Media briefing at town hall

On January 28, 2017, the Vienna Ball of Sciences will take place for the third time. In a media talk science councillor Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny explained, why this event is highly important, and Oliver Lehmann, organizer of the ball, presented major topics and features of the upcoming Science Ball.

Vienna has a strong tradition in being a city of academia – the University of Vienna is the oldest university in the German-speaking territories. Hence it is pleasing, that the Vienna Ball of Sciences became a tradition itself, celebrating Vienna’s excellence and diversity. Around 2.800 guests attended the past two balls in the Vienna Rathaus and this event shows both at home and abroad how great, manifold and excellent Vienna is as a city of science. Vienna is one of the leading places of academia and research in Austria, but also within Europe. 


Member of the honorary committee and science councillor Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny stated: “Clearly, it makes sense to combine two of Vienna’s leading competences: being the metropolis of ball as well as of international academia and science. We are able to show this impressively with this ball and we are especially proud, that no other similar ball-event offers such an affordable admission to our students. Scientific opinion-leaders meet curious high-potentials at a classic Viennese ball night – we are envied worldwide for this top-class event.”

Organizer of the ball Oliver Lehmann presented the program and highlights of the upcoming event, where again classic ball-elements will be boosted with scientific knowledge. The tables and ballrooms will be decorated with aphrodisiac flowers and plants, selected by the Department of Pharmacognosy of the University of Vienna. Ball guests can go on a virtual-reality-tour through Stonehenge und Carnuntum, headed by the director of the LBI ArchPro Wolfgang Neubauer, or get inspired by the exhibition “Innovation by fundamental research”. The dancing floor will be illuminated with LED-flashes. Musicians from the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna will strike up for the big opening ceremony, and at midnight they will present songs of the legendary Tom Lehrer, an American mathematician and singer-songwriter. The ballroom disco will be designed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Maik Novotny (u.a. FM4) and Tex Rubinowitz (u.a. Falter) (together with Fred Schreiber as guest) will play the right beats for funky moves on the turntables. Together with the Winery Cobenzl, the Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC 2015 was chosen to be the special ball wine. Our this year’s Science Blogger-in-residence Martin Moder, molecular biologist at CeMM, will update you during ball night about all happenings.

The refugee initiative “MORE” of the Universities Austria (Universitätenkonferenz uniko) remains an important partner: together with the ball partner Casinos Austria, all generated money at the roulette-table goes to “MORE”. “Besides all these entertaining elements, we will commemorate our friend and supporter from the very beginning, Helmut Veith, who passed away tragically in March 2016”, said Oliver Lehmann.

After presenting the highlights of the upcoming ball, Oliver Lehmann also introduced this year’s ball ambassadors. With their statements they underline the visibility of science in public life and show, how a lot of activities need much more research, than we would think at first sight. The ball ambassadors cover a wide range of professions and topics – from government to start-up-forerunners and editors up to university professors.

Additionally, the ball committee organizes a special “Science ball premier screening” of the film „Hidden Figures“, on Tuesday, 17.01.2017, 19.30 p.m. at Urania. The film recounts the hardly told story of three African-American women, working for NASA in the 1960’s. As brilliant mathematicians, they helped realizing the first complete orbit of the Earth of an American astronaut.

See for all informations the full German version as pdf.