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Popular science draws the crowds

Two women stand in an office landscape
Dean Sofia Ritzén and project manager Tove Guldbrand coordinate KTH's open lectures. Photo: Theresia Köhlin
Published Sep 07, 2022

This autumn, KTH invites you to two open lectures, the first of which takes place on September 8. Once again, following their success during the pandemic, the lectures will be held digitally this semester.

KTH's open lectures have become a fixture on the semester calendar for over ten years now, aiming to reach out with scientific research that is of interests to everyone.

- We switched to a digital concept at the beginning of the pandemic and noticed that participation doubled at each lecture. We receive new registrations for each lecture, and we’re reaching across the whole country, which is gratifying to see. Therefore, we will continue with the digital concept until further notice, says Tove Guldbrand , project manager and communicator at KTH's central brand marketing group.

Tove Guldbrand and dean Sofia Ritzén  are responsible for the lecture series. Together with an academic reference group and an event coordinator they choose the topics and lecturers.
- It’s our task to present research from KTH to people who are connected to us but also to the general public. The focus is on research presented in a popular science format and preferably on themes people can relate to, says Sofia Ritzen.

Tove Guldbrand continues:
- We find subjects that feel both timeless and current. The most engaging ones tend to be research with a clear function – the kind of research that looks to solve a specific question or that can help society develop and be of benefit to all of us.

The first lecture this autumn is on a highly topical theme, "City planning for a safe society".
- You can tell from the number of participants when we have found something that has a really wide interest. The most popular lecture this spring was about the electricity grid of the future and sustainable electricity supply, which is highly topical but also interesting over time, says Sofia.

What is most challenging with the open lecture series?
- We are doing many interesting research projects at KTH. So it is a challenge to show that breadth and highlight so many different types of research projects on relatively few occasions. At the same time, it can be difficult to find topics and studies that can be presented in a popular science format that can interest an audience with a more varied level of knowledge than at a research conference. But I see that as a fun challenge. And if there is anyone out there who feels an urge to present their research in a popular science way, they’re welcome to contact us, says Sofia Ritzen with a smile.

Text: Annelie Englund

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Sep 07, 2022