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Fascination of Plants Day 2013 Portugal Success Story

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In 2012, the involvement of the Portuguese community with the 'Fascination of Plants Day' was incredible but it got even bigger in 2013: 65 national institutions involved, making us the 1st worldwide, organizing 99 events around May 18th.

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Fascination of Plants Day 2013 Portugal Success Story

  1. 1. Fascinated in Portugal –institutions, scientists and the public celebrate plant research In 2012, the involvement of the Portuguese community with the 'Fascination of Plants Day' was incredible but it got even bigger in 2013: 65 national institutions involved, making us the 1st worldwide, organizing 99 events around May 18th. As organizers we are grateful for all the people that got interested, but also wondered how this was possible. We believe it has a lot to do with the involvement of many different partners that could equally reach many different publics, mainly by acting locally. Universities, research institutions, botanic gardens, museums, schools, science centres, city halls, biotech companies, several societies and non profit associations - all over the continent and islands, organizing events of different types: seminars, workshops, field trips or promoting lab experiments. Some proposals were very “out of the box”, crossing science and arts, music, drawing, writing and also crossing territories poorly explored in science communication in Portugal, such as shopping centres and street markets. We invested in online presence, through the official website but mainly through a dedicated facebook page; this proved to be an excellent communication tool. Still, we believe that acting through proximity is the key to success. The commitment of Plant Scientists in actions with and for the community was an essential part of the project. This is not always easy, as scientists seem distant from society, starting from the lexicon they use, but when the barrier is broken, people usually feel comfortable upon the realization that a scientist is in fact “one of us”. At the same time, the scientific community earns public recognition for their work and scientists gain a more global vision of the importance of their research in the society they live in. We believe that one can only be contaminated by science through example, and it was greatly due to the commitment and passion for Plant Sciences from researchers, teachers, communicators, farmers, ecologists, botanists, both amateur and professionals, that the hundreds of people that have celebrated May 18th in Portugal got to be themselves fascinated by plants. Nelson Saibo, Ana Sanchez, Joana Lobo Antunes Portugal Coordinators Fascination of Plants Day

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