Category Archives: Ball 2020

How do you get scientists onto the dancefloor?

(c) Roland Ferrigato

You hire the right DJs for the disco!

MEL MERIO started off as moderator within the Puls/Pro-7 group and has been working as DJane and singer for many years. She is a constant face in the Viennese scene and became known as designer and performance artist (at the Life Ball and other events). This year she will present her uplifting sounds in the ball disco. Her musical pallette? Very broad but always including good vibes, lots of energy and three main ingredients: Love, passion and lust for life. 21.20-00.00; Volkshalle

TEX RUBINOWITZ AND MAIK NOVOTNY are known as eloquent writers, illustrators and journalists for FM4, Falter and beyond – and as gifted disc jockeys with a preference for rare and classy tracks. Born in Germany, they have made Austria their home since many years, meddling with the local club scene at Club U on Karlsplatz or for the yearly Bachmann award (which was awarded to Rubinowitz in 2014). When Maik and Tex bring on their vinyl box, danceable beats and the finest sound are guaranteed.  00.30-end of the ball; Volkshalle

P.S.: You can find some inspiration for your dance moves from a 30 meter long decoration, designed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with motives from flora and faune. Looking towards the turntables you will see transmissions straight from the beehive stemming from Martin Kampel, Computer Vision Lab (TU Vienna).

Andrea Möller


“As biologist and biology educationalist, I am especially happy about the motto for the ball. This year, those who don’t normally have a big lobby, are being heard: insects! Their image as ‘annoying naggers’ has long been outdated: 80% of our most important plants are pollinated by them, amongst them not only fruit and vegetables but also favourites of ball visitors like wine and coffee. 20.000 bee species are flying through the air, one of them the honey bee, which is the third most important livestock animal (just after cattle and pigs). The global decline in insects is therefore not only massively threatening biodiversity but also our nutrition and way of living. As humans we need to tackle the decline of more than 75% of insect populations (in protected natural areas). No surprise that the according study made it into the Global Risk Report 2018 by the World Economic Forum.  Be(e) educated: At the ball you can learn more about our environmental education project Bee.ed at our stand. We will show you how to protect wild bees and will introduce you to the language of bee dance, which was discovered by the Viennese biologist and Nobel prize winner Karl von Frisch. And who knows, maybe the bee dance will inspire your moves as well!”

Andrea Möller heads the Austrian Education Competence Centre for Biology (AECC Biology) and is professor at the Department for Evolutionary Biology (University of Vienna). At the AECC she is training most of the aspiring biology teachers in Ausria and researching the development of children’s knowledge and attitudes about the environment. As expert for ‘bee didactics’ and former Visiting Researcher at Yale University, she also leads the cross-national and award-winning environmental education project Bee.ed.

Photo: (c) Joseph Krpelan,

Pick up your tickets!

This season our ball office is located at the bookshop Kuppitsch/Thalia 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 24 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.

Scientist of the year 2019: Barbara Stelzl-Marx

Barbara Stelzl-Marx, professor for European History at the University of Graz and head of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for War Consequences is scientist of the year 2019.
Barbara Stelzl-Marx headed several research projects on the second world war and its implication.  Even though the end of the biggest military conflict in the history of mankind took place 75 years ago, Stelzl-Marx’ work shows how relevant these happenings are still in today’s politics and society. Her work have been summarised in touching and popular books which despite their easy language manage to convey the brutal relevance of the research.
Photo (c) Roland Ferrigato

Student tix sold out (again!)

Our student tickets are sold out (again!). Apologies. Meanwhile, regular tickets at € 90 are still available at the webshop. Past experience proves that these tickets will sell even faster now the student tickets are gone, so hurry! We might raffle a couple of student tickets on our Facebook page in the coming days, so like it to keep updated.

And as in the past years we have set up a ticket exchange group (no liability!) on Facebook. Good luck!

