Exactly 336 years ago, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was born in Gdańsk - a physicist and engineer, inventor of, among others, the mercury thermometer, creator of the world-famous temperature measurement scale, as well as the patron of the Fahrenheit Universities - which are co-created by the Gdańsk Medical University, the Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk. On the occasion of the anniversary of his birthday, the three leading universities in Gdańsk, together with the City of Gdańsk, are organising celebrations of Fahrenheit Day, a new science festival in the city. A special tram has just set off on Gdańsk tracks, a science picnic for the inhabitants will take place on Góra Gradowa next Sunday, and the Fahrenheit Scholarships are back in a new, broader version.  

'For many years we have been trying to maintain the memory of this outstanding scientist. In Gdańsk, there are many accents recalling the figure of Daniel Fahrenheit. These include a thermometer standing in Długi Targ Street or a plaque in his place of birth, at Ogarna Street. There is also a tram named after him and a play performed at the Miniatura Theatre. We are also glad that the Fahrenheit Universities, which is the association of the three biggest universities in Gdańsk, chose him as their patron,' - said Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk.

From Tuesday, May 24th, a specially wrapped tram will set off on tracks in Gdańsk. For the next year, it will promote the idea of integrating the leading Gdańsk universities whose patron is the famous Gdańsk-born scientist.

However, the tram is only one of the elements of the Fahrenheit Day celebrations. The Gdańsk Medical University, the Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk (Fahrenheit Universities - FarU) are organising accompanying events together with the City of Gdańsk and the Hevelianum.

Fahrenheit Day Celebrations. Student holiday and science picnic

Last weekend, students and residents could enjoy themselves at Plac Zebrań Ludowych during the Gdańsk Juwenalia 2022 - the biggest student festival in northern Poland - and enjoy attractions and scientific shows at the Fahrenheit Universities tent.

On Sunday, May 29, from 11 am to 6 pm, the Fahrenheit Science Picnic will take place, which is organised by the Fahrenheit Universities together with the City of Gdańsk on Góra Gradowa (Hevelianum Centre at ul. Gradowa 6). The event is open to the public and admission is free (except for the permanent exhibitions at the Hevelianum, which will be charged according to the price list).

- During the Picnic we will invite participants to discover science together through fun. There will be shows prepared by researchers, students and doctoral students of our three universities - said during the presentation of the tram of the Fahrenheit Universities, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, rector of the University of Gdańsk, who represented the FarU authorities (on behalf of other universities, the conference was attended by: prof. Michał Markuszewski, vice-rector of GUMed and prof. Dariusz Mikielewicz, vice-rector of PG).

More information about the Picnic and other initiatives related to Fahrenheit Day celebrations in Gdańsk can be found on the Fahrenheit Universities website -

The new version of the Fahrenheit Scholarship

Starting with the next edition, changes are planned in awarding the Daniel Fahrenheit Scholarship, funded by the Mayor of the City of Gdańsk. The scholarship has been in operation since 2005 and was established at the initiative of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz.

'It is a programme enabling gifted secondary school graduates from Gdańsk to go to universities abroad. So far, we have spent over PLN 15.5 million on the scholarship programme, and this amount has made it possible to award as many as 436 scholarships to 150 people. Today, however, we think of Gdańsk as a place that should attract students instead of sending them to other countries. That is why next year we want to slightly change the formula of the scholarship,' - stressed Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk.

The new project of the scholarship was created in agreement with Fahrenheit Universities and it will be put to a vote during one of the next sessions of the Gdańsk City Council.

'The new formula of the scholarship programme of the President of the City of Gdańsk for students and doctoral students assumes awarding one scholarship for an outstandingly talented person to start studies abroad worth from PLN 3 to 6 thousand monthly,' - said at the press conference prof. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska, the director of Fahrenheit Universities, who co-created the new scholarship project. - 'Other changes include granting flats and scientific scholarships worth up to PLN 6.5 thousand a month to three foreign doctoral students who will continue their studies in Gdańsk. The last assumption is to fund at least ten one-off scientific scholarships for special activities for Gdańsk, which will amount from PLN 10 to 20 thousand.'

Universities and the City of Gdańsk remember Fahrenheit

The tram presented today is not the first one connected with the figure of the famous physicist. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit is the patron of Pesa Swing tram no. 1015. In 2008 Fahrenheit's meteorological column was unveiled in Długi Targ, and in the place of his birth at ul. Ogarna 95 there is a plaque dedicated to him. The establishment of the Fahrenheit Universities, in turn, is a reference to several hundred years of scientific traditions in Gdańsk, which are created and continued by Gdańsk universities.

Primary School No 88 in Gdańsk Świbno is also named after Daniel Fahrenheit, and the scientist is also the patron of one of the roofed courtyards of the Main Building of the Gdańsk University of Technology. In turn, Fahrenheit Street runs near the Medical University of Gdańsk, and the Fahrenheit Hotel is located on Grodzka Street. The creator of the thermometer is even the patron of one of the carillon bells in the Main Town Hall.

Fahrenheit Universities, i.e. Gdańsk universities join forces

The Daniel Fahrenheit Association of Universities in Gdańsk (now: Fahrenheit Universities) was established in the autumn of 2020 on the joint motion of the rectors of the Medical University of Gdańsk, the Gdańsk University of Technology and the University of Gdańsk.

Its most important task is to promote the image of Gdańsk as a strong academic centre, as well as to make the best use of the resources and potential of the three universities that comprise it by, among other things, conducting joint scientific research and development work, common promotion and ranking policy in Poland and internationally, and representing the common interests of the universities vis-à-vis state administration, local government and legislative initiatives.

Thanks to the possible future federation of the universities, Gdańsk would become one of the strongest academic centres in this part of Europe.

Photos by Krzysztof Krzempek/PG
Maciej Dzwonnik/PG