Dialogue between research and society: 25 new Agora projects funded

The results of the 11th Agora call are in: the SNSF will fund 25 new projects of researchers who want to reach out to the public.

Of the 61 project proposals submitted, the SNSF will support 25 with a total amount of just over 4.7 million francs, corresponding to a success rate of 41%. 52% of the funded projects are in the social sciences and humanities, 24% in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering, and 24% in biology and medicine.

The Agora scheme aims to foster dialogue between researchers and society. It encourages researchers to communicate their current research to a lay audience. Agora projects propose interactions between researchers and the public in which both sides share and listen to each other.

For example, Lorenzo Cantoni (USI) and Patrick Cassitti propose to reconstruct together with members of the public the history of a "simple" piece of mortar from the Müstair monastery based on the scientific discussions and doubts centred around this piece; Thomas Keller (ZHAW), in collaboration with the Technorama in Winterthur, will allow a young audience to become familiar with affective computing; Marilyne Andersen (EPFL), in collaboration with Sarah Kenderdine, as well as Anna Wirz-Justice and Giulia Bini, will invite the public to ponder the relationship between light and the biological cycles of life.

The Agora map

Most projects aim to stage an event in Switzerland. The Agora map provides an overview of past, present and future events, giving them greater visibility. It is also intended as a source of inspiration and point of contact for researchers who are interested in initiating an Agora project.

Rolling call

The Agora scheme finances projects up to a maximum of 50,000 francs throughout the year. Researchers can submit their proposals at any time and expect the SNSF's decision within four months.