Researchers' Night Festival is the largest series of events that popularize science in Estonia and Baltic states. In 2021 the 16th Researchers' Night Festival will take place. The main organizer of the event is Science Centre AHHAA.
In 2005 at the initiative of the European Commission, Researchers' Night, a pan-European event, took place on the last Friday in September to present the latest scientific achievements to a wider audience, to show how much science intertwines with our daily lives and to ignite young people's passion towards science.
In Estonia, the Researchers' festival originally took place in two formats: a multi-day Science festival in Tartu and an all-Estonian Researchers' Night on Friday. Since 2012, the event has been called the Researchers' Night Festival, and the share of events that take place outside Friday has increased. In 2016 a special program for schools was added to the festival’s program, which includes simple but effective research experiments and workshops that can be conducted during school hours.
The festival program includes such traditional audience favorites as science cafés, cinema screenings, laboratory excursions, discussions and workshops, but every year the audience is surprised by something completely new. For example, in 2014 the festival hosted the first Estonian DIY fair Tartu Mini Maker Faire, in 2015 - the international science theater competition Science Show International Cup, in 2016 - the science communication competition FameLab and in 2017 - “Robolahing”, or battles among robots took place for the first time.
In 2019, nearly 500 events took place across Estonia under the auspices of the Researchers' Night Festival.