December 4, 2023

ISTA wants to make science more accessible

ISTA (Institute of Science and Technology) activities are currently being carried out across the campus to impart knowledge to children, youth and adults. From 2025, there will be a central building for this purpose – the VISTA Science Experience Centre.

Exhibition areas and a lecture hall as well as learning and maker spaces will be created on an area of ​​approximately 1,500 square metres. The aim is to provide more knowledge about science through school workshops, extracurricular science clubs, lectures and discussion events.

Understanding science as an important goal

ISTA President Martin Hetzer described the construction of the new building as “another important building block for our scientific outreach.” The goal is not only to generate interest in research, but also to explain how science works.


Groundbreaking ceremony for the VISTA Center of Scientific Expertise (from left): ISTA President Martin Hetzer, State Governor Johanna Mikkel-Leitner, Federal Minister Martin Polaszek, and ISTA Vice President Gaia Novarino

In addition to research, promoting scientific understanding is also underpinned by ISTA’s founding documents, adds ISTA Vice President Gaia Novarino. “We have expanded our offerings to residents and created our own science education team, which has grown to twelve people in the past year. “Now is the time to create a physical place where we can welcome residents to our activities.”

A “Research Gallery” is also planned to be located in the new building. Here scientists must work with artists. “We are convinced that if people understand better how science creates knowledge, this will also increase confidence in our work,” says Christian Bertsch, Director of VISTA.

Interest in research should be aroused

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Education Minister Martin Polaszek (ÖVP) expressed his hope that the presentations would once again spark interest in research. “There are a lot of smart young people in our country and we want to make them excited about science,” the minister said. Smart, creative people are “our most important raw material,” Polaszek continued.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Governor Johanna Mikkel-Leitner (ÖVP) was also convinced that VISTA would constitute a landmark for Lower Austria. “In this way we create an understanding of research and science, and we may also motivate many young people to engage in research themselves,” the state governor said.

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