Skip to content

Destroying boundaries through Science in the City

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Biomedical Ph.D. student Alexandra Fiott (TV show and logistics) shares her thoughts on why the walls between the public and scientists need to come crumbling down.

Science has long been depicted as something unreachable and isolated by non-scientists, something shrouded in mystery and excessive complexity. There seems to be an insurmountable obstacle between scientists and the rest of the world, with divisions simmering between the different scientific fields. Even cartoons show mad scientists seemingly cut off from reality and either bent on world domination or carrying out some stunningly convoluted experiments. Such depictions have fed a fear of science, a fear that is unfortunately passed on from one generation to the next. It has also led to numerous stereotypes of scientists, such as scientists having a god-complex and no respect for human life.

These ideas are clearly unrealistic and create additional barriers. They need to be demolished. Science is not the terrifying sector it is believed to be. On the contrary, science is something that we are surrounded by and embrace in our everyday lives. It strives to improve the health and quality of life, and sometimes even has an element of fun. 

The aim of Science in the City, part of the EU initiative named Researchers’ Night, was to bring science closer to the general public and therefore try to remove some of these misconceptions. Different scientific disciplines were shown, while the events and exhibits were designed to attract a varied audience. Science was also portrayed from an artistic aspect, showing that art and science may go hand in hand. 

Behind the scenes, scientists were working non-stop for weeks to make sure that this event was a success. Everyone involved in coordination, events, or exhibits had to constantly push forward to overcome problems that never ceased to crop up. Pleading with transport providers, attempting to fit in multiple meetings in an impossibly short time, never-ending lists of urgent emails and work-filled weekends became a norm, with pressure rising and culminating with the start of the event. The event, the bulk of which only lasted a few hours, took months of hard work, before and after the 28th September.

On the whole, I believe that Science in the City did manage to make science more attractive and understandable to the general population. By having several areas dedicated to different audiences, everyone could find something suited to them. Children were exposed to the more entertaining side of science and by showing the scientific basis behind everyday things that we might take for granted. Different scientists came together to show the high level of research happening in Maltese laboratories. Previously shot video footage gave insight into life behind a laboratory’s walls, exemplifying the scientific work that goes on away from the public eye.

Although they involve a great deal of hard work, further efforts need to be made to bring science closer to the general public. Without the public’s understanding and acceptance, a great deal of scientific effort will be hindered and research growth will be stunted. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfkZdV1p3lc


Part of Science in the City, Malta’s Science and Arts Festival

For more stories click here

More to Explore

Adrift at Sea: Laws, Morals, and Policies in Malta’s Search and Rescue Region

Since 2016, EU member states have scaled down search and rescue operations that save lives at sea and replaced them with policies intended to reduce the number of migrant arrivals to Europe. These policies of non-assistance and forced returns to Libya render the central Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest border spaces and force asylum seekers back to a war zone where inhuman and degrading treatment is well-documented. A growing network of civil society organisations continues to challenge these policies in the courts, on the streets, and at sea. This article, the second in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM), Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM, and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM.

Concentration Camps in Libya

Following the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya descended into a decade of disunity and violence resulting in incalculable suffering and loss of life. Today, much of the country remains a war zone, and migrants in EU-sponsored Libyan detention facilities continue to suffer well-documented, gross human rights violations. This article, the first in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM); Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM; and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM. 

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment