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Over 1600 Visitors Flock to the VIC to Learn about Nuclear Science

Over 1600 visitors flocked to the VIC to learn about nuclear science

The Vienna International Cetre rotunda got filled up with visitors eager to learn about nuclear science at this year's Long Night of Research on 13 April. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

By late afternoon last Friday people had already begun lining up outside the Vienna International Centre (VIC) in anticipation of their entry to the IAEA, which participated in the Long Night of Research, Austria’s biggest science event for the public. When the doors opened at 17:00, crowds of people poured in and filled the central rotunda, where they explored the various exhibition booths showcasing the IAEA’s research-related work in the fields of nuclear applications, energy, security and verification.

Watch our coverage of the event on Facebook (52 minutes).

At a booth with live insects, visitors could witness how nuclear science using the sterile insect technique can help combat diseases such as Zika. At another station, people could experience, through virtual reality, how specialists who have to enter radioactive areas deal with emergency situations. Those curious about how a nuclear power plant works could visit a display and operate a computer-simulated nuclear reactor. Mock uranium particles were on display at another booth where members of the public helped experts detect invisible uranium residues that can reveal undeclared activity.

“Science is my favorite subject at school,” said Julián Gómez del Campo, 8, one of the many children that attended the event. “My favorite station shows how to prevent different types of animal diseases from spreading to people.” At that station, scientists demonstrated how irradiated vaccines help to immunize livestock against infectious diseases. They also explained how nuclear-derived techniques are used to quickly diagnose diseases such as bird flu that can cause damage among animals and also spread to humans.

Building on the success of the IAEA’s initial participation in this event in 2016 when 1300 people visited the VIC, this year’s Long Night of Research attracted over 1600 people of all ages with a keen interest in science and the IAEA’s work. “The event was a great opportunity to learn about the work of the IAEA,” said Harald Sedlacek, visitor. “The scientists explain very well what nuclear technology is for and in how many different areas of our daily life it is used.”

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Organization for Migration also participated in the event at the Vienna International Centre.

Julián Gómez del Campo visits one of the 14 IAEA stations. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)


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