Want to know what PCR machine results and western bolts do to an improv show? Next week on Friday the Catalyst is invited to the 2017 edition of Science Slam Basel! Get a taste of what happens when dealers sell sequencing data!
Exposure Science Film Hackathon will take place form the 1st to the 3rd of December 2017. Applications are now open!
Science can appear inaccessible and complex to non-scientists and art can seem unachievable and daunting to scientists. This 3 day course aims to bring together scientists and artists to create films that communicate complex concepts in science. In groups of 4, participants will find a scientific concept, decide how they want to communicate this concept, and produce a short film aimed at a non-scientist audience.
The short films are created with the aim of communicating fascinating scientific concepts and engaging members of the public with science. On the last evening of the event the films will be presented to a panel of judges who will award a prize to the film that best fulfills the aims of the hackathon. There will also be a free public showing of the films. Check out the Exposure Hackaton website.
In collaboration with the French improv group Pool d'Impro du Poly (PIP), The Catalyst organised a day-long bilingual improv workshop with aims to increase collaboration between university theatre groups.
The workshop, held on the 21st May 2017 on EPFL campus, welcomed members of the PIP (http://www.pipimpro.com/), L'HeiDi (https://www.facebook.com/LHeiDi-1152420284871794/) and The Catalyst (http://thecatalyst.ch/) to expand their skill set in improvisational theatre. In total 16 people were in attendance.
The organisers would like to thank again the three leads, Robin Nigon, Mark Venning-Slater and Charles Mullon, for hosting sessions on the respective themes of, intra-group dynamics, scene work and character work. They were all very well received!
Thanks also to the attendees for their enthusiastic participation, and delicious contributions to the pot-luck lunch.
A similar collaborative event will be held during July’s Wednesday drop-ins, which are to be lead by Elliott. To express interest in this, or future workshops, do contact Elliott or The Catalyst at: email@example.com
Thank you again and until next time!
Elliott and Robin
The Catalyst are heading to Zurich! CC9 players Daisy, Hedwig, Robbie, Patrick, Yuliy, and Gus have been invited to perform at the Kulturfolger Art Gallery in Zurich. Using their collective might, they will perform long-form improv inspired by the exhibit. Can't be missed!
When: Friday 24 March; Doors open: 19:30, Show: 20:00
Where: Kulturfolger, Idastrasse 46, 8003 Zürich, Switzerland
For more details follow the link below:
The Catalyst are pleased to announce the launch of Drop-in sessions in Geneva! Starting from March 1st, these sessions will be held at the University of Geneva, Centre Medical Universitaire. For more information follow this link to our new facebook group Catalyst-Geneva!
Building on success throughout 2016, The Catalyst is excited to kick off 2017 with the second season of CatCave9. Get set to return to Cinema Oblo to witness improv that takes scientific discussion to unforeseen lateral heights! And also come to hear from our gifted speakers that give you a taste of their current research. For further information, please click on the CatCave9 tab above, or follow the link below:
NOTE: Please make sure that you arrive at the venue early. We can only take a limited number of spectators due to building restrictions, and we would hate to have to turn anyone away. Doors open at 19:00, and there is the bar to keep you company before the show starts at 20:00!
2016 was a busy year for The Catalyst, and alas, not every project has been mentioned so far. However, we're still proud of them! Here is a list of events within which The Catalyst either devised, performed, or did a mixture of the two.
Our monthly science improv show at Cinema Oblo, which is now a roaring success!
The Catalyst performed at the second Debunking Slam in Zurich. Taking place at the BQm Kulturcafe & Bar on the ETH Zurich campus, four speakers debunked misconceptions on various topics, even working in Judas Priest lyrics! The Catalyst then devised, as is our custom, improv sketches based on these talks to entertain the audience and take the topics on new tangents. A big thank you to Skeptiker Schweiz for hosting us!
We were invited to teach workshops on science communication, elevator pitching and presentation skills for CUSO, HEC Lausanne, iMM in Lisbon, at doctoral schools and events (e.g. Life Science Career Day) around Switzerland. A bit of business, but we are happy to spread the science-improv bug through these training courses!
2016 saw the 11th edition of Les Mystères de l'UNIL that focussed on the theme of The City. Nearly 10,000 people, including 2200 students, participated in this open-door event at l'Université de Lausanne where 300 researchers put on 24 workshops and 9 laboratories to fascinate one and all.
For our part, The Catalyst was involved in devising and performing an interactive debate. This debate centered on an imaginary city that had just been discovered in the mountains of Switzerland. Due to the depletion of a mysterious mineral that had once protected the city, the inhabitants came to Lausanne to seek help in developing their city, Kryptopolis, to make it thrive once again. Students were asked to listen to arguments from different perspectives on urban development, including topics such as commercialism, electricity generation and transportation, and then to vote for their most preferred option. In this way they helped the inhabitants design the Kryptopolis of tomorrow. It was amazing to see how passionate the students were about designing the best city!
We brought together the Lac Leman improv community for a weekend of skill sharing and fun. We had the pleasure to welcome members from the Renegade Saints, Shark Pockets, ZigZag and of course us, The Catalyst.
Two of our members went and represented at this amazing event, running a session on Science and Improv.
As the Science Slam Basel team say:
"Giving excellent science talks is not magic, it's practice."
