Category Archives: Ball 2019

Sold out!

SOLD OUT! We hereby announce that all our tickets for the Vienna Ball of Sciences 2019 (26 January 2019) are from now on sold out. A few tables (incl. 8 tickets) are still available in our  webshop.

For this reason there will be no box office at the Rathaus on the night of the ball. Therefore, all booked and payed tickets have to be picked up by 25 January from our ball office at the bookshop Kuppitsch (Schottengasse 4, 1010 Wien). Opening hours are Monday – Friday, 15.00-18.30. Our desk is in the basement.


ESRAP at the Vienna Science Ball 2019!

Check it out! At 1am our guests will have the pleasure to experience a lecture never seen before. Esra Özmen is not only part of the rap duo ESRAP, she is also a doctoral student at the academy of fine arts vienna. In her dissertation she discusses the rise of rap in Vienna’s outer districts. Recently, their new single “Kabadayi – Die Tage werden besser” was released; they are also looking for support for their new album with a crowdfunding project. She left us her somewhat different message:

Esra also told us how it is to grow up in Vienna, handling a mixture of identities: as an Austrian, turkish woman, rapper and scientist. You can find the long version of the interview in our ball magazine, which will be distributed on the night of the ball.

How did the story of you and rap begin?
My parents come from Turkey, me and my brother were born here and grew up in a classic guest-worker flat in Ottakring. In secondary school I was one of 24 migrants within 25 students in total. When I later changed schools to go to a Gymnasium, the tables had turned: Suddenly I was the only foreigner out of 24 Austrians and told to just speak German. It hurt but back then I didn’t know why it did. The daily, subtle racism brought me to start writing texts. Later my brother joined and added the arabesque, this suffering singing. I always say that through arabesque we felt that we were suffering and through rap we found out why we did. That’s how we started to make music.

2011 you brought out a single called ‘Ausländer mit Vergnügen’ (‘Foreigner with Pleasure’). Has being a foreigner changed since then?
After graduation I started to study at the academy of fine arts. Everytime I am with my fellow students I am experiencing less racism becasue we are all from different countries anyways. But I do see it, especially when I have to go to administrative offices or when I am with my mum who wears a headscarf. That’s why I would say that I am still a ‘foreigner with pleasure’.

Are you handling it differently now?
I am more confident and address it more. Take as an example the police check, when officers inspected a rapper last year in the seventh district of Vienna without a particular reason. It showed many people that you can also fight back. But often it is up to us migrants to show, that we don’t have to put up with it. We also address this at workshops in youth centres or schools. Being political is a privilege though. I was basically raised in the park and wouldn’t be the same, if I was still hanging out there all the time.

Has your music changed as well, since you started to study?
Yes, I used to write with more gut instict. For some time I threw away everything I wrote cause I thought, somebody could misunderstand it. If today, I write a song called ‚Der Tschusch ist da‘  (pejorative term for a Slav or “oriental” person), I have to pose questions to myself as well: Why am I writing this? What does the word even mean? I got a lot of constructive critique from people around me. People told me that they were trying to avoid this word and here I am, just laying it on the table again. That is true. But it was my intention to turn the word around. I am proud to be a ‘Tschusch’ and I dont see it as an insult, but rather a confirmation.

Is there something rap can do, that science can’t?
Rap can reach people that science does not reach. All the teenagers in the 16th district listen to it, but they would never read books about it. We also never had any at home, not even newspapers. It’s a pity that rap is often connected with images of coke and women. That could change. I am realising for example that people around me start to occupy themselves more with my texts. They come to me and ask, if it is okay that somebody called them a ‘Tschusch’.

And the other way around: Can you reach people with your science that you can’t with your music?
I am sure there are people that would never listen to me if it wasn’t for a scientific context in which they get to know me. I can also tell that I am taken more seriously since I started studying. But I do have problems with the scientific language. Often I feel like people write in a complicated way on purpose, so that only a small group of people can read it. It reminds me of the opera: Some brag with knowing things about it, for others it means nothing.

Interview: Katharina Kropshofer
Foto: Daniel Shaked

Congratulations to Nuno Maulide!

Photo: R. Ferrigato

Our ball ambassador 2018 is scientist of the year 2018! We congratulate Nuno Maulide on this honour awarded by the Club of Educational and Science Journalists. Since 2013 Maulide (in this picture on the Red Carpet 2018 next to ball organiser Oliver Lehmann) is Professor for Organic Chemistry at the University of Vienna. As a member of the Young Academy which is part of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, he was already awarded with a second ERC grant in 2015, the most prestigious research fellowship by the European Union. Additionally, he has earned merits for the Children’s University Vienna and as a pianist. He is being honored as an excellent science communicator by Austria’s science journalist.

