Science in the City (SitC) is Malta’s national Science & Arts Festival and makes part of the European Researchers’ Night (ERN) initiative. The SitC event aims to engage, empower and enable children and young adults to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers.
The SitC consortium strives to involve the general public in this national event to discover different ways of experiencing scientific topics through various forms of arts. This year, the festival will be based around the theme ‘Taking Root’, which will expand on what we’ve been attempting to achieve in recent years—emphasising the importance of science and research to citizens, ultimately fostering engaged and responsible citizenship.
We are aiming to improve the culture of creative and critical thinking in the Maltese islands, as well as in other countries. These abilities enable us to make deliberate and reflective changes in any field, from the arts and sciences to ethics, the environment, and politics.
Why is it important for society?
SitC has been known to showcase artworks based around research from fields such as engineering, social sciences, neuropsychology, inclusive economy, health, language and education. All these topics are vitally important for society because of their presence in our everyday life. For that reason it is important for citizens to understand the role that they can take in it.
Scientific information is not always so easily accessible to everyone, the festival aims to communicate science in a straightforward and interactive manner for a broad audience. By reaching a diverse audience through the festival, we enhance the public’s awareness of socio-economic and scientific problems and how they can contribute to solving them.
Furthermore, we address the need for younger generations to learn that science is an open door for everyone who is interested regardless of their gender, abilities, social status and background.
What are the overall objectives?
1. To show how science is part of everyday life and that researchers are people who work toward having a positive impact on daily life.
2. To demonstrate that science can be fun, interesting and exciting and can lead to rewarding career opportunities.
3. To develop art inspired by a scientific concept or idea, especially local science.
4. To create interactive science-inspired arts projects which engage citizens and communities.
5. To have both a physical platform in Valletta as well as an online presence during the festival.
Activities from our past events
Several activities were organised during the previous editions of SitC. There were some pre-festival activities (8 in the 2021 Festival), mostly pre-festival workshops like CineXjenza: Sharklab (during which CineXjenza reveals the secrets of sharks and debunked commonly held myths with short clips from Sharklab Malta) or Create Your Own Game: MissinTech Online Workshop (In this pre-festival workshop, MissinTech showed the participants how to create a computer game from scratch). Here are some of the highlights of the 2018 festival.
During the real-world festival, theatres across the city hosted a selection of events created to excite, inspire and entertain people of all ages. Citizens were able to enjoy this vibrant celebration of science and art, featuring music, interactive plays, comedy, science shows and more. These real-world workshops mostly involved science communication and engagement workshops. We can take for example, a science poetry workshop during the SITC 2019 edition, or Meet the Researchers (this workshop takes place yearly during the festival).
There have also been live virtual festivals which were only a click away for the citizens to participate in. The virtual program includes the same exciting variety of events that have come to define Malta’s largest Science and Arts festival.