The Science in the City festival (European Researchers’ Night) has just launched its 2019 programme, centered around the theme: The Science of YOU. It will present Malta’s leading scientists, artists and influential thinkers – who will bring science and the arts to life on the 27 September between 18:00 and midnight. The festival has changed location from Republic Street to Triton Fountain, Castille Square and City Gate.
The 2019 line-up features diverse activities spanning musical and theatrical performances, dance, exhibitions, science spectacles and more. Returning acts include crowd favourites like science shows, tonnes of hands-on experiments, drones, robots, and endless hours of fun, quirkiness and edutainment.
This year, the festival is celebrating everything about YOUl! With one-off acts that include measuring your creativity in a jazz jamming session, dancing to raise awareness about neurodiversity, a performance about bats where you get to decide their fate, a digital area full of AR and VR experiences and new digital games created solely for the festival, a treasure hunt and 'Spherical', a 4m high illuminated glass installation by Louis Briffa reflecting Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Cloud Computing, Blockchain and Nanotechnology. This and the hundreds of people who come together to create this unique experience, are the foundation of the festival. Researchers, scientists-in-the-making, families, youngsters, artists and innovators are the building blocks of this incredible event, and we would not be able to create such an awe-inspiring experience without their help.
In a press conference at MUŻA which launched the festival’s campaign, Manager for Diagnostic Science Laboratories at MUŻA Matthew Grima welcomed the guests to the beautiful courtyard. He announced the activity being set up by Heritage Malta on the night, 'Art Detectives', where the audience will learn about 'non-invasive analysis, pigment analysis, and dating for purposes of authentication to reveal hidden information. Citizens will be trained to investigate the truth behind the paint.'
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri praised the initiative and reiterated Government’s commitment and efforts to bring science closer to citizens.
'This year’s theme, The Science of YOU, resonates with the time we are living in. In view of the changes happening and the circumstances befalling before our own eyes, we, as individuals are becoming more conscious of doing our part, and as little as that might be, we can still make a difference. Since research is important, as a Government we have sought to allocate €2.4 million to further enhance research and innovation,' said Schembri.
Dr Edward Duca, Festival Manager, spoke about the increasing importance of science communication and how each activity at the festival has evolved around the concept of breaking the age-old tradition of the elite male scientist, imparting knowledge to the layperson, 'Public engagement is now expected to be about science as an open, democratic process – something shaped by professionals, but led by citizens'.
Dr Duca also revealed that this year, Science in the City will be taking a different route. Triton Square will be awash with activities of all kinds. Sports and science will usher people through City Gate into Freedom Square. The festival will then sneak up Ordinance Street and through Spazju Kreattiv, to De Valette Square and once again spread onto Castille Square, spilling into MUŻA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Merchant Street.
Triton Square will host interactive activities related to health, and digital sciences, but will also house the largest stage of the festival. On the Stages, magician Gwilym Bugeja, will present his magic show on 'Communication, Psychology & Subconscious Influences', these are all things that marketers use to promote their product and services to YOU. He will break down these marketing principles and explain them through magic. Esplora will stage 'Body Wonders' to uncover all the nasty truths about YOUR digestive system. WARNING: This show will definitely make you giggle. Moveo Dance Company will launch 'Diversely Typical', a crowdfunded performance, to raise awareness about the behaviours of people with neurological disorders. Also, on the main stage, the children of Zebbug Primary, with the guidance of More or Less Theatre and the scientific input of Ing. Anthea Agius Anastasi and Ing. Mary Grace Micallef, will perform their theatrical piece, 'What Superheroes are made of”. This play funded by Kreattiv explains the properties of materials through the actors’ gregarious personalities and brave endeavours.
The consortium is led by the University of Malta, Malta Chamber of Scientists and the University’s Research Trust (RIDT), in partnership with Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Ministry of Education and Employment, MCAST, Esplora, JUGS Ltd, Studio 7, BPC International, GSD Marketing Ltd, Aquabiotech Ltd, MEUSAC, PBS, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta Local Council, Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector, Small Initiatives Support Scheme, More or Less Theatre, Transport Malta, Kreattiv and Creative Community funds, and Arts Council Malta.
Follow the festival on Facebook and check out the full programme on the website.