Is it possible to talk about fusion and science in the middle of a youth music festival? Young Hungarian fusion scientists think that the answer is definitely yes. That is why for the last 4 years they have been attending the “Sziget” (Island in Hungarian) Festival which celebrated its 15th Anniversary last year. Evolved from a local event into one of the major international musical and cultural festivals in Europe, Sziget has today a reserved place in the Summer calendar of many young European people.

It is hard to define what makes the Sziget extraordinary among the many music festivals around Europe, but its atmosphere is surely unique. It might come partly from the locale itself, since it is organised on an island of the Danube in the heart of Budapest. Or partly from the programme since besides concerts in all music styles there are movies, performances, talks, dances, etc., all together more than a 1000 events. But the ambience is made mostly by the people attending the festival who come from all over Europe; this year 371000 visitors per day attended a week-long fiesta.

One unique feature of this festival is the Civilian Island, a separated place in the area where non-profit organisations can introduce themselves and their activities. Since 1999 the FINE (Youth for Nuclear Energetics), the youth section of the Hungarian Nuclear Society has been pitching a tent and providing information about nuclear energy. In 2005 PhD students from the Hungarian Euratom Association HAS joined the work to show a possible future of nuclear technology.

“In the young generation there is a well observable demand for information about the latest results of research including fusion” – explains Dániel Dunai, a young fusion scientist of HAS who attended the event. “This year about 1000 young people participated in the program. Our visitors filled out a test with the help of a fusion brochure, which then was corrected and explained by an expert. The questions were designed to give a short introduction on matters from fusion reaction to the future reactor, and pointed to the importance of ITER and its European site. Many young teachers also visited our tent and received information materials. The informal discussion we had with our visitors proved to be a very effective tool in disseminating information on fusion”- he adds.