Category Archives: General

Keya Baier: When, if not now!

“We students are delighted that after difficult years of pandemic-related break, the Vienna Ball of Sciences can finally take place again. Especially in times like these, the Science Ball  has an even more fundamental role than in previous years. While the status of universities and students is currently being renegotiated politically, anti-scientific attacks and tendencies are on the rise at the same time.

So when, if not now, is it fitting and necessary to dedicate an evening of joy, celebration, and affirmation to science? Let’s celebrate science together – to vigorously defend its freedom and importance today as well as tomorrow.”

Keya Baier is the chairwoman of the federal representation of the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH). She studies political science and economics at the University of Vienna and ran as the top candidate for the Greens and Alternative Students in the 2021 election. Before, she was chairwoman of the ÖH at the University of Salzburg.

Congratulations to Anton Zeilinger!

He was one of the very first supporters of the Science Ball – and has been a regular ever since! Today, he has received the well-deserved Nobel Prize for Physics 2022. We are very happy for him and we are looking forward to his visit to the Science Ball 2023 on 28 January 2023! Here is his ball message from December 2014:

“What would Vienna be without its balls? Definitely not Vienna. To have ‘one’s’ ball in this city means to play a visible role in the life and self-perception of the city. The sciences and research have long played a significant role. Now they are also visible in the ball calendar, alongside the traditional balls of Viennese universities. Seen in this light, the Vienna Ball of the Sciences is actually long overdue. It is good that it now exists.”

o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil. DDr. h.c. Anton Zeilinger, President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

Photo by Jacqueline Godany

Photo by Jacqueline Godany

8th Science Ball 2022 cancelled

Omicron dynamics not calculable • Organizing committee follows research findings •  New date planned for January 2023

The current Covid forecasts leave us no choice but to cancel the Science Ball in January 2022 and to consider a new date on Saturday, January 28, 2023.

As a science ball, we are committed to research and its findings. Due to the omicron variant, it is currently very difficult to predict the dynamics of infection development. Therefore, we as the organizing committee have decided – like our colleagues from the TU-, WU-, Blumen- or Opernball – to cancel the Science Ball for this season.

We would like to thank all the artists, scientists, ball ambassadors and contributors who have participated in the planning with great energy. We thank all the experts with whom we developed an excellent security and access concept. And we would like to thank all our customers, whose bookings have once again demonstrated their enormous interest in the Science Ball. Tickets can be canceled free of charge until early February. As of February 10, 2022 the tickets are transferred to the 2023 ball.

We hope that as many people as possible will be vaccinated or boostered in the coming weeks. In this way, they will protect themselves and their fellow human beings – and ultimately enable us all to enjoy a ball season in the winter of 2022/23.

Johanna Pirker: Kick-off for interplay

“At this moment we can see how important different disciplines are in overcoming a crisis. This illustrates how crucial it is that science, society and politics cooperate. We need to give the public sphere a better understanding of science and educate society in order to reduce fears and skepticism. Science – in all areas – must become more accessible, visible and open, and society must become more enlightened.”

Johanna Pirker is assistant professor, software engineer, and director of the research group Game Lab Graz at the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science at Graz University of Technology. Her work focusses on games research, data analysis and immersive environments (VR). She has received various awards for her research, the most recent addition being the Hedy-Lamarr Award by the City of Vienna

Antonia Weberling: stop the funding cuts!

Photo: https://www.snappysnaps.co.uk/cambridge/

“Decades of independent research have made it possible for scientists to develop not only one, but several vaccines against Covid-19 in a record-breaking span of time. In order to stop climate change and hit the 1.5-degree-target, scholars and scientists work together, as we need to reach a fundamental change in the way our society thinks and acts in addition to finding or optimizing alternative, renewable sources of energy. Instead of learning from the pandemic and the climate crisis and encouraging independent research so that we can build upon foundations for the next crisis, funding has been massively withdrawn.  Continue reading Antonia Weberling: stop the funding cuts!

Nicole Amberg: gender equality as driving force

Foto: Peter Rigaud

“An inherent feature of science is to ask questions leading to a better understanding of the world. However, the scientific system immediately has to be questioned regarding its accessibility for different individuals, since societies and academic institutions still lack homogenous access to education, opportunities and chances. Thus, science is depleted of diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity and ultimately and most importantly: mindsets. Continue reading Nicole Amberg: gender equality as driving force