More about the award

Nuno Maulide’s message as a ball ambassador 2018.

Ball office 2019 at bookshop Kuppitsch

This season our ball office is located at the bookshop Kuppitsch on Schottentor. Thanks to their hospitality we can be found at this central spot between the main university building and the Juridicum on working days starting on the 7 January 2019 until 25 January 2019 between 15.00 and 18.30. You will find us in their science department, located in the lower floor where we will be giving out ball tickets. Unfortunately we can’t accept credit cards but only cash. The exact address is Schottengasse 4 (1010 Vienna). You can reach us with public transport: underground U2; tram D, 1, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 71; busses 1A, 40A.

Happy Holidays 2018

We want to thank you – for your support, your attention and awareness within the last weeks! As a sign of our appreciation we have prepared a special surprise in our Online-Webshop: If you order before the 6th of January 2019 you will find a 5% discount for the next 200 full-prize tickets and the next 10 tables in the gallery. The picture of our testimonals that you can see here, was taken by Sabine Hauswirth on the 21st of December 2018 in the Nordvestibül located next to the Volkshalle, which will for the first time serve as our discotheque. Because of that we will have an extra dancing space of over 400 squaremeters at the Vienna Ball of Sciences 2019. In the name of all our collaborators, supporters and ball-testimonals, we are wishing you happy holidays and all the best for 2019! Continue reading Happy Holidays 2018

Eva Horn

“Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Science is driving these developments. In the face of these changes, it also needs to change, even reinvent itself. Academics today find themselves caught in a culture of highly specialized disciplines and research fields, shielded from what other researchers do. In order to face the challenge of today’s ecological, technological and social transformations we need a new structure of scientific knowledge. The Anthropocene calls for a novel unity of knowledge. To achieve that, we have to engage in a dialogue beyond our disciplines. What we have in common is an intellectual spirit trying to decipher what is holding the world together in its core – and what is moving us forward. Maybe the exchange of questions and ideas is even more important than that of scientific results. What could be a better place to do so than a Science Ball? This ball is not just a celebration of science, curiosity and intellect, is is a wonderful opportunity to let our disciplines dance. It’s so much easier to come together over a glass of champagne!”

Our eleventh message comes from Eva Horn, author and German philologist at the University of Vienna. In the spring term of 2019 she will be a Research Fellow at the renowned Rachel Carson Center in Munich. Besides her work on books such as ‘The Future as Catastrophe. Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age’ (New York: Columbia University Press 2018), she is also the director and cofounder of the Anthropocene Network at the University of Vienna.  Together with sedimentologist Michael Wagreich and other colleagues, she is looking into the effects of human civilization on the planetary environment.

Photo: (c) Helmut Grünbichler

Katherine Sarikakis

“Plato said that rhythm and dance find the way to the soul. And although science has a hard time dealing with a thing called ‘soul’ we can all still agree that dance and rhythm means something to scientists as well. This is an opportunity to get together with nerdy jokes and ranking arguments, to waltz interdisciplinarily across the ballroom for as long as quantifiably possible, with as much joy as qualifiably achievable and with as much excitement as when seeing your name on your first publication!”

Professorin Katharine Sarikakis is director and founder of the Media Governance and Industries Research Lab at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna.  The lab studies processes of and challenges posed by governance of communication processes and the media in relation to Democracy, Citizenship and Human Rights. Our tenth ball testimonials can also be found as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science.

Foto: © Universität Wien/Barbara Mair

Michael Köhlmeier

(c) Hassiepen

“Science – why not think about it with joy? Some say, it is easier to think of God as someone who knows how to dance – Nietzsche even advises to exclusively think of him in this way. Even though the ball was established with a political message in mind, it would be nice to spend a night without talking politics – unless, it is a joyful one just like science.”

Our ninth ball ambassador, Michael Köhlmeier, is one of Austria’s most renowned authors. In addition to his studies of political science and German philology in MarburgKöhlmeier also dedicated a second academic pathway to mathematics at the Justus-Liebig University Gießen. His affection for the subject becomes apparent in works of his like “Abendland” (Hanser, 2007), in which he refers to the Austrian mathematician Leopold Vietoris. Among his many accolades he was also awarded the Austrian Cross for Science and Art in 2016 – an appropriate appreciation for the traveller between the spheres of science and art.

Foto: (c) Hassiepen