves over 20 universities and over 40 scientific institutions, science centres, observatories and others. It takes place at more than 100 locations throughout the Czech Republic.

The event as such was initiated by the European Commission in 2005 and its mission is to show people that science is not boring, but rather a well of interesting and fascinating phenomena. For one day a year, universities, science and research centres, science centres and other organisations in hundreds of locations across Europe are open in the evening and at night for free guided tours, popular education lectures, workshops, experiments, science shows, musical performances and so on. The aim of Scientists' Night is to break down the myths about scientists as people locked in laboratories and to show the general public that scientists are "ordinary people" who do work that benefits all of us, can present it in an engaging way, and can also have fun.