Tuesday 26 May 2020

The Wonders of the Brain at Science in the City

The European researchers’ Night 2016, Science in the City will be exploring the human brain with its emotions, senses and thought processes. It’s beauty, functions and scientific complexity will be expressed through art installations, exhibitions, theatre, and discussions with neuroscientists on Friday 30th September in Valletta. Activities start from 6pm and run until midnight.

On stage at Brain Square in St George’s Square, Dorian Cassar will host a brain show with themed music and talks by leading neuroscientists and neurosurgeons. The first talk will be by Dr Christian Zammit and Prof Mario Valentino who will discuss Stroke and our 3D brain, while Dr Charles Scerri will give a talk in Maltese called “Meta l-Moħħ jitlef ħinu”. Mr Ludvic Zrinzo will speak about the “Brains and their predictive powers” and Prof Giuseppe Di Giovanni will conclude with a talk on “From Marijuana to Depression”. Brain Square will be bursting with various interactive fun activities. Not to be missed.

At Malta Postal Museum (Archbishop Street), visitors will experience a sensory journey through an experimental performance called “(In) Visible” by USPA (University Students of Performing Arts Association). It is a collective performance which brings together artists from the University of Malta’s three performing arts departments: Theatre, Music and Dance Studies. Astronomers and star lovers can join the Youth For The Environment and Kids in Orbit, to see the stars and planets from the roof of the Malta Postal Museum.

Controversal debates by Malta Law Students Society and INSITE will touch on some important science aspects. They will run four debates on the hour between 7pm and 10pm at the National Library (Pjazza Regina). The debates tackle IVF; Euthanasia, Organ donation and overcoming mental illness.

Our brains curiously shape vision, sound and language to negotiate our daily environment. At Pjazza Regina (behind the cafes) linguists and cognitive scientists will perform some exciting experiments and interactive games. A visual arts installation will show how vision can effect hearing, also known as the McGurk effect. The project is a collaboration between the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences and the Institute of Linguistics at the University of Malta.

More brain games can be played at WasteServ’s stand in Ordinance Street. WasteServ will show us the science involved in recycling. Nearby, an Interactive Brain Area will bring Malta’s neurologists and neuroscientists, and biomedical engineers together to show experiments and the latest research. There will be exciting software at this stand. An eye gaze tracking app, a brain controlled robot and even an application that allows a person to type with their own eyes.

For a touch of comic relief, Malcolm Galea is organising Haha…Boom! – Stand Up meets Science…in the City! at The Pub in Archbishop Street. A night of science-inspired stand up, all themed around our amazing brains (despite genetics) by some of the funniest people on the island. The concept is inspired by UK’s Bright Club.

Science in the City festival celebrates European Researchers’ Night in a flurry of science, experiments, theatrical performances, explosions and so much more. During European Researchers’ Night over 300 cities in Europe join forces to honour the scientists who help make our lives so much more comfortable. In Malta, it is organised by the University of Malta, the Malta Chamber of Scientists, the University’s Research Trust (RIDT) together with a number of partners.

European Researchers Night 2016 Science in the City is mainly funded by the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (H2020, 2014–2020) by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and recognised as a Festival by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE). It is supported by the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth & Sport, University Research Trust (RIDT), Jugs Malta, Studio 7, MEUSAC, MCST, Valletta Local Council, MCAST, PBS, Notte Bianca, Spazju Kreattiv, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, and General Soft drinks with Coca Cola.

The programme can be viewed on www.scienceinthecity.org.mt or follow the festival on Facebook for regular updates: www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheCityMalta.


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