Author: Barry Green
The Fusion Expo, the travelling exhibition on fusion energy and fusion research, has been on the road for many years now, and is currently being managed by Consorzio RFX in Padova, Italy. Over the years, it has proven to be a very successful tool in communicating fusion research across Europe. In December 2005, the Fusion Expo visited Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, where at the same time the conference “Fusion investigations in Lithuania and neighbouring countries” was being held with participants from Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Latvia, the Ukraine and Estonia.

The Lithuanian Fusion Expo was set up as an educational event with a special attendance schedule for high schools that had been prepared by the Ministry of Education. As a result, more than 14,000 high school students and teachers from Vilnius and the nearby region attended the exhibition. This resulted in a large demand for fusion booklets in Lithuanian and fusion cdroms, which were both provided by the European Commission. Furthermore, a special “Teachers’ Day” was organised with the aim to get Lithuania’s physics and natural sciences teachers interested in fusion research and encourage them to include fusion in their lessons – and thereby stimulate students to get involved in the fusion research program. After becoming a new member state of the European Union in May 2004, Lithuania has started its involvement in the European fusion research programme. The Fusion Expo and the Conference, which was organised by the Lithuanian Academy of Science (LAS), the Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) and the V.G. Baryakhtar Fund of International Science Support (VGBFISS), provided a good opportunity to enhance cooperation.