All posts by katharina kropshofer

Alena Buyx

“Successful science is shaped by curiosity, encounter, exchange and cooperation. Especially in a globalised academic world in which research projects are spread over borders and continents, it becomes important to carry out scientific collaboration through personal relationships. And what would be a better place to nourish them than at a Viennese ball? I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than to meet colleagues and friends – who I would normally just see through tele conferences talking about everyday research practices – at the glamorous Vienna Ball of Sciences and to receive a boost of energy and creativity through dancing. Something that can furtheron inspire more research ideas. And when it is over, you are already looking forward to the next year!”

Aleny Buyx is professor for Ethics in Medicine and director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. She is the youngest appointed member of the German Ethics council and member of the global experts council for genome editing at the World Health Organisation WHO. Her work at the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Applied Diagnostics and her role as programme councilor for the Health Talks at the European Forum Alpbach also brings her to Austria on a regular basis.

Photo: (c) Klaus Ranger

Philipp Ther

“Music stimulates our thoughts and imagination, dancing exhilarates our souls. Within Europe or maybe even the world, Vienna is the capital city with most balls – a fantastic lead. Now it is time to uphold the Vienna Ball of Sciences, so that Vienna can keep its top ranking in this and some other regards. I wish all dancers a dreamy ball night!”

Philipp Ther is professor for Eastern European history at the University of Vienna. For his project “The Other End of History – On the Great Transformation”, in which he looks at the enormous changes at the end of state socialism , he was awarded one of two Wittgenstein Awards in 2019  – the highest recognition for scientists in Austria.

Photo: (c)

From Gellért Hill to Gellert Square

©CEU, Daniel Vegel

“Central European University has arrived in Vienna; the newest university in a city of great universities. While the particular circumstances of our move are unique in the history of the European Union, our arrival promises to open a new chapter in the millennium-old history of intellectual exchange and inspiration between Hungary and Austria. Moving to the vibrantly diverse district of Favoriten – from Gellért Hill to Gellert Square, just three blocks from our campus – enables us to become an actor in one of the most exciting urban development programs currently being undertaken in Europe. As such, we both play a role in the gradual transformation of our immediate neighborhood and help underpin Vienna’s aspiration as a city of world-class science and research.

The format of the ‘Spectacular Ball’ as an opportunity for trades, professions and esteemed institutions to acquire, enhance and burnish societal reputation was developed under the Danube Monarchy. The Science Ball of today can be considered a re-interpretation of tradition by inducing innovation to convention, and opening doors rather than closing.

We are very happy to take part in this event – and we are looking forward to connecting with, learning from and contributing to our Viennese peers.

P.S. While the hill in Budapest is named after Gellért, the patron saint of Budapest rolled down the hills of Buda, in 1046, to his death, Gellert square in Favoriten derives its name from Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet from the age of enlightenment. I like to think of CEU’s move to its new home less as an act of martyrdom and more as a harbinger of a future of intellectual, philosophical and scientific collaboration.”

Michael Ignatieff is President and Rector of the Central European University. Born in Canada, educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard, he is a university professor, writer and former politician.

Photo: ©CEU, Daniel Vegel

Hungarian Version

Start of ticket sales 2020

High demand before the official start of ticket sales • Scientific community to dance in the whole cityhall • Bee-themed ballrooms to create a buzz

Vienna (OTS) – Monday, 11th of November 2019 marks the launch of online ticket sales for the 6th Vienna Ball of Sciences, which will take place on January 25th 2020. Since there has already been a high request for tickets coming from Austria and abroad, Oliver Lehmann, head of the ball committee, is expecting a high demand. Tickets can now be bought at With 90€ for regular tickets and 25€ for student tickets, prices stay the same. Tables and boxes can be bought as well at

Based on last year’s excellent experience, there will be room to dance on all publicly accessible levels of the Vienna cityhall. This includes all ballrooms on the “Beletage” as well as the “Volkshalle” on the ground floor which will host the discotheque. This means that there will be space for around 4,000 guests.

The protection of biodiversity will stand in the the centre of the 2020 ball, embodied through bee-themed ballrooms and bee-inspired experiences: the bee’s dance will make things hum on the dancefloor, products from the world of insects bring sweet delights, flower arrangements vivify pastures for bees, and dancing couples thrive on flora and fauna’s palette of colors and shapes.

The rectors, presidents and directors of all nine Viennese universities, five private universities, five technical colleges (Fachhochschulen), as well as the ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences), IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) and IST Austria (Institute of Science and Technology Austria) will constitute the honorary committee and will therefore underline the relevance of Vienna as one of the most important locations for universities and science in Central Europe. Highlights of the programme will be announced throughout the next weeks, as well as the testimonials from the area of science, economics, culture and society.

Promotion for the ball is underway. All information can be found on the homepage Posteres – again designed by Austro-Canadian illustrator Lilly Panholzer – are already decorating the city. Social media campaigns have as well begun at @SciBall. To download the poster click here.

As in the previous year,  Austrian Airlines and Austria Trend Hotels are offering special deals and discounts for international guests and visitors from other Austrian states. Packages have already been booked by foreign universities and are underlining the high interest for the ball. Oliver Lehmann, chair of the organising committee:  “Last year we have been sold out before christmas. Due to the late start of the semester break and the additional space, we are counting on an even higher number of prospective guests. The Vienna Ball of Science has become an indispensable part of the ball season.”

Queries & contact: Oliver Lehmann | Chair of the Organising Committee | E-Mail: | Homepage: | Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @SciBall
Mag. Alfred Strauch | Media spokesman of the Executive City Councillor for Cultural Affairs and Science | Email:

Free Knowledge Award


Knowledge is not always free. Yet assuring this freedom is an indispensable part of a democratic system. As such, Wikipedia has become part of our everyday life. Millions of people read the online encyclopedia daily, thousands work voluntarily on writing, editing and completing articles in almost all languages.

To honour the diverse engagement for a society full of free knowledge, Wikimedia Austria – the local association behind Wikipedia here in Austria – is for the first time giving out the Austrian Award for Free Knowledge. It will be awarded to civil single initiatives and particularly dedicated organisations, trying to support free knowledge.

Fitting the ball’s guidelines, the award will be presented at the 6th Vienna Ball of Sciences on 25 January 2020.

Find out more and nominate yourself or someone else until the 15th November 2019 here.

P.S.: Of course you can find us on Wikipedia as well :

Ursula Hemetek at the Vienna Ball of Sciences 2019

At midnight ball guests were rewarded with a special treat: For the first time, the Hungarian Roma band Kalyi Jag performed at a ball and presented their music and dance highlights of 40 years on stage. Their show was announced by Ursula Hemetek,  Wittgenstein prize awardee 2018 and ethnomusicologist at the University of Music and applied Arts Vienna. In her research, she called their music “ethnic mainstream”. But see for yourself:

Photos: (c) Roland Ferrigato


Infrared Revelations

Our ball embassador, astronomer  Franz Kerschbaum, came up with something great for the ball night: He wanted to look for the hottest dancers in the ball disco using his infrared camera. Whoever was too busy dancing, can now try retrospectively to figure out his or her temperature!

You can find more videos here:




Ball Photos 2019

Welcome to our gallery of ball photos 2019, taken by our ball photographer Roland Ferrigato! You can use the photos for private and media purposes in the context of the ball free of costs, if you mention the copyright (©SciBall/R.Ferrigato). For commercial use please contact our ball office (

More pictures can be found hear from the Red Carpet, at Kerstin Zimmermann/ (free of charge) and at Die Eventfotografen.

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