The second meeting of Biotopists took place in Vienna from 17th-19th November 2017. Over the course of three days we met at Spazio Pulpo to discuss progress and plan the Biotop Christmas event. Friday evening was dedicated to catching up. People arrived from various places - quite a few Biotop members live in Vienna, others had to travel from London, Oxford, Munich, and Villach. For those who hadn’t been able to attend the first Biotop meeting in July, this was the first time they met the other members of Biotop in person.
On Saturday morning we started off planning the Christmas event, due to happen one month later (no pressure there). We discussed various formats including a classical Christmas lecture. We decided that we wanted to engage more with the audience than a classical lecture format would permit and settled on a “science fair”, an exhibition with an opening event where lots of Biotop members would be present in person, eager to engage with visitors.
We proceeded to gather possible contributions: Mariangela showed some impressive microscopy images of mouse brain sections and an experiment that allowed you to literally watch a mouse think. Alexander presented his video game “Supercoil”, which beautifully visualises electrostatic interactions. Needless to say everyone wanted to have a go at it. Martin Schnabl talked about breadedescalope’s Shadowplay clock. Martin Fera told us how archaeologists use aerial photography and infrared scanning methods to discover traces hidden in landscapes and Wolfi documented everything that happened at the meeting with his amazing sketchnotes:
The only thing we were missing at this point was a common theme under which to unite all these exciting but varied contributions. We spent a good few hours debating, re-phrasing and re-arranging post-its. Finally, we settled on “See the invisible” or “(Un)Sichtbares” in German.
Photos by Jacob Almagro & Martin Fera