Campus Vienna Biocenter: New play by Carl Djerassi at the Campus Vienna Biocenter Vienna

Carl Djerassi, inventor of the pill and the author of numerous novels and plays, has chosen the Campus Vienna Biocenter (VBC) as the third performance venue for his new work 'Insufficiency' . The play will be presented by the VBC Amateur Dramatic Club; the actors are all scientists working on the campus.

'Insufficiency' joins Djerassi's other works in the genres he created: 'science-in-fiction' and 'science-in-theater', in which he brings scientific issues and everyday problems faced by researchers to the stage, making them accessible to non-scientists. Scientists play scientists.

By choosing the Campus Vienna Biocenter, Carl Djerassi has chosen the scientific heart of Austria for the third performance of his new play worldwide. This rehearsed reading will not be performed by professional actors, however, but by the scientists of the Vienna Biocenter Amateur Dramatic Club. After the reading, Carl Djerassi and the biochemist Renée Schroeder of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University and Medical University of Vienna will answer the audience's questions on a career in science. Real problems, invented research.

The protagonist of the theatrical work of fiction 'Insufficiency' is the Polish scientist Jerzy Krzyz, a researcher in a mediocre chemistry institute investigating carbon dioxide bubbles in drinks. This esoteric area of research brings him little recognition from his colleagues. His opposition to entrenched practices and rules leads to career standstill when he is halfway to a tenured position. The estrangement from his colleagues turns him into a murder suspect when two of his critics are suddenly found dead after drinking champagne he had prepared during the course of his research. Carl Djerassi molds new theatrical genre.

The Vienna-born chemist Carl Djerassi is successful, versatile and has remained remarkably young despite his age of 88. After a steep academic career path, earning him the National Medal of Science in 1973 for the invention of the contraceptive pill, he began his literary activities at the age of 60. In his numerous plays and novels, Djerassi has created the two new genres 'science-in-fiction' and 'science-in-theater' which deal with scientific topics and the everyday problems and difficulties of researchers. In June 2012 he received his 27th honorary doctorate from the Rector of the University of Vienna, Heinz Engl, who described him as one of the most adventurous and multifaceted scientific personalities of our time. As Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Stanford, Carl Djerassi, in addition to his literary activities, still lectures students there. The Campus Vienna Biocenter (VBC) is a collaboration of several various academic and industrial research institutions and companies in the field of Life Sciences, based in Vienna's third district. With 1,400 scientists and students from forty nations, the campus is Austria's most important research location for the life sciences. The members of the theater group VBC ADC are mostly recruited from the four largest research facilities on campus: the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna; the Research Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP), and the two institutions of the Austrian Academy of Sciences: the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) and the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI).

Event announcement:
by Carl Djerassi
Staged Reading
26th June 2012
Doors open 18:00, begin 18:30
IMBA Auditorium
Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3
1030 Vienna
Free admission - reservations required
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