Eucor-MobiLab tours through the Upper Rhine region
The Eucor-MobiLab promises tangile science. The mobile participation laboratory provided by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) started its roadshow in June 2023. The term “roadshow” is quite literal because the Tiny House tours the Upper Rhine region with excellent top-level research and scientists from all three countries in tow. The tour’s thematic focus is on research in the field of environment and sustainability, with each university city setting its own unique focus. Dr. Amandine Bovay, project manager at the University of Basel, explains the idea of MobiLab as follows: “On the one hand, MobiLab offers researchers a place for scientific exchange, and on the other hand, it also enables contact with the public. It’s not just a matter of conveying information, but also of engaging in dialogue with people.”
Freiburg: Climate Change and Artificial Intelligence
From June 26 to 30, MobiLab made a stop at the Old Synagogue Square in Freiburg. People were invited to participate in a climate puzzle in order to playfully experience climate change as a complex interplay of various factors. Passers-by were able to learn about the extent to which artificial intelligence promises valuable information for future-oriented urban planning through the Freiburg collaborative project I4C - Intelligence for Cities. The AIs displayed improvements in the adaptability of cities to extreme events such as heat, floods or storms.
MobiLab is coming to Basel just in time for the semester to begin
From Germany to Switzerland: From September 15 to 18, MobiLab continued its roadshow in Basel. The actions were all about the dialogue between science and society about a sustainable future in the Upper Rhine. The Basel Food Forum invited interested citizens to a workshop where they could learn how to reduce food waste and packaging. Involving citizens as experts in research is the approach of Citizen Science. The Heidelberg project HEAL - Heat Adaptation for Vulnerable Populations, which investigates adaptation strategies of at-risk groups during hot spells and works closely with affected citizens, served as an application example. This project uses Citizen Science or, more precisely, transdisciplinary research.
“Both approaches are characterised by co-determination and co-design by stakeholders outside of academia throughout the research process. We view these actors or stakeholders from the population, such as public authorities or companies, as experts who, through their unique perspectives, can design practicable solutions and effective measures for overcoming major societal challenges,” explains Dr. Kathrin Foshag from the TdLab Geography at Heidelberg University.
The location of the MobiLab was chosen quite deliberately. “In Basel, we specifically sought dialogue with (first-year) students on the topic of sustainability with the MobiLab. In Freiburg, the focus was more on interaction with civil society. That’s why we chose two different locations: one on campus and one in the middle of the city,” reports Thomas Heine, Eucor project manager at KIT and coordinator of the Eucor-MobiLab Roadshow.
In Kehl, everything revolves around climate protection and energy transition
From September 20 to 21, the mobile participation laboratory was stationed at the Kehl marketplace. KIT scientists, the environmental department of the city of Kehl, and the Ortenau Energy Agency showed how the energy turnaround can work in practice. Interested passers-by could take advantage of a free energy consultation, learn how their own balcony can be converted into a solar power plant or how sustainable heat planning works. In the landing game “How to land in times of climate crises,” which was developed as part of the Clim’Ability project, players simulated how institutions and companies can adapt to the changing climatic conditions in the Upper Rhine region in 2027. In the process, participants immersed themselves in a possible scenario and collectively developed strategies. “Today was the best game session I have led so far. We had a great turnout and the participants really engaged in the discussion game and communicated with each other. All participants quickly agreed on the choice of priority and there were exciting discussions among people,” says Murielle Ory, a sociologist at INSA Strasbourg and a collaborator in the Clim’Ability project
October will bring three more exciting MobiLab stops
France celebrates the Festival of Science (Fête de la Science) for the 32nd time at the beginning of October and has invited the general public to attend. From October 6 to 8, Eucor-MobiLab will be part of the Strasbourg event series. "Shaping the future together in a sustainable way" is the motto of KIT Science Week. From October 10 to 15, numerous events, workshops, and lectures will take place in Karlsruhe, inviting to a dialogue between science and society. The Eucor MobiLab will be present on five days at the Kronenplatz in Karlsruhe. The roadshow’s last stop will be the campus of the Université de Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse from October 18 to 21.