An association of creative scientists
Established in 2012 in Lausanne, Switzerland, The Catalyst is a group of scientific researchers and professionals that use entertainment as a means of engagement with the public. Using skills grounded in improvisation, theater, and film, we have created a variety of formats that showcase leading scientific ideas. The Catalyst is a non-profit association governed by Articles 60 et seq. of the Swiss Civil Code.
What we do
Performance and media
The Catalyst has produced a variety of original and adapted media including theatrical plays, live improv shows (CatCave9, a monthly science-improv show has been entertaining and educating audiences since January 2016), film (co-organizer and incubator of Exposure Hackathon, a Swiss-wide science short-film hackathon), interactive debates, immersive games, and podcasts.
Improv for scientists
Our English-language weekly improv sessions in Geneva and Lausanne have become a popular gathering place for scientists and non-scientists, interested in learning theater skills and meeting like-minded creatives. First time improviser or improv ace? We don’t care, as long as you visit our weekly drop-in to meet us!
Trainings & Workshops
We use improvisation and storytelling techniques to help scientists (and non-scientists) be better communicators. This is taught in workshops, by request or invitation, in which we teach public-speaking skills and scientific communication strategies. Check out the Workshops section to learn more.
Meet the crew
The elected committee currently managing The Catalyst consists of:
- President: Alex Seeholzer
- Treasurer: Yuliy Schwarzburg
- Communications: Suzanne Balharry
- Training coordinator: Patrick Burch
- Opportunities: Hedwig Ens
- Founder & Advisor: Adria LeBoeuf
Funding & Support
CatCave9 is self-sustaining thanks to our lovely audiences.
Exposure Science Film Hackathon was jointly supported by UNIL, EPFL, CUSO, the Dudley Wright Foundation and Nikon. For 2018-2019 Exposure is supported by a Swiss National Science Foundation AGORA grant.
The Blue Butterfly Project 2014-2015 was supported principally by a Swiss National Science Foundation AGORA grant for science engagement with the public – “The Catalyst: Science on Stage.”
The Pôle d’Expression Théâtrale at EPFL and all of its component sponsors (Agepoly, FAE, EPFL) backed the initial launch of our group and continued to back us with financial aid, technical support, and advising for both Puppet Theories (2013) and An Enemy of the People (2014). They kindly helped support Blue Butterfly.
We thank the Center for Integrative Genomics and the UNIL for housing our weekly meetings and for providing administrative services.
c/o Pôle d’Expression Théâtrale
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