FWF - BE OPEN - Science & Society Festival


2018-09-08 to 2018-09-12

On 8 September 2018 the “BE OPEN – Science & Society Festival” will start at Maria-Theresien-Platz in Vienna. Look forward to discovering top Austrian research, participating and having a say. The festival for everyone who is naturally curious

BE OPEN – Science & Society Festival
8 to 12 September 2018
Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna
Festival Programme(pdf, 2.1MB)


On its 50th anniversary, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), together with partners from science and research, is transforming Vienna’s Maria-Theresien-Platz into a garden of curiosity.

Stroll through 18 scientific pop-up pavilions and get to know researchers who are one step ahead internationally. Discover fascinating exhibits and immerse yourself in the exciting world of basic research. Take a seat in the FWF Dialogue Arena and discuss scientific progress and social responsibility. Children and school students can kindle their curiosity at an exciting research rally and in two experimenter mobiles. The very youngest newcomers are in good hands at the mini-research club.

18 interactive pop-up pavilions

Numerous Austrian researchers are among the world leaders in their discipline. Discover eighteen scientific pop-up pavilions, ask your questions and learn more about groundbreaking findings from basic research.


An arena for discussion and exchange of ideas

Explore future social issues together with pioneers from very different areas. The spectrum ranges from the popular “Am Puls” discussions to the half-day “Universitätsdiskurs Austria” and ORF radio and television discussions.


Family weekend and school offers

Do you know the tricks that make life in the deep sea possible? What story does a tree trunk preserved in ice for 6,000 years tell? How can I make a model of a comet? You will find the answers on all festival days in the scientific pavilions, which are not only aimed at children, but also at adults. In addition, two interactive vehicles inspires with fantastic experiments to take part in. The youngest can satisfy their curiosity in their own children’s pavilion. The clever rat Rolf-Rüdiger, known from Radio Wien, will go live on air at the festival with his puzzle show. A children’s lecture in cooperation with the Zoom children’s museum invites you on an exciting journey on Vienna’s rivers.


Thanks to all participants, partners and sponsors of the festival

A strong research landscape forms the basis for securing prosperity and well-being in Austria. Since 1968, the Austrian Science Fund has been committed to making research strong, independent and accessible to all. The Austrian Science Fund would like to thank all participants, partners and sponsors who are supporting its 50th anniversary festival. The festival would be inconceivable without the commitment of all the researchers and their research facilities involved. Thank you very much for your support and participation. 

In the main partners, Boehringer Ingelheim and AVL List, two research-intensive companies are supporting the festival and helping to set an exclamation mark for a strong research landscape.
We would also like to thank the numerous events, media and supporting partners.


The festival takes place under the patronage of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and as part of the Austrian presidency of the Austrian EU Council presidency.  We are looking forward to your visit!