We are SAS! Hviezdoslav Square was alive with science, art and entertainment

Historický ústav SAV, v. v. i., zasa ponúkol okrem iného výrobu pečiatok.

It is said that science and art are very close to each other. And it’s not just in the social sciences. Also, many scientists will confirm to you how fun science can be. However, the best thing is to see for yourself – and that is exactly what the science festival on Bratislava’s Hviezdoslavov náměstí on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, 2024, as part of the We are SAV event, brought.

In the pleasant shade of the trees, 30 institutes and research centers of the SAS presented themselves over the course of two days, patiently explaining and demonstrating to ‘small and large’ visitors what they do. Institute of Astronomy SAS, literally zoomed in on the Sun, but also 3D models from space. Institute of Landscape Ecology SAS, in the Laboratory section he presented interesting things from field research, for the little ones he prepared a lot of interesting things, for example “who is looking” – match a specific animal to the eye. For many, difficult-to-understand phenomena were explained by the scientists of the Institute of Experimental Physics SAS, and thus provided an opportunity to learn about the principles of magnetic phenomena using games, experiments and exhibits, they also performed the “dance of the magnetic hedgehog”. There was also transport of the future – a model train that flies over the track. At the stand of the SAV Electrotechnical Institute, you could try the preparation of graphene, the thinnest material in the world, and the magnetic levitation of superconductors. There was also great interest in the work of scientists at the stand of the Archeological Institute of the Slovak Republic, which “told” an engaging story of the Germans in Slovakia, which connects the Roman-Germanic culture of the first four centuries AD. l., through three key archaeological sites – the Prince’s Tomb in Poprad-Matejovce, the Roman Bridge on the Danube and the Cífer-Pác Archeopark. Stand of the SAV Biomedical Center, was carried under the sign of the motto Life is the transformation of matter and energy. Here, people could test their memory and physical fitness, measure their blood sugar or try marker smell tests used in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Institute of Construction and Architecture SAS, for example, demonstrated “the difference in daylighting a room with a light guide and a window, the dynamic response of a railway bridge and new building materials”. During the presentation of the Institute of Molecular Biology SAS, you could get to know the essence of discovering new medicines and pigments in nature and learn, for example, that honey, plants, soil, essential oils contain useful substances that act against viruses, fungi and bacteria. At the booth of the Institute of Zoology SAS, you learned what it contains and what the work of zoologists looks like in the field and in the laboratory, living model organisms were prepared that scientists examine and again a lot of interesting information. Diversity of research at the SAS Institute of Physics, was proved by the exposition of exhibits of several scientific departments. You could get to know the world of nuclear physicists – through the demonstrator of the TATRA spectrometer, which is the key measuring device for the first Slovak experiment at CERN, but also, for example, the so-called metallic glass. What did the language that Cyril and Methodius brought to Great Moravia look like? At the stand of the Slavistic Institute of Ján Stanislav SAV, you could not only get to know it, but also describe it to yourself in the scribe’s workshop, and also try to see who (or doesn’t) remember what from Slavic languages. Institute of History of SAS, in turn offered, among other things, the production of stamps. Institute of Hydrology SAS, devoted his presentation mainly to climate change, but also to an important material – biochar, which can positively change soil properties. Center of Biosciences SAS, v. in. i., gave a “peek” into the mini-greenhouse with super-healthy micro-herbs, and color lovers could create a “pH rainbow”. Institute of Linguistics Ľ. Štúra SAS, came to the event We are SAS with the stand We are language, and visitors could “play” with several language tools DEVELOPER, DIAKRITIK, KOLOKAT, SEMÄ and PARAPLAG or create a Štúr name using the ŠTÚROVCI tool. Institute of Slovak Literature SAV, playfully introduced visitors to the center of his research through a collage of clippings. They could design the DAV newspaper page from the visual elements that were typical for this avant-garde newspaper. Institute of Chemistry SAS, introduced yeast as one of the helpers in the fight against drought. They also had a demonstration related to the diagnosis of cancer. The main attraction of the SAS Geographical Institute stand, was a lego world on which models of the objects of their research could be observed – the river landscape and the changes that transform it, landslides, the diversity of meadows and their management. Center for the use of advanced materials (CEMEA) SAV, also came outside with a toy – a flashlight train, which, however, explained “2 in 1” to both young and old, which (also) the institute deals with. They explained the principle of operation of batteries, which in this case functioned as an electrolyte, on ordinary fruits and vegetables, especially to the “small ones”. Institute of Earth Sciences SAS, using interactive models explained why and how earthquakes occur, how seismic waves affect high-rise buildings and also where and how they are measured in Slovakia and in the world. At the booth of the Center for Experimental Medicine SAV, you learned how your heart works, what is the difference between medicine and poison, what healthy and diseased organs look like, toxicology tests. Scientists of CEM SAS, here at the same time they measured, advised, recommended… and especially explained. SAS Measurement Institute, showed the life of cells in a magnetic field, electricity in our heart, but also that magnetism can be fun. In the Institute of Informatics SAS, a social robot was waiting for the debate. However, visitors could also try its specific use in medical practice. There was really enough to look at, explain and entertain. With a special exhibition in an atypically dark tent, the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry SAV, in which you could learn more about fluorescence and look at the beautiful colors of substances and materials under ultraviolet light. Parts of the SAV joint activities center presented their offers, as well as interesting things “from the kitchen” – KC SAS Smolenický zámok and KC Academia Stará Lesná.

The Friday program also had its stage part “made by SAV“, where it was lively from morning to evening – and children and adults alike enjoyed themselves. Academy employees presented themselves on stage with their hidden artistic talents. An inorganic chemist performed scientific magic, which amazed the children’s audience in particular. There was a science-popularization section, in which individual scientists explained their work for ten minutes by answering the common question Do you know that…? Last night at the Smolenicki Castle, there was a competition in the Quiz for the CURIOUS, prepared by the Young Scientists of the SAS. In a short introduction, the moderator Sajfa, or Matej Cifra, talked about what it’s like to grow up in the family of a prominent polymer scientist of the SAS. Shortly in the afternoon, visitors could watch a live broadcast of a podcast recording with the chairman of the SAV, prof. Pavlo Šajgalík. The geographer attracted many visitors with her hot Flamenco dance. And at the very end of the first day, on Friday early evening, the Magritte Jazz Sextet music group, featuring the SAS expert in social communication, cheered or “stomped” the audience.

For two days, Hviezdoslav Square was alive with the event We are SAS – science, art and fun. Finally, our video or photo gallery will say much more.

Photo gallery on Facebook

Edited by: Andrea Nozdrovicka

Photo: Katarína Gáliková Video: Martin Bystriansky