Wednesday 8 November: the most exciting day of the festival. For months programming and production have been working hard and yesterday was the moment. InScience opened! Twice even, because beside the official opening there was also a special Junior opening for children.
The festival was opened in a crowded Synthon hall in LUX with enthusiastic children and parents. Klokhuis-presenter Pascal Tan opened the Junior festival together with festival director Johan van de Woestijne. With a joint press on the big red button by Pascal and three children from the audience, the first ever video of the festival was started. This was followed by the premiere of the episode ‘Living on Mars’, last year’s winning research. Accompanied by a cry of wonder, this was well received by all age groups in the hall.
After the show, the tension rose among the scientists and the rest of the audience: the winner of this year was to be announced. First, the ten nominees briefly presented themselves in a series of short films and repeated the core of their research. Under a loud drumstick and with serpentine slingers ready, Pascal opened the envelope with the winner. It was Dr. Floor Postema of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) with the research ‘Watching with a 3D Camera Why Children Get Cancer’. Postema responded happily surprised by the win. In a reaction, she said she had not expected it but of course hoped to win. In short: according to young and old, a successful opening!
Bill Nye: science guy
No Facts. No Future. That is the theme of this edition of InScience. The festival was opened with the Dutch premiere that focused on the theme, namely Bill Nye: Science Guy. The Head of Program Lisa ter Berg started the festival. Lisa enthusiastically told about different programs. After the introduction by Lisa, science historian Dr. Christoph Lüthy followed. Lüthy is a lecturer and the dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religion Studies. Lüthy acknowledged that, with the theme in mind, there is actually no better way to start the festival than with the documentary Bill Nye: Science Guy. The film shows a particular constellation between fact and science. He points back to the development of science. In the seventeenth century, science was something a person could have, a theory or knowledge. That is where the statement ‘in the knowledge that’ comes from. With the arrival of philosopher Francis Bacon, everything changed. The science became collective, empirical, deductive and systematic. The word ‘fact’ was born. In the seventeenth century, it was already argued that science could help man. However, this idea of advancement by science only spread through society in the nineteenth century. The theme of fact and future is thus very recent.
Bill Nye began his television series Bill Nye the Science Guy in the 1990s because he was dissatisfied with the relationship between the United States and science. With this series, Bill Nye presented science in a playful way, making it easier to understand and accessible. In this way, Bill Nye plays a major role as a consensus between large and complex issues like climate change and creates understanding for the general public. The documentary sets out the impact of Bill Nye’s series and the present-day situation in the US.
Photo © Jimmy Israel & Henk Beenen