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Paula Havaste

Paula Valpuri Havaste (née  Aho)
Born April 15, 1962, Rovaniemi

Master of Arts, 1989 and Licentiate of Philosophy (Finnish Literature), 1991, University of Helsinki
Doctor of Philosophy, 1998, University of Oulu

Programme Director and Events manager 2004-, Heureka Science Park
Assistant, 1990-96, Department of Finnish Literature, University of Helsinki
Publicist, 1997-2004, Finnish National Theatre

Awards and current positions of trust
Kalle Päätalo Award 2004
Laila Hirvisaari Award 2004
Konstiniekka Cultural Award, Nurmijärvi Municipality 2012
Deputy chair, Tieteen tiedotus ry (’Publicising science’)
Board member, Lauri Jäntti Foundation
Board member, Union of Finnish Writers
Member, literature division, Alfred Kordelin Foundation

Photo: Marek Sabogal
Written by Paula Havaste
Translated by John Calton

Something we can all be interested in

Science belongs to me, and you. Science challenges and enthuses, offering thrills and discoveries.  This is what in the Heureka Science Park share each year with some 300,000 visitors. The huge visitor figures is proof positive of the strong ties Finns have with science. Families, school groups, circles of friends – they all come to the Science Park in their leisure time, and pick up something new. Some want to understand and reflect on the principles of scientific method, others to set their children on a scientific path, and still others are just fascinated by the equipment. The common denominator is however that we all think science is important.

In my work as events manager I have seen for myself how keen our visitors are to try things out, whether it’s a hands-on exhibit in an exhibition or a workshop event. Experiencing science, the joy of discovery, is what Heureka is all about. Finns recoginse the importance of science and understand its role in our daily life, be it a flight on a passenger plane, a brain scan or storing solar energy. The strong link to science can be seen in the appreciation of books.

Apart from my day job as events manager I am also an author. The bulk of my free time goes to writing, and my research background comes in handy here. The facts always come first, no matter whether it’s a book about folkloristics or historical novels. My stories are steeped in information about the past or contemporary attitudes and beliefs, information gleaned from archives, libraries and interviews. I’m always on the look-out for new ideas to satisfy my curiosity. It’s a sure formula for engaging the readers. Literature is one way of reminding ourselves what a great thing the pursuit of new knowledge can be.

Photo: Siina Vasama.​
Photo: Siina Vasama.​


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