Casual encounters with science | Science in the City

Taking place this Friday, the Science in the City festival will aim to make science fun for everyone.

Steve Hili: “I wouldn’t say Cereal and Self Abuse is a family show…”
Steve Hili: “I wouldn’t say Cereal and Self Abuse is a family show…”

Though science may be, at the face of it, a complicated and intellectually frustrating discipline, one of the motives behind the all-night festival of science and culture - Science in the City, taking place across the streets of Valletta this Friday - is precisely to dismantle this misconception.

At the forefront of this mission - among a plethora of exhibits and activities - is comedian and radio personality Steve Hili.

With a 'stand-up comedy lecture' entitled Cereal and Self Abuse, Hili will, along with actress Alba Florian Viton, go head to head with some key scientific concepts, often with hilarious results.

"The show is all about how a certain breakfast cereal formed part of a master plan to curb masturbation!" Hili says, adding that the show will delve into "the sticky depths of how certain parts of the body work and how a man came up with scientific theories that he believed could stop people playing with themselves."

"I wouldn't say it's a family show," he warns.

But can science be funny? Hili seems to believe so.

"Take refraction for instance... hilarious! Seriously though, science is all around us, permeating everything from the mundane to the sublime. Some bits are funny. Some bits aren't . Like Nuclear bombs."

Hili and Viton will be performing at Angelica, Archbishop Street, Valletta from 11.30pm on Friday, with a repeat performance on the next day (during Notte Bianca) at 9.00pm.

READ MORE: What's in store for Science in the City?

Meanwhile - and now that we're speaking of ways to make science less intimidating - another activity forming part of Science in the City will seek to break down barriers between scientific researchers and the general public.

'Meet the Researchers' will be held at the King's Own Band Club from 8.30pm on Friday, with the idea being to provide an informal setting where the public will get the chance to speak to researchers to better understand what they actually do.

READ MORE: The dance that bridges disciplines

"Although understanding the science is not our goal, the researchers fields of expertise will cover engineering, physics and bio genetics among others," organiser Karen Fiorini said, reassuring that "there won't be any tedious presentations or lengthy speeches, this will be a party where drinks and nibbles will be served to ensure a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere".

Science in the City will take place across Valletta this Friday from 18:00 onwards. For more information and a full programme, log on to the festival's official website.