This was the second time The Catalyst has performed at Science Slam Basel, and for the second time we were met with contagious support and enthusiasm. Once again the speakers presented enlightening talks that both educated and entertained. It was clear that all of their practice led to some magical performances. Drawing on this inspiration, The Catalyst performed a series of improv sketches that were well received.
We performed for charity at this event organized jointly with the Shark Pockets and Renegade Saints. We were thrilled to raise some money for Terre des Hommes, a charity that helps children in crisis.
The much anticipated Exposure Science Film Hackathon took place this month and produced 9 amazing films. 36 participants worked for 3 days to create films on time, emergent properties and bacteria. The films were judged by a panel of experts on Sunday 4th December and two groups were awarded the jury prize:
Carbon Capture Storage by Cut it out
and Quorum sensing by Self organised
Three days later the films wre shown at Cinema Cityclub in Pully and once more the two top films could not be separated! The audience voted and with exactly the same number of votes each the winners were:
Quorum sensing by Self organised
and Better together by Ka.os
The cinema was almost at capacity and the films were universally loved. All films will be available online in the coming week or two (see exposurehackathon.com).
Thanks to all the people who came to the shows, all the people who supported the event and all the participants. We are already planning Exposure 2017!!No Comments
This was a new concept for us that certainly broadened our science entertainment skills.
In collaboration with the Musée de zoologie in Lausanne, The Catalyst designed the Escape Game as an accompaniment to the museum's exhibition Parasites! Like other escape games, participants must use the information in the room and their intelligence to solve a series of puzzles, and finally to escape! Our game asks the potential escapees to become parasites; to infect the exhibition host; and to use the material displayed in the exhibition to proceed through puzzles and the parasitic life cycle to finally escape the host. This was a challenging project that pushed our creative and intellectual skills to the limit, and we're proud to have created our first escape game. Well, two actually. That run simultaneously in a large room full of interesting details that could be relevant to one escape game but not the other, or perhaps they're relevant to both and the host is throwing out red-herrings to slow us down so it can finally catch us in a dramatic crescendo finale. Or not. My head is spinning.
In this one-night-only spectacular, you will see us, the Shark Pockets and Renegade Saints, exhibiting our different improv stylings for your entertainment, and the charities of our choice.
Comment, share and find out more at:
Also, follow the links to our amazing collaborators:
The Catalyst has teamed up with Bio Science Network Lausanne to create an event unlike any other. Scientists and artists from around Switzerland will come together to produce short films on complex scietific subjects aimed at members of the public.
The 3 day event will also invite an amazing set of mentors in various aspects at the intersection of science communication and the arts. We are so excited to see what this event can produce!
If you are interested in taking part please visit the website and complete the application form (click image below to go to the website).
If you are interested in viewing the films that the event creates then we have a public showing at Cinema Club Pully on Dec 7th (click image below for more details).
Little is known about the day to day lives of scientists. They are often shrouded in mystery and what little information we have only leads to more questions....
Robbie I'Anson Price takes you on a journey into his day to day life as a PhD student studying honey bee behaviour.
Studying bees means that you can say goodbye to your summer plans relaxing on the beach. Honey bee behaviour is best studied during the mostly good summer weather. During this period one must monitor each colony weekly, keep the colonies in good health and prepare them for experimentation, not to mention carry out the experiments!
How does a colony of more than 20,000 bees function without centralised control? How related to each other are the bees in a colony? What happens to a colony if the queen is kidnapped?
Find the answers to all these questions and so many more through this amazing VLOG!
From episode 3 (March, 2016): Our exploration of ants in the rainforest canopy [on Dane's head]. Thanks to monologist Nic Plowman!
(First few minutes = Nic's talk; the rest = our re-interpretation!)
CatCave9 continues with more science and more improv! This set of episodes tips the balance toward long-form improv with 3 whole long forms and a handful of short forms per show. Wow!
It's been more than a year since our last pure-improv show, and we are thrilled to say we'll be having monthly improv shows at the Cinema Obló in Lausanne starting January 21st!
Published by Alex Seeholzer
Have you ever been to a science slam? It's kind of like a bunch of science TED talks where the scientist-speakers are competing against one another to give the most entertaining and interesting talk and the audience judges. Sounds fun, no?
The Catalyst will be joining the folks at the University of Basel for their Science Slam on December 16th, but instead of slamming ourselves, we'll be doing a bit of improv about the slams in between the talks. We are stoked!
A few months ago we were contacted by the organizers of EPFL's Closing ceremony for the International Year of Light. They had put together an amazing event with a great, while notably all male, line-up of speakers and they were looking for some light-hearted science communicators to bring their event to life: enter The Catalyst.
Over the past month we've been developing sketches around the ideas of the different talks and generally having a lot of fun. The event itself takes place December 5th, 2015, at the EPFL's Rolex Learning Center and it is free! You can get tickets here: http://www.light2015.ch/
Our creation Blue Butterfly will be performed again in collaboration with the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) event RECHERCHE LIVE in Lausanne at La Grange de Dorigny October 1-3, 2015.
Blue Butterfly is the story of a young family grappling with demanding careers, an abnormal child, and fundamental forces of nature. Natalie and Simon are struggling scientists who resort to TEDx talks and TV to thrust their research into the spotlight, while their brilliant but dangerous seven-year-old daughter gravitates towards her grandmother's mystical beliefs. Their research into cancer, parasitism, and immunology echoes the complex dynamics of a family blind to their own dysfunction.
When life spirals into crisis, we must ask ourselves: what do we want to believe?