Category Archives: Archive

Barbara Fischer: The lesson from Mendel’s legacy

“Gregor Mendel, whose 200th birthday was celebrated a few months ago in Brno, Vienna and also around the world, is known as the ‘founder of genetics’. Mendel is among the great names in biological research, and is often mentioned in the same breath as Charles Darwin. Mendel’s experiments on peas led to the discovery of the ‘Mendelian Inheritance’, named after him. Today, his findings can be found in every biology textbook. Continue reading Barbara Fischer: The lesson from Mendel’s legacy

Where is the science?

Like Nobel Prize winner Anton Zeilinger, many are startled by the draft of the Media Promotion Act / Photo: R.Ferrigato

In itself, a ball is an enjoyable event. But sometimes we have to deal with the shortcomings of everyday life. Like this one: the federal government is currently planning legislation that will support publications which meet certain quality criteria. One crucial criterion is missing from the list: science. We are not the only ones who find this peculiar. Continue reading Where is the science?

Shqiponja Ahmetaj: Facing the challenges

Photo: Luiza Pulu

“Data is becoming increasingly essential in our digital society. It provides unprecedented insights and possibilities in all areas and promises to significantly improve our lives. Systems based on enormous volumes of data are influencing our daily decisions by recommending for example what restaurants (or balls) we should visit, what products we should buy, what communities we should join, or what news sources we should follow. Continue reading Shqiponja Ahmetaj: Facing the challenges

Peter Klimek: Let’s be loud and proud!

“Less than a year after the first description of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, vaccination campaigns (sometimes faster, sometimes slower) could begin in January 2021. In January 2022, it was still unclear whether vaccinations would be able to withstand the onslaught of new omicron variants. In January 2023, we expect this to continue to be the case, allowing events like the Science Ball to finally take place again. A triumph from a scientific point of view.

Continue reading Peter Klimek: Let’s be loud and proud!

Barbara Prainsack: Science as model for society

Photo: Johanna Schwaiger

“Before the pandemic, most people only had contact with science when there was a breakthrough to celebrate. The pandemic offered the first time the opportunity for people to watch science at work ‘live.’ This has brought greater interest in scientific topics, but also misconceptions – for example, that science must always speak with one voice to be considered sound. Yet doubt and dissent are hallmarks of good science – as long as they are voiced in a respectful exchange. Science characterized by open exchange about how to understand the world can be a model for an equally open and respectful democratic society.”

As a professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, Barbara Prainsack focuses on aspects of medical and health policy – as most recently and especially visible during the Corona pandemic – as well as practices, institutions, and politics of solidarity. Prainsack is a member of the Austrian Bioethics Commission and, since 2022, chair of the European Group on Ethics and New Technologies, an advisory body to the European Commission.



Thomas Maurer: The good news

Photo: Ingo Petramer

“One development in recent years is the attempt to equate faith (in whatever) with knowledge. This is, of course, bullshit and extremely dangerous. But faith has an advantage in such a situation because we are all insecure people in a world that is increasingly difficult to control. The longing for certainty is understandable. But giving in to this longing is not much wiser than giving in to laziness and never getting out of bed again. This is difficult and only works if you have enough money to lead a corresponding Oblomow existence. But sealing yourself off watertight against thinking and thus insecurity, that apparently works quite well. After all, we’ve seen some very successful political movements in recent years that thrive on precisely that.

Continue reading Thomas Maurer: The good news

Start of ticket sales for #SciBall23

The world’s largest pea will be visiting the Science Ball in honor of Gregor Mendel’s 200th birthday./ Photo: Boku

Starting today, tickets for the 8th Vienna Ball of Science on January 28, 2023 are available in the webshop.

The chairman of the ball committee, Oliver Lehmann, recorded a remarkably high level of interest even before tickets went on sale, from both Austria and abroad. Tickets can be booked now at The prices: € 100 for regular tickets, € 30 for students. Tables and boxes can also be booked at

Lehmann: “After two years of pandemic-related break, we dare the experiment. The Science Ball represents the diversity, size and excellence of the universities, universities of applied sciences, private universities and research institutions in the greater Vienna area. This season, the ball illustrates in a special way how we all benefit from research.”

The program in the ballrooms on the Beletage of City Hall promises a mix of cleverly crafted presentations, surprising tastings and music ranging from waltz and jazz to soul and tango, including the opening committee and midnight quadrille. Thanks to the commitment of the 400 orchestra and band musicians, dancers, event technicians and catering staff, the Science Ball makes a significant contribution to Vienna’s cultural and event scene.

Lehmann: “In the past months we  designed a colorful and clever program. Music from all directions from waltz to swing, world and tango to hip hop awaits you from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on five stages. Presentations from the world of science (including, in honor of Gregor Mendel, the world’s largest pea!) will transform City Hall into an open-air laboratory of enlightened pleasure.”

Once again, the rectors, presidents and heads of all Viennese universities, private universities, universities of applied sciences as well as the ÖAW, IIASA and IST Austria will form the honorary committee, thus underlining the relevance of Vienna as the most important university and research location in Central Europe. Highlights of the program will be announced in the course of the coming weeks, as will the Ball Ambassadors from science, business, culture and society.

The marketing measures for the ball are meanwhile fully started. Central information base is the homepage as well as the channels on the social media under @SciBall.

Free photos of the Ball 2020 for download:

Enquiry notice:
Oliver Lehmann, ball organizer
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @SciBall

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