Sometimes science can be pretty dry. For example, when we talk about new molecular structures that have groundbreaking properties. This is usually difficult for the layperson to understand. But science can also work differently – that’s what science slam is all about.
At a slam event, science is presented as a poetry competition. The term science slam derives from the poetry slams that were held in Chicago in 1986. Since the 1990s, the events have taken place worldwide. So an old trick? Not at all, because the lectures of ambitious poets are often pointed and witty. And they take up new aspects from research and science.
Science Slam in the Gasteig
This also applies to the Munich City Library in the Cultural Centre Gasteig on Thursday, 29 November. Ten minutes for each Slammer, in order to present their scientific topic. The important thing is to present the research findings to the audience in an entertaining and understandable way. The better this is done, the higher the chance to take home the winning apple. Because it’s the audience that decides who has been most convincing. In the Science Slam, all aids are allowed: from the black hole theory to singing, beamer, poem or even a detour to the right roasting of a Christmas goose. It goes without saying that these stylistic devices are used generously. True to the motto: “All that is permitted is what pleases”.
Slams over digital
The initiator Zehnhocheins has chosen no less a topic than digitisation for the Science Slam at the Gasteig. It is almost certain that the presenting scientists will use the audience’s laugh muscles in order to win their support. Because it is not about the scientific depth of a lecture, but much more about entertainment. But most of the time, it’s not the person who arouses the most laughter that wins, but more so the slammer who can present his topic vividly and enthusiastically. The aim is to open the mostly closed doors to the laboratories and lecture halls of the universities. Thus, the topics dealt with should also be accessible to the layman.
A format that works
Science Slams – although with a different name – were in fact invented in Germany. Already in 2006, the first entertaining scientific lectures took place in Darmstadt, and later also in Braunschweig. With the 2009 program in Hamburg, science slams also became known in the media. There are now competitions all over Europe.
If you want to watch the scientific spectacle, you should be at the Gasteig, Level 1.1, Forum on November 29th at 6 p.m. in the Munich City Library. Admission is free. All, which do not have time on Thursday, can note themselves a further Slammer Event on 15.12. in Münchner Lustspielhaus. No opportunity to go to Munich? Then find a Science Slam somewhere else.
Photo: © Gasteig Munich GmbH / Matthias Schönhofer