“A ball facilitates social exchange and dialogue characterised by a sense of beauty and elegance. Traditionally, balls always had a special function within international diplomacy. Together with my team I am currently researching international negotiations regarding a new treaty for the preservation of marine biodiversity. Often we find ourselves in difficult stages of discussion in which the main goal – which is the protection of oceans – has to take a back seat and in which countries don’t seem to be willing to move one millimeter in the favour of nature. These are the times when I am longing for a space of encounter and dialogue – and the Vienna Ball of Sciences is such a space, mixing tradition and innovation while embodying beauty and elegance, which is as much part of scientific thinking as it is of the ocean we need to protect.”
Alice Vadrot is assistant professor at the Institute for Political Sciences, University of Vienna, and principal investigator of the research project MARIPOLDATA, financed by the European Research Council. The project looks at political processes behind negotiations regarding marine biodiversity. She is also Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge and a member of the Austrian biodiversity council together with Franz Essl.
Photo: © Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), University of Cambridge