Among the participants at the ball were scientists from all over the world. Beside others, we were able to film the Scientist of the Year Nuno Maulide, the Nobel Prize winner Robert Huber (Chemistry 1988), as well as many other well-known scientists swinging their dancing legs. The different backgrounds of the guests, the incomparable ambience of the Vienna City Hall and, last but not at least, the extremely varied programme of the ball made this evening an unforgettable experience for us.
As Citizen Scientists we were very happy to participate in an event, where beside wild dances, great music with dance interludes and the great ambience, everything was about science.
After we had prepared our equipment, the evening started, as in the last year, with the reception on red carpet of many well-known, but also new faces. After the official inauguration of the evening with speech by the chairman of the ball committee, Oliver Lehmann, and a speech of the mayor Dr. Michael Ludwig, the young ladies and gentlemen from the dance academy Kraml danced into the ceremonial hall, in order to inaugurate the evening with their Polonaise.
Afterwards we accompanied mayor Dr. Michael Ludwig and the former mayor Dr. Michael Häupl, biologist and president of the WWTF ("Viennese Science-, Research- und Technology-Fund"), on their tour through the different stages of the ball. There is one thing we could be certain about: The visitors of the Ball were definitely not bored during dance breaks on this evening.
The entertainment and presentations ranged from tasty samples of local superfoods, selected by Karl-Heinz Wagner, Professor of Nutrition Science at the University of Vienna, 3D-projections of the Vienna Center or Logic and Algorithms of the TU Vienna, virtual walks through the magical gardens of Gustav Klimt, made possible by the “Museum für Angewandte Kunst” MAK in cooperation with the multimedia artist Fred Baker, trough to a roulette table of the Casino Austria benefitting the refugee project “MORE”.
At 00:00, Kalyi Jag, the most legendary Roma band in Hungary, presented by Ursula Hemetek, winner of the Wittgenstein Prize and ethnomusicologist, firing up the guests in the ceremonial hall.
After this moody concert the evening continued with the midnight quadrille, where even the not so enthusiastic dancers among the guests could not avoid to get up to join the dancing crowd. Due to the wonderful music of the Orchestra of the Private University for Music of Vienna and the Ball Orchestra Divertimento Viennese, nomerous couples remained on the dance floor and turned the ceremonial hall into a colourful sea of swinging ball robes and dancing legs floating above the floor.
We experienced an incredible atmosphere at 1:00 a.m. in the discotheque, when the Viennese rap-duo ESRAP made the crowd at Volkshalle, designed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with a 30 meter long fluorescent painting, bouncing to their vibes.
Even we, the Citizen Science team from SPOTTERON, struggled very hard to stand still while trying to hold our cameras focussed.
We didn’t grab just the dancing mayor Dr. Michael Ludwig, but also the ball ambassador Prof. Franz Kerschbaum, Professor for Astronomy at the University of Vienna, who was looking for the hottest dancers with his thermal imaging camera, while swinging their dancing legs.
After raging applause and an encore the party went on with some cool music from the Djs.
Our video clip of the 5. Vienna Ball of Sciences:
When we stepped out through the gates of the town hall at the end of the evening, a waiter passed by with a beverage trolley, creating a sound comparable to disco beats. Immediately some visitors who had just left the party started to applaud: “Encore, encore, let's dance a little bit more!", we were probably not the only ones for whom this wonderful evening has gone by too soon. With anticipation we are now looking forward to the 6th Vienna Ball of Science on 25. 1. 2020. Until then we let our official ball video carry us back to the ball and float in memories.