If 2020 has something good in it (although we might struggle to find it) it may be that it is giving us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves as a society and adapt many facets of our lives to formats in the distance: tele-working, tele-lessons, tele-meetings and many other tele-things that, ironically, are bringing us closer even though we are physically further away than ever.
The #OpenPRBB situation has not been different; an event that usually allowed people to come to the facilities and see, touch and experience with their own hands the research of the different centers every year, has been done completely through a screen in 2020. However, and to compensate, the open doors have changed from being a single day, to a whole week: from October 26th to 31st.
Thus, the Park has made a great effort to adapt a format that was 100% face-to-face to a totally virtual one and the experience, considering all the differences, has been very positive. Let’s have a close look.
We are scientists
The starting pistol for the #OpenPRBB was the première of the short film We are scientists, in which six female researchers from the different centers showed the park and its science in an unconventional way. Through an intimate portrait with a gender perspective, more than 11,000 people have already seen the PRBB like never before.
Live interviews with youtubers
One of the main novelties of this edition were the interviews that six youtubers specialized in science did with six researchers from the PRBB.
A risky bet that sought to bring the PRBB closer to a much broader (and younger) audience than the face-to-face edition. It has been a great success and, without a doubt, it is an activity with many options to be repeated.
- La Gata de Schrödinger and Maria Bernabeu (EMBL)
The youtuber La Gata de Schrödinger and Maria Bernabeu, a researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – Barcelona (EMBL Barcelona), talked about COVID-19, cerebral malaria and a new project to recreate blood vessels in 3D.
- El Robot de Platón and Carles Lalueza-Fox (IBE)
The most international youtuber of all and Carles Lalueza-Fox, a researcher at the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF), spoke about human evolution, genome and the possible de-extinction of species (yes, as in Jurassic Park) .
- Sizematters and Pilar Rivera (DCEXS-UPF)
The youtuber specialized in nanotechnology and Pilar Rivera, researcher at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (DCEXS-UPF), spoke about nanoparticles, pancreatic cancer and the professional path to become an expert in nanomedicine.
- Diario de un Mir and Max Hardy-Werbin (IMIM)
The youtuber specialized in medicine interviewed Max Hardy-Werbin, also a doctor and researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and they talked about the Emergency service during the COVID-19 crisis and why Max decided to study cancer, among other things.
- La Hiperactina and Estefania Mancini (CRG)
La Hiperactina and Estefania Mancini, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) spoke about research in bioinformatics and what it means to be a scientists, without losing sight of the aspects of working in a multicultural environment and with a gender perspective.
- Raíz de Pi and Manolis Kogevinas (ISGlobal)
The mathematician youtuber and Manolis Kogevinas, a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), spoke about epidemiology, cancer, COVID-19 and the influence of circadian rhythms on our health.
Lab Tours and Failed Experiments
The PRBB laboratories, which each year open their doors to explain first-hand the research they carry out, also adapted, and the researchers created virtual Lab tours so that all of us could see what they do and how they do it, but from the comfort of our houses.
Also, to show that science doesn’t always advance in a straight line, different laboratories explained to us how important mistakes are in order to learn and they showed us some of their Failed Experiments.
You can watch all the videos here.
A 100% virtual edition
The adaptation of the face-to-face format to a fully virtual one has been possible, among other things, thanks to social networks. Idolized by some and rejected by others, this not-so-new way of relating to each other has allowed us to explore different formats and platforms that have acted as an amplifier for the different activities.
Thus, through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube, the 2020 #OpenPRBB edition has resulted in an increase in followers on all networks, 75,412 views (including all videos and platforms) and, ultimately, an unprecedented reach around the world, reaching Latin America.
The 2020 #OpenPRBB edition has resulted in a good increase in followers across all networks and 75,412 views
With all this, we can draw a very clear conclusion from this atypical edition, and that is that given the uncertainty that the future holds, the virtual format has come to stay. And, although we trust that the situation will improve by 2021, the telematic format has allowed us to open doors and windows and break down the barriers of geography to reach a wider audience than ever.
Yes, there is something good about the year 2020; without a doubt, the #PRBBCommunity has grown.