29th October 2019
2 min read
FNR Award for Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public for LIH’s Science Quest
Science communication in the spotlight
On Friday, 25 October 2019, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) held the 11th edition of the FNR Awards Ceremony to reward Luxembourg’s best research and science communication efforts. Among the awardees was the LIH/IBBL Marketing & Communication Unit with the Science Quest project, an escape room-style science-promoting event held in 2018 that put high school pupils and the broad public into the shoes of biomedical researchers with the challenge to find a cure against cancer.
LIH/IBBL communication team rewarded
Around 200 people, including Claude Meisch, Minister for Higher Education & Research, gathered in the Halle des Poches à Fonte in Belval for the FNR Awards 2019. Six FNR Awards were presented across three categories: Outstanding scientific publication, Outstanding PhD thesis and Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public.
The communication team of LIH, Juliette Pertuy, Laura Star, Noémie Guerisse, Dr Malou Fraiture and Joanna Muz, and of IBBL - Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, Arnaud D’Agostini and Federica Amato, received the FNR Award in the category “Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public” for the organisation of the “Science Quest” a large science-promoting event, unique in Luxembourg.
LIH Science Quest – the concept
From 23rd to 25th February 2018, the Science Quest was held with the aim to present the institute’s biomedical research activities to high school classes and the broad public in an unconventional and entertaining way. In an exceptional two-hour programme, inspired from adventure and escape games, more than 300 participants playing in teams were plunged into an unexpected setup that put them into the shoes of a research team.
The game’s scenario? A team of researchers from LIH was close to a crucial discovery, but ... they disappeared! From there, one choice only was left for the participants: to put themselves in the shoes of the scientists, grab a lab coat and take over the research project! By solving enigmas and experiencing fun physical, cerebral and virtual challenges, the teams passed through different rooms kept in semi-darkness to complete their important mission: identify the efficient cancer treatment that the lost research group had been close to discovering.
Each room harboured an unexpected activity: the participants could jump into a giant ball pool to find the right treatment for a specific cancer type, prove their mathematical skills and dexterity to determine the optimal treatment dose, pilot drones to transport biological samples, help the immune system spot resistant cancer cells, perform pipetting experiments to screen for therapeutic antibodies and finally efficiency kill cancer cells in the body in a virtual reality game.
''This was the largest event ever organised by LIH to promote its research activities and science in general to the lay public',
states Juliette Pertuy, project leader of the Science Quest. ‘The organisation required a great deal of energy and enthusiasm as it started over one and a half year earlier with intense brainstorming sessions to define the scientific concepts, the game scenario and the different challenges. The whole team was thrilled when it finally became reality and encountered such a huge success! We are proud that these efforts are now being honoured with the FNR Award.’
Watch the FNR Award video explaining the Science Quest project.
From left to right: Juliette Pertuy (LIH Communication Manager), Joanna Muz (LIH Graphic Designer), Arnaud D'Agostini (IBBL Head of Marketing & Communication), Laura Star (LIH Communication Officer), Federica Amato (IBBL Science Communication Officer), Dr Malou Fraiture (LIH Scientific Writer).