Event review: Science meets public

20 February, 2024. University of Novi Sad. Need analyses and dialog between citizens, SMEs, research institutions and WBC-RRI.NET project representatives from the region.

Feb 28, 2024

The event’s objective: Need analyses and dialog between citizens, SMEs, research institutions and WBC-RRI.NET project representatives from the region.

Date: 20 February 2024
Location: Rectorate building, University of Novi Sad
Local organizer: University of Novi Sad (UNS)
Format: physical

The gathering brought together 31 participants, comprising 15 women and 16 men.

Group photo of some of the participants

WBC-RRI.NET project results
Prof. Dr. Goran Stojanović, University of Novi Sad

Prof. Dr. Goran Stojanović shared the results of the WBC-RRI.NET project. He discussed the motivation behind proposing the project, introduced the consortium members, outlined the targeted Western Balkan territories, and highlighted five Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) initiatives. Additionally, he presented the key aspects of RRI in Vojvodina, including the work packages and working groups established within the project. Prof. Stojanović also touched upon gender equality events and podcasts produced during the project. He delved into topics such as open science policies, national repositories, and events that transpired throughout the project’s duration. Furthermore, he discussed the formation of an association dedicated to responsible research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on promoting science and research.

Prof. Dr. Goran Stojanović presenting the WBC-RRI.NET project results

Interproject coaching – public benefits

Dr. Kristina Petrović, the project manager for the EINSTEIN project, explained the core concept of the project. She discussed its mission, vision, and values, along with outlining the primary objectives. Additionally, Dr. Petrović elaborated on the project’s concept, work packages, and introduced the consortium members. Notably, she highlighted that the project aims to produce a film showcasing the achievements of accomplished women scientists, such as Mileva Marić Einstein, who serves as inspiration for this initiative.

Dr. Kristina Petrović presenting EINSTEIN project

Dr. Dragana Živković introduced the Conti4All project, PRIZMA project. She shared insights into the project’s inspiration and introduced the team members involved. Dr. Živković discussed the focus of the project, which revolves around the development of devices tailored for individuals dealing with incontinence issues.

Dr. Dragana Živković presenting Conti4All project

Roundtable: Responsible research and innovation – understanding between scientists and citizens
Moderator: Dr. Sanja Kojić, University of Novi Sad

Speakers
Two researchers:
Prof. Dr. Snežana Smederevac, University of Novi Sad
Dr. Dalibor Drljača, University Clinical Centre of Republic of Srpska
One cluster representative:
Milan Šolaja, CEO of Vojvodina ICT Cluster
Two citizen representatives:
Anja Aleksić, Psychologist at Clinic for Psychiatry, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina
Miloš Stojanović, President of the NGO Zeleni Sad

Round table discussion with Prof. Dr. Snežana Smederevac, Miloš Stojanović, Anja Aleksić, Dr. Dalibor Drljača, Milan Šolaja and moderator Dr. Sanja Kojić (left to right)

The speakers took the opportunity to share their opening statements, reflecting on the pivotal role of scientists, emphasizing the significance of citizen engagement, and addressing potential challenges in implementing responsible research practices. They explored our level of readiness to comprehend and utilize science, as well as the methods employed to communicate scientific concepts to the general public. Active citizen involvement in technical sciences, content relevance, and the responsible use of technology were also discussed. The conversation delved into enhancing the visibility of science projects and broadening public engagement beyond specific interest groups.

The moderator further prompted the speakers to share best practice examples for effectively communicating science and promoting responsible research and innovation initiatives. Noteworthy mentions included the European Researchers’ Night, the STAR Centre (Center of Excellence for Behavioral Research in Psychology), and Dr. Tijana Prodanović’s social media account. Dr. Prodanović, an astrophysicist from Serbia, has gained a substantial following of over 55,000 users on TikTok who eagerly engage with her science lessons.

Application of AI tools in scientific work

Prof. Dr. Bojan Petrović discussed the application of AI tools in the paper-writing process. He provided a concise overview of the importance of AI in research, focusing on its role in data analysis and scientific writing. The presentation addressed the challenges and opportunities associated with AI in these contexts. Additionally, Prof. Petrović provided more details about collaborative approaches and highlighted future trends in the utilization of AI in research.

Prof. Dr. Bojan Petrović presenting application of AI tools in scientific work

Female researchers for society

Dr. Isidora Kešelj from University of Novi Sad presented her study field, that is the increasing number of unexplained cases of infertile males in the peak of the reproductive period, and a decrease of the fertility rate in men younger than age 30, suggest an urgent need for accurate diagnostic. She presented the research she is carrying out. Dr. Kešelj was presented with the award “For Women in Science” for 2023 by the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of Republic of Serbia.

Dr. Isidora Kešelj

MSc Milica Radaković from University of Novi Sad spoke about her study field – Palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. She was also awarded with the award “For Women in Science” for 2023 by the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovation of Republic of Serbia. Over the course of 13 years in Serbia, 38 women have received a combined sum of RSD 20 million in recognition. These monetary awards aim to serve as motivation for female scientists to persist in their research endeavors. MSc Radaković talked about “For Women in Science” project: How icy was ice age in Serbia? and provided some interesting facts about her study field.

MSc Milica Radaković

Dr. Selka Sadiković from the University of Novi Sad, discussed citizen science projects at the STAR Center of Excellence for Behavioral Research in Psychology. She outlined her research timeline and illustrated with an example of a citizen science project involving the daily monitoring of emotional reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic during the state of emergency in the Republic of Serbia. Dr. Sadiković provided additional insights into the various projects underway at the STAR Center and elaborated on the citizen science activities they engage in.

Dr. Selka Sadiković

Prof. Dr. Marija Jevtić from University of Novi Sad discussed the roles of women in society during her presentation. She highlighted instances where science intersected with decision-makers, including the parliament of the Republic of Serbia. Dr. Jevtić also addressed the Reflective Citizens association, founded in 2014. The distinctiveness of their workshops is characterized by a strong link to art, cultural heritage, and the exchange of ideas on diversity. This connection serves as a basis for fostering unity and incorporating the youngest citizens, particularly children, into thoughtful contemplation.

Prof. Dr. Marija Jevtić

This article was prepared by Ivana Knežević (UNS) and Prof. Goran Stojanović (UNS).