Pictured above: Prof Alex Felice, V18 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef, RIDT CEO Wilfred Kenely and Science in the City Project Manager Dr Edward Duca during the launch of Science in the City 2014.
Do you want to know about some unusual and bizarre medical practices? Do you want to know what fantastical technologies dreamt by science fiction writers and inventors are becoming part of today’s world? Do you want to try your hands dirty with some experiments? Get to meet researchers, see new technologies and experience their fusion with art at the Science in the City festival.
The science and art festival will take place on Friday 26September from 6pm onwards until midnight. The main part of the activities will be spread along Republic Street – from City Entrance to St. George’s Square – and at other centrally located venues. It is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the Horizon 2020 Program of the EU, and a number of corporate sponsors.
The exciting festival programme, organised by the University of Malta, the Research Trust of the University of Malta (RIDT) and the Malta Chamber of Scientists together with a consortium of consultants, beneficiaries and participants, was presented today (3 September) to the media at Valletta Campus.
“A wide range of formats are being organised – both indoor and outdoor activities, from exhibitions and art installations, to shows, theatre, debates, hands-on experiments, and interactive activities that encourage creative science communication and opportunities for fun and learning,” said Professor Alex Felice, Project Coordinator. “Through a collective effort, we want to give exposure to research activities, the researchers and how their work is affecting our lives.”
“RIDT has been actively involved in the Science in the City since the first edition three years ago,” said Wilfred Kenely, RIDT’s CEO. “The festival shows a collaborative effort between researchers and performers who together present outstanding work making it a memorable night which is fun, interactive and free. Science in the City highlights local and international research, and shows why private individuals and corporations need to further invest in research and development in Malta.”
Highlights from the Festival Programme
The new formats planned this year include an exceptional theatrical piece played by The Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Tim Hardy in The Trials of Galileo, and presented by Icarus Theatre Collective. After a successful tour of the US, a sold out run at the Brighton Fringe Festival and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, and just recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Trials of Galileo will be performed at The Palace Courtyard with the support of the British Council (Malta).
Another item of interest in the same place is a 2014 theatrical piece entitled L’Uomo che pesò il mondo by Nuove Cosmogonie Teatro. This is part of a new series of acts themed on il fisico in teatro that unite accurate historical and scientific research to a more playful theatrical languge.
Planes and mazes will be coming to Palace Square. Lufthansa Technik will be showing various parts of an aircraft, together with a model aircraft. Enter Amaze2 and experience the particle accelerator at CERN, X-Ray Crystallography, making your own music with plants, the weather and much more. The installation has been designed by Logix Creative and Daaa Haus for Science in the City, Valletta 2018 Foundation and Notte Bianca.
Along Republic Street, STEM unplugged with the participation of all science-related student organisations at University are bringing health checks, experiments and activities. Creative Island street performers, supported by Malta Arts Fund, will hold a travelling medicine show, staging vintage style entertainment. A treasure hunt will kick off from St James Cavalier, encouraging participants to search for famous scientists.
Another exciting event that will pique the interest of festival goers will be at Casino Maltese, with science fiction and Mars exploration talks at the EU Corner organised by the University of Malta library. Highlights from this year’s Café Sci will come to 282 Coffee Garden with topics from research on aspirin to kitchen science. Debates on controversial topics on the cutting edge of science will be held at the Palazzo Ferreira, while the National Museum of Archaeology will run an interactive area and a series of short talks on how science and technology are vital to learn about our past.
A learning and fun environment for everyone
Building on the scale of previous editions, Science in the City 2014 will once again be peppered with short theatrical and dance performances, including the participation of Moveo Dance Company in Mind Set at St James Cavalier with the support of Malta Arts Fund, a contemporary piece on Laws of Motion by Doug Comley and Sandra Mifsud at Palace Square, and a science stand up comedy by some of the best comedians in front of the Law Courts.
A fun face-to-face Speed Dating with scientists will be held at Charles Grech Wine Bar offering people of all ages the opportunity to ask questions over seven minutes before moving on at the ring of a bell.
The Institute of Digital Games will be bringing innovative digital games to the Reading Rooms of the National Library and visitors will be able to play games and talk to game researchers.
Meanwhile, ICT will not be missing from this year’s festival. At the La Vallette band club, a “History of Computing Exhibition” will give the public a chance to explore how computers have changed over the last few decades.
At the Ministry for Health in Merchants Street, forensic scientists in collaboration with Għana folk singers and directed by Marlene Mifsud Chircop will present Folk Forensics, an evening of ballads related to crime stories in Malta.
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Other participating organisations include MCST, MCAST, NSTF, Birdlife, UoM Racing Car, University Library and General Soft Drinks.
The corporate sponsors for the 2014 festival are Lufthansa Technik Malta, Coca-Cola and Ta’ Mena wines
The full programme and venue details can be downloaded next week from www.scienceinthecity.org.mt
The Science in the City has become a standout calendar event in Malta for its ability to draw attendees from all age groups. With a wide range of activities on offer and scores of learning opportunities, the 2014 edition is expected to attract families, students and adults to engage, educate and entertain.