Photo: Science Night LIVE! event venue Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre.

Science and technology

Science Night LIVE! at Heureka is a science communication and networking event that celebrates the expertise of international academics living and working across Finland. This new event offers visitors inspiring science stories, fascinating research, and valuable networking opportunities on three stages and in various formats. The event will take place on Wednesday, 29 March 2023, from 6:00 to 10:30 pm at Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre in Vantaa, under the theme of "Science solving problems." 

Funded by Tieteen tiedotus and co-organised by E2 Research, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, and Heureka, the goal of Science Night LIVE! is to support media, decision-makers, companies, and third-sector organisations in discovering the expertise of foreign academics working in Finland.

The event provides researchers with opportunities for societal engagement with the public and stakeholders, while the audience can access the latest research, networking opportunities, and simply enjoy a night in an international atmosphere.

The event's program features themes of artificial intelligence, sustainability, and equality and diversity in societies. One of the academics taking the stage is Sarah Schiffling, assistant professor of Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility at Hanken School of Economics. She is looking forward to making connections in her new home country Finland.

She says, "I stumbled into media work during the pandemic, and for the past two years, I was frequently interviewed by the BBC explaining how COVID-19 vaccines were distributed, why stores were running out of products, and all sorts of other supply chain problems. In October last year, I moved from the UK to Finland, and now I'm keen to start contributing my expertise in my new country." 

The event has generated wide interest among international scholars in Finland. Mari K. Niemi, Head of the Event Organizing Team from E2 Research, says, "We were impressed by the quality and number of applications. For the pitching competition alone, we received 68 video submissions across the country and from various academic fields. We are positive the competition will be one of the highlights of the program."  

A survey conducted by her team last year revealed that foreign academics living and working in Finland highly value societal engagement and research communication. However, there are limited opportunities and venues for such interaction in English. Science Night LIVE! at Heureka is one action taken to fill that gap.

Pitching competition finalists (from top left) Kasra Aliyon, LUT University, Eleanna Asvestari, Helsinki University, Zhao Fu, Tampere University, Guadalupe López-Íñiguez, Uniarts Helsinki Sibelius Academy, Ropafadzo Mzezewa, Tampere University, Abigail Parker, Helsinki University.

The event organizers have worked closely with several Finnish universities and gained support from deans who share the goal of increasing diversity of the public debate and expert usage in Finland. Rosa Ballardini, a Vice Dean from University of Lapland's Faculty of Law, describes, "Events like Science Night LIVE! provide excellent venues to discuss the importance of foreign talents in Finland - it is then up to us foreigners to stand up to the challenge, showing that our expertise and voice is both crucial and integral parts of Finnish knowledge and society."  

Turkka Keinonen, a Vice Dean from Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture welcomes everyone to enjoy the wonders of novel research and make the most of networking opportunities. He says, “Science Night LIVE! is a great event for meeting international scholars working in Finnish universities and for learning about their fascinating research. The casual event is ideal for breaking down cultural and linguistic barriers and becoming familiar with experts across various disciplines that are crucial for Finnish society.”

Science Night LIVE! at Heureka promises to be an exciting and engaging event that showcases the diverse expertise of international academics working and living in Finland. The event provides an excellent opportunity for researchers to engage with the public and for visitors to learn about the latest research while enjoying a night of networking and entertainment.  

With its focus on themes such as artificial intelligence, sustainability, and diversity, Science Night LIVE! aims to be an informative and thought-provoking evening for all. Be sure to get your ticket, check out the event program and speakers for more information

Authors: Venni Arra & Roosa Veijola, E2 Research