– a festival of science, research and art in Valletta
Science is fun, exciting and increasingly relevant in our daily lives. This is the message that will be conveyed during the first edition of Science in the City, on the evening of Friday 28 September, from 6pm onwards. Science in the City forms part of the pan-European event called Researchers’ Night. The public is invited to participate in several innovative and entertaining activities of science-inspired art, theatre, and music.
The activities will take place in Valletta, running from St. James Cavalier, through Merchant Street, past St John’s Co-Cathedral, into Republic Street, into St. George’s Square (Palace Square) and including the Chamber of Commerce.
This was announced by Professor Alex Felice, Project Coordinator Science in the City Festival, during a press conference. Prof Felice said: “Science in the City is the first science and art festival to be held in Malta. For this evening, we are inviting children, young people and all the family to come to Valletta, meet scientists from the University of Malta as well as artists inspired by science, and participate in science-related activities in a fun and relaxed environment.”
“This series of activities is an opportunity to meet scientists and researchers and get to know what they are up to in their labs. Very few Maltese know what type of interesting and worthwhile research is being carried out in Malta and how this research can actually improve the quality of our lives and that of future generations,” continued Prof Felice
Wilfred Kenely, Chief Executive of the University’s Research Innovation and Development Trust, said: “This activity will also give us an opportunity to promote the newly set up Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT). As from this year, the University is seeking additional funds to expand its research studies. For research to prosper, we need the support of companies, institutions and private individuals. For this purpose, Science in the City will highlight the value and usefulness of science and research.”
Dr Edward Duca, Project Manager for Science in the City and Dr Alexiei Dingli, Valletta Local Council Mayor also addressed the press conference, which was attended by representatives from the partners involved in the project.
Science in the City festival is supported by the EU FP7 Programme and the Malta Arts Fund. The event is coordinated by The University of Malta, in partnership with the Valletta Local Council, MEUSAC, Malta Council for Science and Technology, Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Where’s Everybody, Malta Chamber of Scientists, Notte Bianca, iCreatemotion, Lily Agius Gallery, St James Cavalier and the University’s Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT).
The Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide event bringing together the public and researchers every year on the fourth Friday of September. It is becoming one of the EU’s most popular initiatives, aimed at the general public, especially families, young people and those who might not see themselves as science fans.
Science in the City will feature over 20 events in 14 different venues in Valletta celebrating science in an enjoyable and relaxed way. The main activity will be a live science TV show at St George’s Square, hosted by Pawlu Borg Bonaci, revealing researchers, live experiments, and packed with entertainment for all the family.
At St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, there will be a collective exhibition by Maltese artists called ‘How?’, a science film festival, Malta Café Scientifique talk, and a piano recital. St James Cavalier will be transformed into a science discovery centre until 28 October 2012.
At Palazzo Ferreria, the Malta Association for Contemporary Music is coordinating a 20 minute performance (repeated at 8pm, 9pm and 10.30pm) featuring flute and live electronics by musicians from the Music Conservatory of Venice.
Some witty science-based street art and installations will be reaching out to pedestrians along Merchant Street and Republic Street. These include ‘Joyride’ by Emmanuel Bonnici, six-foot high ‘Humanised Fruit Flies’ by Liliana Fleri Soler, a sculpture inspired by DNA called ‘You are the staircase’ by Norbert Francis Attard, and a hanging sculpture ‘Cortex’ by Raphael Vella. In Strait Street, Chris Briffa will be installing an echo free room, an experience not to be missed.
At the King’s Own Band Club, visitors have a chance to meet scientists and discuss research over a drink. MEUSAC and the Auberge d’Italie are hosting an EU Corner with shows and fun activities for children. MCST is holding interactive science exhibits and live science shows with experiments at the Central Bank car park area. Families will also be treated to a science-themed carnival parade ‘Maskri Grotteski’ along Valletta main streets, while various university student groups will give fun science demonstrations for all to enjoy.
RIDT has been set up by the University of Malta in 2011 to create a supporting structure that sustains and expands research through additional funds that supplement the existing resources. RIDT will be present at the courtyard of the Malta Chamber of Commerce in an audiovisual exhibit highlighting the Trust’s role.