For the first time, a scientific event was celebrated in Serbia at the bar to mark the birthday of the Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla (Serbian National Science Day) with an Israeli-Serbian twist. The event was the result of the first cooperation with the Center for the Advancement of Science of Serbia at the initiative of the Israeli Embassy in Belgrade. Eight scientists from Serbia and Israel visited restaurants and bars of Belgrade over a four-day period to discuss science in an accessible way over a glass of beer and raki, a popular Balkan drink.
Every evening 60 people came to learn the answers to questions such as: When is the best time of the day to make love? What has happened in the decade since the discovery of the God particle? How has avian vision contributed to the development of special windows in tall buildings? These were among the interesting questions discussed by four researchers from Israel, Dr. Michal Topaz, Dr. Vered Shapira, Dr. Ziv Zuighaft and Prof. Eilam Gross. It was exciting to see a diverse crowd of young people sitting next to adults, and schoolchildren alongside college students. The event's success was reflected in the fact that people booked tables in advance for the bars and restaurants that participated in the project. The embassy also received requests from residents of other cities to hold sessions in other locations as well.
The event received exceptional media coverage online, in print, on morning television programs and on the radio. The translated lectures were uploaded later to the Center's YouTube channel. The similarities between the White cities of Tel Aviv and Belgrade were emphasized in media coverage, as well as the popularity of the concept in Israel.
The director of the Center for the Advancement of Science has already indicated that he would like this to become an annual event and is examining the possibility of expanding its activities to additional cities. For the Embassy, this is not only a public diplomacy event but also the creation of contact between scientists from the Weizmann Institute and the Davidson Institute of Science Education with the Center for the Advancement of Science of Serbia.
Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Yahel Villan said, "Science at the bar is a concept that came from Israel and is very popular in Israel. Israel is known for its achievements in the field of science and technology, and this is a collaboration that has exposed Serbia to the latest fields of science and research in an accessible manner."
Dr. Zweighaft added, "I was flattered and honored to come to Serbia through the embassy's invitation. As a result of my lecture, the Serbs discovered that science can also be fun and in a language that everyone can understand."
Online article with Ambassador and the Science Center Director announcing the event: