PT A/3: Transformative Effect of RIs
16:00 - 18:00

Advancing Knowledge. Transforming Lives. Inspiring Nations - the Transformative Effect of Research Infrastructures.


Highly specialized research infrastructures often require special operational conditions and environments (e.g. an environment that is isolated from radio frequency interference, light, or noise pollution, or that requires seismic stability, etc.). Therefore, research infrastructures are often placed in remote and isolated areas that are adjacent to communities. This means that beyond producing world-class and ground-breaking science, these research infrastructures are becoming active in shaping the socio-economic conditions that surround them. This adds an additional layer of complexity to RI management, and it may mean investment in health, education, enterprise development, supplier development and employment creation, on top of the core business of these facilities. Through that, the faces of the communities can be turned towards the research infrastructures, not just as places of scientific wonder, but as gardens in which future Albert Einsteins & Marie Curies from these communities are grown. In this session, professionals from research infrastructures across the globe will share their experiences of walking this tightrope of meeting their global expectations of scientific and technological excellence on the one side, and a sharpened local social conscience on the other.

  • Adrian Tiplady, Deputy MD of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, Square kilometer Array-South Africa facility
  • Gihan Kamel, Sesame Infrared Beamline Principal Scientist, Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East
  • Sun Kun Oh, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Konkuk University and Senior Consultant, Center for Underground Physics, Institute of Basic Sciences, Korea
  • Xavier Barcons, Director General, The European Southern Observatory (ESO) 


Parallel Theme A: Societal and Economic Benefits and Impact of Research Infrastructures  
The topic of socio-economic benefits and impact of RIs and their assessment is widely discussed in Europe and worldwide. This Parallel Theme (PT) aims to show a broader perspective than highlighting the traditional economic impact RIs have. The focus will be on specific examples of societal impact and benefits RI have in concrete environments in different parts of the world. The speakers will introduce showcases and good-practice examples to demonstrate that RIs have the potential to change the whole environment, including the perception of science, attitude to education, or the life of communities in the RI neighbourhood. We will discuss how we measure the impact and the benefits of RI, or how we know we invest in the right thing. We will cover the topic of assessment, raising public awareness and knowledge about RI, stakeholder management, and the engagement of citizens.
- PT A/1: Communicating Successes and Raising Awareness among Decision-makers, Their Influencers, and the Public  
- PT A/2: How Do We Know We Are Investing in the Right Things? A Discussion on Building Quality Assurance and Review into the Investment Selection Process.
- PT A/3: Advancing Knowledge. Transforming Lives. Inspiring Nations - the Transformative Effect of Research Infrastructures