Happy Holidays 2019

Christmas is the right time of the year to honour traditions. In this spirit, we thank all of you for your attention, support, and appreciation in the past weeks. As expression of our gratitude we have prepared a special surprise for all our friends: 5% discount on 200 tickets and on 10 tables in the grand ball room and the adjacent halls if ordered by 7 January 2020 at our online box office. Photographer Sabine Hauswirth took this picture of our ball ambassadors where every ball in Vienna’s town hall starts and ends: in the central cloak room extending between the central staircases. In the name of all team members, supporters and ball ambassadors we wish you Season’s Greetings!

Continue reading Happy Holidays 2019

Ball-gown-swap at IMBA

Care for a different ball gown? Do not look any further.  ©Romar Ferry |

For the sixth Vienna Ball of Sciences, the organization team is focusing on topics like sustainability, climate change and an ecological crisis. Besides agenda items about biodiversity and a cooperation with the Fridays for Future activists, there will also be an event jointly organized with IMBA, the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology: On Thursday the 16th and Friday the 17th of January from 17.00-19.00  we will organize a ball gown swap at  IMBA in the 3rd district. You can offer gowns and cocktail dresses that you will not wear this year and borrow dresses for the night.

How it works:

Lenders: Deposit your dress(es) either in advance every day from 9-18 at the IMBA reception (leave your name, address, phone number and email address) or bring them to the swap events on 16th and 17th of January directly and borrow a dress in return if you like!

Pick up your dry-cleaned dress again in the week of Feb 10th-14th, Mo-Fr from 9.00-18.00 at the IMBA reception.

Borrowers: Looking for a dress? Come to the event, enjoy a glass of champagne and check the selection! You can try the dresses on right away.

After the ball: Have the dress dry-cleaned and mended if necessary and return it as soon as possible at the IMBA reception, daily Mon-Sun between 9-18, latest on Sun, Feb 9.


IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH
Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3
1030 Vienna
U3 to Schlachthausgasse,  trams 18 and 71, bus 74a to St Marx

If you have questions or want to help us get an overview in advance let us know you’re coming and whether you’re borrowing or lending. Just drop us an email at:

Sonja Paulick-Fabini will answer further questions also by phone Mo-Fr,  9-14:
Tel.: 0043 1 79044 4803

Can I also swap men’s evening wear? – Sorry, no menswear this time, only dresses! But we are thinking of expanding to the gents for next year.
Can I also sell my dress? If you would also be willing to sell your dress, please tell us the price when you drop off the dress in advance or just let us or potential buyers know at the swap event. If someone wants to buy and you’re not around, we’ll give them your phone number so they can contact you and arrange the sale.

Anne Wieben

“Vienna, city of my dreams!” The title of one of the most famous songs about Vienna could very well be the story of my life. 15 years ago I left my homeland, Minnesota in the USA, to study music in Vienna. It was love at first sight! What started as a one year study abroad experience has lead to a masters in music from the Music and Arts Private University of Vienna (MUK) and a career on the opera stages of the world. Yet no matter where my singing takes me, Vienna always calls me back. This is the city where  Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Haydn and so many others found their inspiration. What’s more, this is a city where creative thinking has been encouraged, valued, and celebrated for centuries– and that continues today. The Vienna Ball of Sciences is a perfect example.  For 6 years now, Vienna’s newest ball has been bringing together the most creative minds from across the world to share ideas– and, of course, to have a great time in true Viennese fashion!

It is my honor to not only be an ambassador for this year’s Ball of Sciences, but to also present the “Mitternachtseinlage” or “Midnight Show”.  Get ready for a performance full of beautiful music, passion, and a healthy portion of fun. Whether you are a physicist or a violinist, a bio engineer or a chemistry student, a singer or an astronomer, put your dancing shoes on– see you at the Vienna City Hall on January 25th! 

Anne Wieben is soprano and alumna of the Music and Arts Private University of Vienna (MUK).  Recently she starred as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with the “Wir sind Wien” festival, which took place across Vienna’s districts. She also toured through Vorarlberg and Minnesota, and performs regularly with Vienna’s Nesterval ensemble. She is the founder and creative director of Opera on the Lake, an operetta festival in Minnesota.” At this year’s Ball of Science’s,  she can be heard and seen during the midnight show, which includes a musical surprise.  


Photo: (c) Gregor Hofbauer