Scientifica 23: What holds the world together

Scientifica, Switzerland’s largest science festival, starts on 26 August. Organised by ETH, the University of Zurich (UZH) and the City of Zurich, the festival includes interactive exhibition booths, shows and workshops giving visitors the chance to experience science first hand and talk to researchers in person. Free tickets are available now.

Under the motto "What holds the world together", ETH, UZH and the City of Zurich are inviting everyone along to Switzerland’s largest science festival. Whether a spectacular drone show, a panel discussion with a former NASA director and an astronaut, or workshops on how to manage conflicts more effectively and reach joint decisions - all this and much more awaits visitors to this year’s Scientifica festival.

City of Zurich: a look behind the scenes

During the week commencing 28 August, the City of Zurich will be inviting everyone to visit places not normally open to the public: whether it’s a drug consumption room, the Lyren water reservoir, a station of the city’s Protection & Rescue team or a day centre for the elderly: find out the crucial role that institutions usually out of the public eye play in society.

For young people, Scientifica kicks off a little earlier on 26 August, with half-day workshops on climate change and biodiversity that present scientific knowledge in a playful way. The full-day workshop "Computer Science Girls" is a practical introduction to programming, with talks by experienced practitioners.

Get hands-on experience of science and take part in discussions

Then on the weekend of 2 - 3 September researchers will be on hand at over 60 exhibition booths spread across the main buildings of ETH and University of Zurich, Hönggerberg campus and Irchel, to present their current projects covering very diverse fields. An opportunity to experience research first hand and chat with the scientists.

Come along to one of the short lectures to find out what holds the Milky Way together, how our brains process information, or how artificial intelligence can support cancer treatments. You will have the chance to ask researchers questions at the end of the lecture. Science cafés and panel discussions illuminate social topics from different perspectives: Should screening of newborns be expanded? Can scientists also be activists? What’s the relationship between climate, energy and biodiversity? You can also offer your own input and participate in these events.

Get hands-on in different workshops: test your mental performance, make your own seed balls and insect hotels, or measure the wavelength of your favourite colour. Researchers will take you on guided tours to show some of everyday work areas not usually open to the public.

Entertainment for all ages

Scientifica offers entertainment for children aged 6-99 too: interactive science shows, Globi presenting his new book set in space, an exercise landscape for the very young, a science slam or an encounter with three black holes. Finally, at Scientifica you will have the chance to meet a wrestling champion, a weatherman and an astronaut, and to ask questions.

All events, as well as travel on the shuttlebus between the three locations, are free. Tickets are required for some of the weekend events, but they are free and available at the venue one hour before the event.
Roland Baumann