Ben Thuy, Palaeontologist at the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN); Credit: FNR

From Monday 25 to Friday 29 March 2019, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) organised the ninth edition of the "Researchers at School" campaign.

Over 100 researchers returned to school to share their experiences and their passion with the researchers of tomorrow as part of the "Researchers at School" project. The main objective was to present the job of researcher, still little known to the general public, but also to inspire and motivate future researchers. 

During the last week of March, 101 researchers visited 30 different secondary schools across the country (more than 75 classes in total) for 56 student-researcher meetings. The researchers, coming from public institutions and the private sector in Luxembourg, told their personal story: from secondary school to the projects they do today through university studies. This allowed students to have a better overview of the job and to ask questions about the research being done in Luxembourg. In addition, researchers benefitted from a platform allowing tem to present their work to young people and obtain direct feedback.

Paula Hild, PhD student at the University of Luxembourg, commented: "I think it is important to show that research is not only done in laboratories, but also in other places of work. "Researchers at School" gives the opportunity to speak positively about one's job. It's very inspiring! This experience in a way links the often theoretical approaches of research to questions of civil society."

Some researchers similarly felt it was their responsibility to communicate to the general public and encourage their colleagues to do the same, such as Ben Thuy, curator of palaeontology at the National Museum of Natural History: "I decided to participate in "Researchers at School" because I consider public awareness an essential part of my duties as a scientist, especially when it comes to young people. For me, science and communication are intrinsically linked." He added: "Public awareness is equally important, not only for its visibility, but also for its acceptance and credibility."