Sci-Tech - Couldn't be without it!

March 15, 2002

Paris, 12 March 2002

On 22 March, at the Technopolis Museum in Brussels, seven of Europe's leading research organisations* launch a joint outreach programme for the run-up to European Science Week in November this year. Their aim is to show Europeans how today's society couldn't be without fundamental research.

Could you imagine life without mobile phones, cars, CD players, TV, refrigerators, computers, the internet, antibiotics, vitamins, anaesthetics, vaccination, heating, nylon stockings, glue, bar codes, metal detectors, contact lenses, modems, laser printers, digital cameras, gameboys, play stations…? Technology is everywhere and used by everyone in today's society, but how many Europeans suspect that without studies on the structure of the atom, lasers would not exist, and neither would CD players? Most do not know that almost anything they use couldn't be without years of fundamental research.

To fill this knowledge gap, the leading research organisations* in Europe, with the support of the research directorate of the European Commission, have joined forces to tell Europeans how technology couldn't be without science, and how science can no longer progress without technology. The project is called… Sci-Tech - Couldn't be without it!

Sci-Tech - Couldn't be without it! invites Europeans to vote online in a survey to identify the top ten technologies they can't live without. A dynamic and entertaining website will show them where these top technologies really come from and reveal their intimate links with research. Teaching kits will be developed to explain to students how their favourite gadgets actually work, and how a career in science can contribute to inventions that future generations couldn't be without. The results of the survey will be presented as a series of quiz shows live on the internet during European Science Week, from 4 to 11 November.

Sci-Tech - Couldn't be without it! will be launched on Friday 22 March at 18:30 at the Technopolis Science Museum in Brussels, coinciding with the official inauguration of CERN's travelling exhibition "E=mc2 - When energy becomes matter". The exhibition will stay at Technopolis until 21 July. CERN Director General, Luciano Maiani, and European Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin, will open the event with speeches underlining the importance of pooling effort in science education and outreach in Europe. A tour of the exhibition and a demonstration of the Couldn't be without it! website will follow, and the event will be brought to a close with a "Science in the Pub" discussion on the subject of modern physics and philosophy, complete with musical intermezzo and buffet.

Access the Couldn't be without it! online voting and web resources at:" target="_blank">

Confirm your presence at the Technopolis event before Monday 18 March by fax to:


To reach Technopolis take exit 10 (Mechelen-Zuid) on motorway E19 (Brussels-Antwerp).

For more information on the exhibition, contact Véronique de Man: or tel. +32(0)15.34. 20.20.

For more information on Couldn't be without it! contact the executive coordinator:" target="_blank"> or tel. +41(0)22.767.35.86.

For further information, please contact:
Helen Wilson, ESA/ESTEC

Press Release N° 12-2002

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