The international Microorganism Day is relatively new. It was established by the Portuguese Society for Microbiology but has quickly become adopted worldwide and is now observed by UNESCO. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of microbiology among young people and society in general.
There are several physical events taking place but the majority of the activity will be online via the hashtag #InternationalMicroorganismDay. There are already discussions, examples of fascinating research and art!
That’s right, art! FEMS is hosting a microbial art contest to support International Microorganism Day. Submission is ongoing until 12 September and all you have to do is submit your photo/video/Haiku to the hashtags #InternationalMicroorganismDay and #MicrobeArt2019. The rules and concept of competition are by Lidiya Angelova (FEMS Journal Social Media Editor).
Here are more detailed instructions on how to participate:
Photos and images must be in JPG format with resolution no less than 300dpi
Essays and poems must be about 360 words maximum, as the whole text must be visible in one smartphone screenshot
Videos must be in MP4 format and up to 1 minute in length
Post your creation on social media and tag one of our social media accounts (or all three!), and include hashtags #MicrobeArt2019 and #InternationalMicroorganismDay:
Also please also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your involvement in the competition.
You may be wondering what is the significance of the 17 September for microbiologists. Well it was the date in 1963 that the Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek sent his letter to the Royal Society of London describing the first observation of a single celled organism. What better way to honour this pioneer of microbiology who made hundreds of discoveries as well as developed the first microscopes to explore the microbial world.
There are lots of physical events taking place this year, and hopefully more next year. Take a look for inspiration of what kinds of events you could host in your town. There are open experiments, workshops, microbial product tastings and much more. The majority of the events are in Portugal where the day was founded but as you can see by the list, the number is growing.
If you’d like to support the event please have a look at the social media accounts for International Microorganism Day all of which are @IntMicroDay. Here they will be posting microbial art, information about events and the people involved.