Switzerland's scientists go on marketing offensive

The French artist Xavier Juillot will let his art installations dominate Zurich's skyline on May 4. Xavier Juillot

Switzerland's scientific community is sponsoring a weeklong, countrywide festival starting on May 4 to help bridge the widening gap between the world of science and the general public.

This content was published on May 1, 2001 - 06:23

The "Science et Cité" festival will kick off on May 4 in Zurich when the city's railway station will be turned into a giant laboratory. Scientists will be on hand to explain numerous cutting edge projects, including new research into BSE and attempts to store energy in zinc.

The sponsors of the festival say there is an increasing gulf between scientists and the man in the street. They organised the festival because of worries that the scientific community "no longer trusts the concerns of society while society no longer trusts the answers of science".

Science and Parascience is the theme of the festival in Geneva. The city's scientific community and cultural foundations will host costume balls, live theatre and debates at locations throughout the city, in an attempt to highlight the differences between the accepted sciences and those such as astrology and alchemy.

Lucerne is putting itself in the "spotlight of the sciences". The events in the central Swiss city will shed light on numerous cultural and scientific themes, allowing festival-goers a peak behind the scenes of well-known museums and institutes.

In Bern, the three main squares of the city - in front of parliament, the cathedral and the Kornhaus building, will become the stages for talks, theatre performances and various scientific experiments.


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