Research festival: CTBTO showcases work at science event for all ages

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) exhibited its work alongside over 50 scientific institutions at the Lower Austria Research Festival in the heart of Vienna’s first district.

Among the participants: the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIAASA), the Austrian Centre for Medical Innovation and Technology (ACMIT), the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Vienna, and the Museum of Natural History of Vienna, to name but a few.

Known in German as Forschungsfest Niederösterreich, the festival featured over 80 exhibits, as well as a colourful array of games, interactive quizzes, and performances to showcase the science shaping our present and future. The topics addressed included technology, nature and space, health, and social affairs, as well as the media.

At the CTBTO exhibition booth, “How do we determine nuclear tests?,” staff outlined how the Organization’s verification regime detects nuclear tests round-the-clock. Staff also engaged with the attendees, mostly in German, about the civil and scientific applications of the system’s data, which include the detection of earthquakes and tsunamis, radiation dispersal from nuclear accidents, volcanic eruptions, and meteors. They can also be used for climate change monitoring.

An interactive OmniGlobe, which provides a visual overview of the CTBTO's International Monitoring System (IMS), was the Organization’s star attraction, especially for younger children.

Speaking at the festival, Associate Operations Officer, IDC/OPS, Michael Guenther said “it is encouraging to see so many children and teenagers participating in the Forschungsfest. I discussed the specifics and history of the continental drift hypothesis with a 9-year-old."

Anne Tipka, who is a Software Engineer at the CTBTO’s International Data Centre (IDC) Division echoed his sentiments, saying she was “impressed by how engaged and curious young people are in our mission.”

According to Werner Gruber, a renowned Austrian physicist, author, and lecturer, who also took part in the event, “the young generation is not our problem… The real problem is the adults because they think they know everything about science.”

Organised biennially since 2017, the Lower Austria Research Festival attracted over 5,000 members of the public of all ages, hailing predominantly from the provinces of Vienna and Lower Austria.


CTBTO staff member Anne Tipka demonstrates how to use the OmniGlobe

Young participant giving a talk at the 2022 Lower Austria Research Festival

One of the 80 interactive exhibits at the Lower Austria Research Festival

Palais Niederösterreich, Landtagssaal

The Lower Austria Research Festival 2022 (Forschungsfest Niederösterreich in German)

CTBTO’s OmniGlobe on display at the Lower Austria Research Festival at the Palais Niederösterreich

Werner Gruber, renowned Austrian physicist, author, and lecturer at the event