Academia Senior visits INL

June 13, 2024

Last week, on June 4th, INL had a special visit from the “Academia Sénior” of Braga*. A total of 26 students, the oldest one being 90 years old, walked through the corridors of INL to learn about our short institutional history and the meaning of the famous phrase “There’s plenty of room at the bottom” from Dr. Richard Feynman.

During their visit to INL, as part of their course “Memoirs and Autobiographies”, the beloved visitors had the opportunity to learn about the nanoscience behind both, technologies under development as well as existing technologies that are already touching people’s day-to-day activities. As our society embraces technological advancements, it is essential to recognise that curiosity knows no age limits. Elderly individuals remain keenly interested in new technologies and equipment, appreciating their potential towards new discoveries, to enhance quality of life and foster connections. As taxpayers, they have a right to transparency—understanding how investments in these innovations are made.

Aiming to extend inclusiveness beyond the workforce, this visit reinforces the responsibility to open science to everyone, including those who have retired but still seek engagement and learning opportunities. This ensures that technological progress benefits all, regardless of age, promoting lifelong learning and active participation.

*The “Academia Senior” is a social and educational project sponsored by the city of Braga, Portugal, targeting local residents aged 55 and older who are retired or nearing retirement, aiming to enhance their quality of life by stimulating them intellectually and physically.

Text by Mariam Debs; Photography by Catarina Moura