30th September and 1st October 2022 mark the tenth anniversary of Malta’s beloved Science and Arts festival. This year the festival ventures back outdoors after a two-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic. Fort St Elmo will become a bustling hub of science, fun, and creativity, while Sala San Duminku will stage a number of unique performances for all to enjoy. The festival is also focusing on the communities outside of Valletta with Senglea and the Citadel in Gozo. Over the past decade Science in the City (SitC) has attracted close to 300,000 visitors, 950 researchers, 250 artists, and some 1,000 organisations to the festival.
For an entire decade, SitC has built bridges between researchers, artists and communities to organise events that spark curiosity and wonder in those who attend. The goal of what has developed into a hybrid festival is to showcase the importance of critical thinking and STEAM careers in today’s world. This festival mirrors the goals of the European Researchers’ Night happening in 300 cities throughout Europe on the same days.
The line-up of activities is not only entertaining but sensitive to the challenges we all face. In a statement to the press, Dr. Edward Duca, Coordinator of the festival states how, “creativity and science continue to underpin the pillars of this national event”.
Festival manager Karen Fiorini stresses how important it is for each activity in the festival to engage its audiences via interactive, unique events. “Each activity works towards raising awareness about issues that resonate with the theme; diversity and inclusion, climate change, media literacy, and health, among others. This is reflected in the artistic activities chosen by the team for the festival”.
For the festival, scientists and artists work closely together with the goal of encouraging audiences to take a more active role in society and in protecting the planet. Musician John Hinton is collaborating with Blue Eco Tech Ltd researcher Alexia Massa Galluci, to learn about the superpowers of seagrass and how it can help save the planet from burning, the resulting concert and songwriting workshop will be staged at St Dominic’s theatre. Choreography by dance practitioners Sandra Mifsud and Douglas Comley working with researchers from Birdlife Malta and youths, to highlight the importance of biodiversity. The dance will be held in Piazza D’Armi, Fort St. Elmo on Friday 30th September. More about the programme of activities will be revealed during the press conference planned for the third week of August.
The 10th festival is exploring the theme – Taking Root, building on the focus of previous years, where the relevance of science and research in everyday life, as well as in active, responsible citizenship, continues to be explored. On Friday 30th September University student organisations, researchers, artists and creatives, NGOs, government agencies and private companies will converge on Piazza D’Armi and Piazza Cavalier to enthrall visitors of all ages between 6pm and 11pm with street art, labs, comedy, games, shows, music, interactive and hands on experiments and demos. There will also be satellite events at Spazju Kreattiv, in Senglea and at the Citadel in Gozo. While online, interactive activities will be held for those who prefer a quiet night in, between 7pm – 11pm. Performances and game shows will be held below St Dominic’s Basilica in Merchant Street, in the underground theatre between 5pm and 11pm and again on Saturday 1st October between 10am and 5pm, and during Notte Bianca from 7pm till 11pm.
Science in the City is part of the EU-wide celebration, European Researchers’ Night. It is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme, under grant agreement No 101061120, the Arts Council Malta (ACM) and a number of corporate sponsors. It is recognised by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE).
The Science in the City consortium is led by the University of Malta and the Malta Chamber of Scientists, in partnership with the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, Trust Stamp Ltd, Malta Enterprise, MCAST, Qualia Analytics, Esplora, BPC International, SEM, PBS, Spazju Kreattiv, Aquabiotech, Valletta Design Cluster, Valletta Cultural Agency, Transport Malta, The Environment Resource Agency, WasteServ, Heritage Malta and More or Less Theatre.
This communication reflects the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any information it contains.