She wants to take science out of the laboratories
A few questions to Lilian Kisiswa, senior postdoc at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet and organiser-in-chief of Hjärnfestivalen – Brain Awareness Week – in Stockholm, 10 – 17 March.
Tell us about Hjärnfestivalen – what exciting things will be happening?
“Hjärnfestivalen 2018 is a seven-day festival that will offer the general public opportunities to learn about current brain research, ask brain researchers, patients and experts questions, and even try their hand at being brain researchers. Hjärnfestivalen is free and open to visitors of all ages and will consist of exhibitions, interactive activities, short presentations, panel discussions and workshops.”
The festival is organised by the Vetenskap i Samhället (Science in Society) association. Can you tell us something about the association and why you are involved?
“Vetenskap i Samhället, ViS, is a non-profit organisation that is made up of researchers, mainly from Karolinska Institutet. The aim is to give the general public opportunities to interact with researchers and disseminate knowledge about science, through organising activities such as Hjärnfestivalen. We want to take science out of the laboratories and reach a wider audience. I have always been interested in outreach and I have been engaged in various public activities outside Sweden for many years, for example the Smarter UK Group, the Cardiff Brain Awareness Committee, and the Cardiff Neuroscience Café.”
This is the second time you’re organising Hjärnfestivalen in Stockholm. Last time, in 2016, it was in September. Now it’s been moved to the middle of March. Why?
“Hjärnfestivalen has always been part of the international DANA Brain Awareness Week, BAW, which is a global campaign that aims to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. BAW is always held the second week in March but last time we had to hold the festival in Stockholm at a later date for various reasons. We’re particularly happy that we managed to match the date of BAW this time.”
Is there anything in particular that you yourself are looking forward to in connection with the festival?
“Oh, it’s hard to choose! I think we have an excellent programme and I’m looking forward to all the sessions. But if I have to choose, I’m looking forward to the Brain Fair. It’s incredibly beautiful to see the close interaction between the researchers and the audience.”
Some of the KI researchers at Hjärnfestivalen
All lectures will be held in Swedish.
Effekten av beroende på samhället, Kulturhuset 10 March.
Depression bland unga, Kulturhuset 10 March.
Hjärnutveckling: ADHD and NPF, Tekniska Museet 11 March.
Hjärnboll – vad gör Rinaldo, Messi och Zlatan till världsstjärnor? ABF-huset 12 March.
Varför gillar vi vissa smaker och inte andra? – Vetenskapen av smak Restaurangakademien 12 Mars
Återkoppling och viljan att utvecklas, Stockholms stadsbibliotek 13 March.
Carl Johan Sundberg
Hjärnan och träning, ABF-huset 14 March.
Det syns inte – musical and panel discussion, Maximteatern 17 March.