10 October 2019

On Sunday 6 October RIHS organized an Open Day in the Weekend of Science (“Weekend van de Wetenschap”) with special guest and television presenter Klaas van Kruistum. More than 3000 visitors became a health scientist for one day and discovered how special healthcare research is.
 
 "We declare this Open Day open, come on!" With these words, Dean Jan Smit, together with special guest and television presenter Klaas van Kruistum, gave the official go-ahead for the Open Day of the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS) on Sunday 6 October. And the Open Day was popular: from the start at 12.00 hours there was a row of enthusiastic visitors from the Sint Annastraat to the Study Centre, the location for this Open Day. At the end of the day the counter was over 3000 people.
 
Klaas van Kruistum
Among the visitors were many families with children. "Where is the college of Klaas?" is a frequently asked question upon entry. Because Klaas van Kruistum, known from television programmes “Klaas kan alles” and “Checkpoint”, proved in a crowded lecture hall that he really can do anything, even make an ultrasound of a baby in the belly of a pregnant woman. Together with researcher Thomas van den Heuvel, Klaas handled an ultrasound machine himself. First he tried to name what he saw, then he got help from the babychecker, software developed by Radboudumc to help interpret the ultrasound images. In conversation with Thomas, the audience heard how science has helped to develop the babychecker, and how this software is used in Africa, leading to reduced maternal mortality. Klaas was even sung by the audience (it was his birthday), and was photographed with many happy children.
 
Expeditions
Visitors could also take a look behind the scenes of the Emergency Room, the Ambulances, the Helideck, the Museum of Anatomy and Pathology, the Dissecting room and the Skills and Simulation Lab, under the guidance of a guide. Although not everyone was able to take part in the expedition of their choice, the reactions of the visitors who were able to join in were praiseworthy. In the Dissecting room, for example, visitors saw a prepared body up close. "Children were even allowed to feel in the body where all the organs were and thought it was fantastic; with big eyes and full of enthusiasm they told about their findings", one of the supervisors said.
 
Operating on your own
During the Open Day, anyone could be a health scientist for one day. Thirteen-year-old Elisa from Nijmegen was allowed to practice on an operating robot at the Science Market. "I think it's so cool that I can practice here myself, just as surgeons learn to do in their training. I was given a real insight into what it's like to become a surgeon, and I want to become one myself. Where can I do that?".
Scientists at the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences talk enthusiastically about their profession. The more than 35 stands in the Science Market were all well attended: whether it's a closer look at a click prosthesis, an explanation of artificial intelligence in healthcare, a smart app for breath or the Radboud Biobank: parents and their children discovered in practice what this means and how the RIHS research contributes to better healthcare.
Children could use a treasure hunt to find answers to questions such as: "Whose kidneys work best?" A) A baby, B) a toddler, C) a teenager, D) an adult. The correct answer: B. It brings the children to the stand of researchers from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, where the visitors are told about the effects of medicines on children.
 
Proud
"I look back with great pride on a successful Open Day," says Judith Prins, scientific director of the RIHS. It was a busy day, and all activities were well attended, including, for example, the mini-colleges and the children's colleges at the children's university. And everywhere I saw enthusiastic and passionate RIHS employees talking to the visitors about their research and I still get positive reactions from the participating researchers. "It was a fun day and it was great fun to give a busy mini lecture", says one of them. "It was great that we organized this beautiful Open Day together; I look forward to the next time!"
 
 
Link to photo impression
 
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