Lights, Plants, Action!

Are you a student between 14 and 20 years old? Do you want to take part in an international scientific meeting, an artistic performance and a science outreach video? If so, this is your chance!

Lights, Plants, Action! is a contest among young students who are curious about Plant Science. The winners of the contest will be invited to attend a poster session of the International Symposium on Plant Photobiology (ISPP2019) on the afternoon of the 5th or the 7th of June and will have the chance to ask a question to one of the international researchers attending the conference in Barcelona. The questions asked by the students and the answers from the researchers will form an audiovisual which will be distributed worldwide. But there is more!

During the ISPP2019 meeting, 4 students from the BAU Design College of Barcelona will create a mural installation inspired in the ISPP2019 topics with material experimentation process. This creative process will be the background for the Q&A of the young students and the researchers. BAU students will also coordinate the audiovisual recording of the interviews and the evolution of the mural, creating an audiovisual piece that gathers the experiences around the mural and the congress.

All this will happen in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), which is located between the Olympic Port and the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, right in front of the beach!

How to participate? Step-by-step

1) Read the information on Plant Photobiology you will find in this page. Think about a question(s) that you would like to post to one of the researchers attending the conference. The question might be as broad as you want, addressing scientific careers, or any curiosity that you might have!
2) Register yourself through this form: before the 19th of May.
3) Some of the selected students will be invited to visit the the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), at the Campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on the 21st of May afternoon. In there you will learn about science and plant biology, and we will do a casting! If you cannot make it that day, it is not a problem.
4) On the 20th of May we will contact the winners, who will be invited to come to the ISPP2019 meeting on the 5th or 7th of June. In there, the winners will ask their questions to the researchers, will appear in the audiovisual, will enjoy the artistic performance and will get a special t-shirt! The ISPP2019 takes place at the PRBB in Barcelona.
5) We will get back to you once the audiovisual is launched, so you can share it with your friends and family!

Do you still have questions? Read the FAQs, and if you do not find your answer, contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Can I come to the CRAG or the ISPP219 with someone else? A teacher, a parent?
Yes, you are the protagonist, but we will also welcome your accompanying person.
2) What happens if I cannot come to CRAG on the proposed date?
We want to get to know you before deciding the finalists. If you cannot make it, we will try to arrange a phone call with you.
3) I am under 18 years-old. Do I need an authorization from my parents/legal tutors to participate?
You will need it to participate in the casting. If you are pre-selected, we will email you an authorization from which will need to be signed by your parents/legal tutors.
4) Where is the CRAG? How can I go there?
CRAG is located in the Campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. It can be easily reached by the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC). You can locate it here:

About Plant Photobiology

Food, feed, fiber, fuel, medicines, biochemicals..., our life depends on plants in a myriad of ways. And plants need sunlight to feed and grow. Without light, the photosynthesis, the reaction by which the plant chloroplasts convert atmospheric CO2 and water into sugars and oxygen, cannot take place. Thus, light and plants put the life in our planet in action!

To gain information about the light in their environment, plants possess light receptors that cover the perception of the complete light spectrum, including light invisible for the human eye (far-red and ultra-violet light). The information sensed by these light receptors tells the plants if they have other neighbour plants nearby, what time of the day it is and what season it is, and they use this information to decide how much to grow, what shape to have, how much “sunscreen” to produce, how to prevent stress, and many more! Plant photobiology research focuses on the perception of light by plants, the developmental adaptations that a changing light environment causes and the mechanistic and genetic basis of these adaptations.

As researchers discover more details on plant biology, new questions arise: How is climate change affecting plants? What is the effect of intense light on plants? Can we control plant shape? The researchers attending the ISPP2019 meeting are trying to answer these and other questions regarding plant photobiology.

Are you curious about science and scientists? Would you like to be a scientist and would like to learn more about life as a scientist? Did you think plants are boring but now you are not sure? Meet some of the scientists below, and ask them your own questions!

The project Lights, Plants, Action! aims to improve the knowledge on plant science in the general public, with an emphasis on the young. It is an initiative of the CSIC researcher at CRAG Elena Monte (also in the organizing committee of the ISPP2019) and the communicator Zoila Babot. This project is supported by the Fundación General del CSIC trough the “Cuenta la Ciencia” call.
Sponsored by: