ESRF welcomes hundreds for Fête de la Science open day


Hundreds of people visited the European Synchrotron, the ESRF, over the weekend as part of Fête de la Science. The facility, along with the Institute Laue-Langevin, which is on the same site in Grenoble, opened its doors to members of the public during the three week science festival. The events were based around 2014’s International Year of Crystallography.

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Members of the public had tours around the ESRF and the ILL where they were shown how X-rays and neutrons are created and were told about the science being studied at both sites. They were also shown the latest beamlines under development at the ESRF and had the opportunity to meet current researchers and hear about their latest work.

Activities that were centred on crystallography were also put on for those visiting; there were demonstrations in structural biology and high pressure science, there was the opportunity to see crystals grow and a chance to take part in construction games and learn about diffraction.



Visitors to the open day, inside the marquee, where crystallography activities were put on for people of all ages. Credit: C. Jarnias/ESRF.




Mathilde Pascal, aged 23 is studying at the Institute for Political Sciences. She said: “Despite living in Grenoble I have never been inside the ESRF and so this was a good opportunity. The facility was much more complex than anything I could have expected but the explanations of what goes on here were easier to understand than I thought they’d be”.

Klaus RÖhrig, aged 26 and also from the Institute for Political Sciences, added: “I was really curious to come here. Having been to CERN, I wanted to see what the difference was between the facilities. The whole day was very well organised”. 




Visitors were taken around the ESRF and the ILL. Here, members of the public are told how the X-rays at the ESRF are produced. Credit: C. Jarnias/ESRF.


Other comments included: “It was good to see what’s inside, I’ve seen the big ring in Grenoble and wanted to know what it was all about”, “it was excellent and nice to see the passion of the people working here”, and “it was very interesting, and the scientific posters near to the equipment helped to explain the kind of results that come out of the work as well”.

Visitors were also welcomed elsewhere on the EPN campus, at the Institute de Biologie Structurale (IBS) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. (EMBL).


Top image: Visitors to the ESRF making their way to the start of their tour. Credit: C. Jarnias/ESRF.