Global Science Film festival poster and Ibexes, trophies awarded to the winners © Swiss Science Film Academy
Global Science Film festival poster and Ibexes, trophies awarded to the winners © Swiss Science Film Academy

Making Science Accessible: Swissnex network in Asia in the 5th Global Science Film Festival

Presenting themes of global importance, the Swiss Global Science Film Festival went international with the screening of a film, followed by simultaneous panel discussions in China, India, Japan and Switzerland on 31 March 2023

What is the appearance of the interior of a glacier, and what risks does global warming present to our well-being and means of living? The answers were found in Shanghai at Swissnex in China, in New Delhi at the Embassy of Switzerland, in Mumbai at the Swiss Consulate General, in Bangalore at Swissnex in India, in Osaka at Swissnex in Japan and in Basel at the Cinema Pathé Küchlin during the simultaneous screening of the film Expedition Deep into the Glacier, within the framework of the 5th Global Science Film Festival. A panel discussion entitled ‘Making science accessible to the broad public’ followed, where the panellists, including journalists and scientists reflected on the problems faced by communication professionals in presenting science issues relevant to society.

The event was very well received. A guest in China said “Thanks Swissnex for hosting the event, it is great to reconnect with the world through films, and thanks to the dialogues for igniting the seeds of cultural exchange”, while one from Japan reacted with “The film festival gave me time to rethink the issues we face today, such as global warming and biodiversity.” One panellist in India said, ‘journalists and scientists have to work together and that journalists have to refrain from doing armchair journalism’.

The Global Science Film Festival is organised by the Swiss Science Film Academy, founded by Swiss scientists and filmmakers, with one passion “science communication through film”. Amongst the Swiss universities and research institutions associated with the Academy are the Universities of Zurich, Bern and Basel, the ETH, the EAWAG and WSL.

The Academy tied up with the Swissnex network in Asia to explore taking the 2023 edition of the Global Science Film Festival international and received an enthusiastic response. Despite not being a Swissnex location, the Swiss Consulate General in Mumbai joined forces in a spirit of collaboration. The event was a success and is testimony of the strength and teamwork of the Swissnex Network in Asia.

The next festival is planned in November 2024 and, based on the 2023 experience, the Swissnex network in Asia participating again will be explored.

Panel discussion in Basel, with the Swissnex locations on screen © Swiss Science Film Academy
Photo 3: Audience watching the screening in New Delhi © Embassy of Switzerland in India