Participants at last year’s Science in the City. Photo credit: Daniel Mifsud
This year’s Science in the City festival, which will be held on 29 September between 18:00 and midnight, will include a newly expanded Health Area, featuring research from the University of Malta, various health checks to help you get to know your body, as well as a glimpse into the future of healthcare in the information age.
The corner of St John’s Street and Republic Street will be dominated by a large hologram installation set up by a group of MCAST students, complementing other high tech features elsewhere at the festival. Reflecting the trend that technology and healthcare are becoming more and more intertwined, a large part of the hologram footage on display has been contributed by researchers at the University of Malta who will be meeting the public along St John’s Street to explain their research tackling a wide range of diseases.
Other organisations are coming to Science in the City as well, with the Malta Chamber of Pharmacists focusing on patient centred technology such as smartphone apps for vaccinations alongside research into how the genome can affect people’s responses to drugs. The National Alliance for Rare Diseases Support – Malta will have a stand to raise awareness of conditions that might get overlooked.
The contribution of further research groups from the University of Malta will underpin these topics with more science. In a stand organised by Prof. Alex Felice and Dr Joseph Borg from the Faculties of Medicine and Surgery, and Health Science, citizens will be able to find out more about rare blood disorders and be shown how to extract DNA from cells. Visitors can even browse the human genome and identify how changes in DNA can be analysed afterwards and linked to disease.
Other participants will bring the more practical side of healthcare to the festival. Based in St John’s Street and inside Casino Maltese, different areas of medicine will be covered, showcasing equipment from commonplace items we should probably learn more about (such as defibrillators) all the way to some far less familiar specialist appliances that are used in audiology or even podiatry. Did you know that thermal cameras and equipment for pressure mapping can be used to study your feet? If you spend some time here, you will certainly know your body better than before!
Bridging the way between Casino Maltese and St George’s Square, a few student organisations will bring even more hands on experiments and games to the area, rounding off an insight into the different facets of healthcare, viewed from many different angles.
The Science in the City—European Researchers’ Night festival, is organised by the University of Malta, the Research Trust of the University of Malta and the Malta Chamber of Scientists together with a large number of partners. It is 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 Ministry for Education and Employment, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, and a number of corporate sponsors.