EC2U Science Battle owl with icons

EC2U Science Battle

Will Jena win the final trophy? Live show on 18 October 2023.
EC2U Science Battle owl with icons
Collage: Liana Franke, Adobe Stock, Turku University
What is a Science Battle?
Science Battle in Turku, Finland
Science Battle in Turku, Finland
Image: Hanna Oksanen
What is a Science Battle?

A Science BattleExternal link is a scientific competition: for the smartest solution, the best approach, the most entertaining explanation. It is a public display of how scientists tackle a new research question while also being creative and "thinking outside the box." The format was developed at the University of Turku (Finland) in 2016 and is now being expanded as a competition between the seven members of the European Campus of City Universities (EC2UExternal link) university alliance.

In 2021, Jena's EC2U partner universities Pavia (Italy), Poitiers (France) and Turku (Finland) competed against each other. Pavia won the Science Battle 2021. In 2022, the University of Jena competed with teams from Coimbra (Portugal), Iasi (Romania), Salamanca (Spain). In 2023, Jena will face Pavia in the final which will be held at Poitiers.

How does a Science Battle work?

In the third EC2U Science Battle, two teams of six researchers each from different disciplines will compete against each other. The teams are given the same question and a few minutes to solve it; then they must present their answer. The moderators talk to the team and the audience on site and online. As in a television show, the other six EC2U universities public viewing locations are connected via livestream.

The judges from Iasi, Pavia, Poitiers, Salamanca and Turku award points for quick wit, entertainment factor and logical reasoning. The audience awards additional points via clapping or online-vote.

Each team has three jokers: a phone call, an internet search or someone clever in the audience on site.

The Science Battle will be held in English.

On youtube you can watch the Science Battle 2021 as a full videoExternal link or check out the highlights on youtubeExternal link. You may watch the 2022 Science Battle on YouTubeExternal link .

Nominations wanted for our interdisciplinary team of scientists

Our team will be made up of experiences Science Battlers, i.e. some of the 2022 team (see below), and new members. Candidates may put their own name forward, others may be nominated as a favorite professor, smartest co-scientist or cleverest young researcher. Nominees should...

  • have a broad range of expertise,
  • think outside the box,
  • have fun solving tricky problems,
  • are able to explain things very well,
  • have a sense of humor and like to play,
  • speak English well,
  • want to win,
  • have time to attend the EC2U Forum in Poitiers (17-20 October 2023) on an EC2U travel grant) and
  • .... convince us of their enthusiasm!

Please nominate candidates until 30 June 2023 to Mention the full name, academic field and email address fo the nominee and give reasons for your nomination.

In July the Jena EC2U team of organizers will put together an interdisciplinary, diverse team from all those nominated. We will present the team here in September.

EC2U Science Battle 2022 TeamJena
EC2U Science Battle 2022 TeamJena
Collage: International Office
Your questions: what you have always wanted to know
Owl with EC2U logo
Owl with EC2U logo
Graphic: Collage: Liana Franke (Adobe Stock)

In the Science Battle, the teams solve questions from the audience. To get an idea of what kind of questions have made it into the last Science Battles, here are a few examples:

  • Why are stars and other celestial bodies like Earth almost round, but our solar system flat?
  • Is it ethically better to eat insects than meat?
  • Why do water pipes freeze faster when the frost subsides?
  • Why are humans so selfish?
  • How many balloons does it take to lift an 80kg person into the air?
  • How can we control the lack of oxygen in the Baltic Sea?
  • What is the decisive factor in the fight against cancer?
And which question will you ask the researchers?

Everyone can ask questions - the people in the Jena region as well as members of the Jena universities.

Please mail your questions (keyword "Science Battle") to by 9 September 2023.

Oh yes... and of course you had to be there to see if your question made it into the live show!

The 2023 Science Battle Live Show

When? on 18 October 2023, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Where? on site in Poitiers (France) or via YouTube.

Entry: free of charge!

Our Team: consists of six scientist of diverse dicsiplines and origin, see above.

Hosts: there will be a hosts from Poitiers and Jena taking you through the show

The Science Battle is in English.

Jena won the EC2U Science Battle 2022!

Researchers from the four European universities Jena, Coimbra (Portugal), Iasi (Romania) and Salamanca (Spain) battled against each other in a scientific competition, the Science Battle on 30 September 2022.External link

The Jena team has won and will meet the 2021 winner, Pavia (ITA), in the Science Battle 2023 in Potiers (FRA).

Watch the 2022 Science Battle on YouTubeExternal link.

The Jena Science Battle Team cheers The Jena Science Battle Team cheers Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

Impressions of the Science Battles in 2020 - 2022

Science Battle 2021 trophy and Turku stage
Science Battle 2021: The Trophy
Liisa Järvinnen in Turku shows us the EC2U Science Battle trophy.


Britta Salheiser, Dr
Internationales Büro
Britta Salheiser
Universitätshauptgebäude, Room 0.19
Fürstengraben 1
07743 Jena