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Scientific facts fascinate the audience

“Science Fiction - Science Facts”: This was the motto under which the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich looked into the future on their Science Days - because what sounds like fiction today could perhaps be commonplace tomorrow. 20,000 to 30,000 visitors took advantage of the opportunity at «Scientifica» to receive answers directly from researchers to questions such as: Can one ever grow food on Mars or extract fuels from sunlight and air? Is a quantum computer possible? Will surgeons wear augmented reality glasses during surgery?

At over 50 stands, in 34 short lectures and at various shows, around 400 scientists presented their research in lively discussions, with interactive experiments or as a science slam. The Science Cafés were also popular - a particularly suitable format for dealing with topics that are currently being discussed intensively in public.

Participants in the discussion with very different views debated with the audience about the “curse or blessing of gene modification”, “artificial intelligence in everyday life” or “conveying scientific facts in times of fake news”

Solid facts as a basis for discussion

Michael Schaepman, Vice-Rector for Research at UZH, explains what the basis for good discussions is: “In controversial social and political discussions, one should rely on solid knowledge and not on speculation. Universities like ETH and UZH provide such basic scientific data and facts ». The Vice Rector also states: "In times of fake news, it is particularly important that we contribute to the public discussion with our research, identify trends and point out possible consequences - for example at Scientifica."