Category Archives: General

Mikhail Lemeshko: YouTube as educational institution

© IST Austria

“Education is what is left when you have forgotten everything you have learned” – this quote is attributed to many: Werner Heisenberg, Burrhus Skinner and of course Albert Einstein. In these dark times, I – a theoretical (!) physicist – have no choice but to hold on to Humboldt’s ideal of education, i.e. the unity of research and teaching, whereby I define “teaching” in a very general way.

I see it simply this way: Apart from the actual scientific projects on current challenges like climate change or COVID, it is our mission and duty as scientists to contribute to the education of the public and thus also to the education of politicians who make far-reaching decisions on a daily basis. Therefore I find it equally important to explain to mankind the importance of exponential growth as to invest in the development of the COVID vaccine. And it is just as important to explain all measures against climate change as it is for the public to understand the difference between a “theory” and a “hypothesis”. That’s why, as a theoretical physicist, I decided a few months ago to make a practical contribution to public education and set up a YouTube channel. The reactions show me how great the need and interest in such education is. Have a look:

Mikhail Lemeshko is Professor of theoretical physics and head of a research group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria. The main direction of his current research is understanding the physics of quantum impurities possessing orbital angular momentum. Recently, he has been elected to the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. On his Youtube channel, he shows experiment or explains scientific correlations. 

Christiane Spiel: How to study during a pandemic

“In March 2020, more than 1.1 million students in Austria switched to home study basically without warning. Because of that, self-regulated studying has become a necessity. We are researching how this works in a research project at the Faculty of Psychology (University of Vienna), which is sponsored by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund.

Continue reading Christiane Spiel: How to study during a pandemic

Rescue Horizon Europe


Photo: IST Austria

Dear friends and guests of the Science Ball!

The role of basic research is immense. Without basic research there is no development of energy alternatives and Covid vaccines to combat climate change and the corona pandemic.

The currently planned cuts of 36 billion euros in the budget of the EU research program “Horizon Europe” are not only short-sighted, but negligent.  The “Rescue Horizon Europe” campaign intends to convince the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the European Council (in which the Austrian federal government has a seat and a vote) to change their mind at the last minute.

We support  together with 1400 researchers throughout Europe, including 8 Nobel Prize winners, and the umbrella organizations of about 800 universities this campaign and ask you to do the same with your signature:

By the way: without basic research there is no science ball. It’s as simple as that.


Messages of Confidence

Even without a ball in the hall, we will see the light this season. Our ball ambassadors will have their say here in the coming weeks / Photo: Piece of Cake

Dear ball guests,

Tough we have postponed the 7th Science Ball until January 29, 2022 the ball has always been much more than a glittering celebration of inspiring enlightenment and encouraging sensuality: a platform for testing and applying innovative methods of science communication. Continue reading Messages of Confidence

New date for 2022

No room for baby elephants / Photo: R. Ferrigato
No room for baby elephants / Photo: R. Ferrigato

Dear guests of the ball, dear contributors, dear friends!

Organizing a science ball means acting based on evidence. You can guess what I’m getting at: the legal and medical evidence speaks against holding the next Vienna Science Ball in January 2021. That is why we have to cancel the ball for this season.

I know from many e-mails, conversations, pre-registrations, reservations and bookings how much you regret this cancellation. But there are two messages that give us hope: Continue reading New date for 2022

Ball video 2020

We proudly present you our ball video 2020!

Take your time to let the evening pass one more time, maybe even spot yourself in the crowd, and take notes for the next Vienna Ball of Sciences on 30 January 2021 of things you haven’t explored yet.

Our thanks go to Spotteron for producing this great video and to you for making this night so special!

Photos #SciBall20 Delivery No.2

Ball photos by Franz Reiterer/

Usage free of charge permitted in context of SciBall

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