Science in the City 2020 launched its call for proposals for creatives to bring the theme Engage, Empower, Enable to life by engaging citizens innovatively and creatively.
The festival team is looking for ideas by 16 December 2019 that use research from Malta to inspire them. The chosen proposals will be part of the Science in the City Festival in Valletta on the 25th September 2020. As part of the European Researchers’ Night, participants will also join the huge European family of the science engagement festivities that happen in over 350 cities throughout Europe, on the same night.
The festival’s aim has been to engage people emotionally and intellectually through science and the arts for the past nine years. But the festival has done more than that; it has always introduced creativity, critique and analysis. It wants to continue introducing the trend of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) among researchers, involving citizens in the whole research and innovation process.
Dr Edward Duca, festival coordinator, explains that “RRI is about bringing industry, government, citizens, NGOs and researchers together to address the issues and needs of society. For this to be adopted, we need to develop better critical thinking skills across the board. These skills, make reflected, intentional change possible. This is true in whatever domain it takes place, from the arts and science to politics and ethics”.
“Traditionally, schools have focused on teaching how to retain facts and figures. Today, we have all the facts we can ever think of at our fingertips. What we really need for our collective growth and future survival is to take those facts and figures and analyse them, while being creative and innovative. Expanding our knowledge through research, then taking that research and innovation and helping them infiltrate and enhance our economy and society. This is why the 2020 Festival’s theme is Engage, Empower, Enable.”
The ideas submitted for the fund, should encourage curiosity, nurture creativity, empower and enable independence. The art installations, performances and other activities should work towards stimulating festival visitors’ thoughts to develop effective critical thinking skills. Thought provoking ideas should focus on research and give the audience the chance to experiment, using a variety of materials and media, urging them to engage in artistic and experimental activities.
Karen Fiorini, Manager, Science in the City, added: “our society needs to make critical, well-informed decisions if it is to grow and prosper. If we succeed in getting society to think independently, we’ve given them a gift for life”.
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