Scientifica: two days of scientific research at first hand

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In just one month, another Scientifica will take place. (Photograph: Frank Brüde

In just one month, another Scientifica will take place. (Photograph: Frank Brüderli / ETH Zurich)

Scientifica will be held over the weekend of 4 and 5 September on the theme of "Synthetic naturally". This year’s science festival from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich (UZH) offers a bigger programme than ever before, and will now also include the Irchel and Hönggerberg campuses.

The first Scientifica festival took place ten years ago. Over the years, tens of thousands of visitors have come to ETH and UZH for this event to experience science hands-on and exchange ideas with researchers.

Artificial skin and natural plastics

"Synthetic naturally" is the theme of this year’s Scientifica, which will be bigger than ever before. At about 60 exhibition stands and in almost as many short lectures, researchers from UZH and ETH will present their current projects in a clear and understandable way. For example, visitors will have a chance to control a drone, create plant-based plastics, discover hidden archaeological treasures, put themselves in the shoes of a journalist, and take a look inside the human brain or below the ground.

The short lectures will offer an insight into subjects such as extra-terrestrial life, artificial skin, crying babies, nerve-controlled prosthetics and much more.

Visitors can try out some of the numerous workshops or visit laboratories and other facilities on guided tours. Many of the events are aimed specifically at children and young people, and the Science Cafés provide a relaxed setting for discussions. The range of English-language events is also particularly extensive this year.

The packed programme would exceed the capacity of the two main UZH and ETH buildings where Scientifica has been held so far - particularly this year, when large crowds should be avoided. The event is therefore taking a small step outside the city centre, and for the first time will also be held on UZH’s Irchel campus and ETH’s Hönggerberg campus. These locations will make sure there is enough space for visitors everywhere.

In any case, the two campuses are well worth a visit in their own right. Anyone who hasn’t been there before shouldn’t miss the chance to explore the Science Quarter at the Hönggerberg campus or the Science Park at the Irchel campus.

For families in particular, Scientifica offers an attractive programme of events with the Active Weekend and the Soap Bubble Factory for the little ones, and the Physics Show with its natural phenomena. The robot dog ANYmal will also be present at Hönggerberg on Saturday and at Irchel on Sunday.

"Science and the City" during the week before

In the week running up to Scientifica, the "Science and the City" series organised together with the city of Zurich’s department of economic development invites visitors to explore the city of Zurich of the future. For example, current and future forms of mobility will be presented at VBZ’s main garage, and at the "Alte Zentralwäscherei" building in Zurich West, visitors will discover how the city is dealing with challenges such as air pollution and increasing heat and noise. In addition, experts will explore the question of how the city will develop in the future. The Innovation Park at the former military airfield in Dübendorf will offer a display of the fastest autonomous drones in competition with the best drone pilots.

The entire Scientifica schedule can be found on the new website www.scientifica.ch. The various filter functions simplify navigation. For example, events and exhibition stands can be selected by location, and a favourites function allows you to put together your own personalised programme in advance.

Safety concept

The health of visitors and participating researchers has top priority for both universities. For this reason, those over the age of 16 are permitted to attend Scientifica only with a valid Covid certificate, as stipulated by the current federal regulations on large-scale events. These regulations may change at short notice. The latest information on the safety concept can be found on the website.

From the editors

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