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An informative quiz night about cancer

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Publié le jeudi 29 avril 2021

On 23-25 April 2021, an interdisciplinary team of scientists in Luxembourg invited the public to participate in three interactive online quizzes around the topic of cancer. Participants learned more about different risk factors, prevention and treatment in an entertaining and informal way. Even mummies played a role.

For each evening, the team invited a cancer scientist to share her/his expert knowledge: Prof. Dr. Simone Niclou from the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Prof. Dr. Iris Behrmann from the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine (DLSM) of the University of Luxembourg as well as Prof. Dr. Guy Berchem from the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) and the LIH. But first the audience had to answer 17 questions related to cancer. Each question was followed by a short explanation and some additional information around the topic, spiced up by stories and anecdotes from the speakers. Finally, there was some time for questions from the audience. As confirmed by a short evaluation, everyone learned something new during the quiz night.

„Danke euch für die interessanten Fragen und die vielen Infos! Viel gelernt heute :)” (Martina)

„We had a family gathering for today. Although I could not translate everythıng, they enjoyed really much! Thank you!!” (Pelin)

Inspired by the Astigmath game of the Department of Mathematics, the quiz team found a way to transform the originally planned information booth during a charity run for breast cancer awareness (which could not take place due to the pandemic) into an interactive and educative outreach activity that could take place online.

The people behind the quiz

Eight doctoral candidates from various research backgrounds were involved in the organisation of the quiz. Three of them even tested their quiz-master skills by moderating the live quizzes: Rutuja Bhusari from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Rebecca Czolk from LIH as well as Angela Odero from the Department of Social Sciences of the University. Yang Zhou and Pelin Kaya were mainly involved in fact-checking, whereas Yahaya Abubakar Yabo, Polina Pavlikova and Begoña Talavera Andújar searched and created illustrations for each of the questions. The outreach activity was organised by Nicole Paschek, Project Manager of Doctoral Education in Science Communication (DESCOM), and Dr. Elisabeth Schaffner-Reckinger, research scientist from the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine (DLSM).

And what do mummies have to do with it?

They indicate what an ancient disease cancer is. Despite often being perceived as a disease of modern societies, evidence for cancer patients actually dates back to Egyptian mummies and archeological findings from around 1200 BC. All scientific sources used to prepare and back up the information provided in the quiz, including the question on how old cancer is, can be found behind this website.

You missed the quiz but want to play?

You can still play the cancer quiz. Following the feedback from the audience, the quiz used in the live sessions has been made public for e. g. teachers who want to play it with their class (English, French, German).  For single-players it is recommended to play the previously published cancer quiz, which also includes slides with explanations (English, French, German).


The quiz was organised within the framework of the DESCOM (Doctoral Education in Science Communication) project and supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). It was also supported by the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) of the University of Luxembourg as well as the LIH and LIST.