‘Exploring the edge’ – it was this year’s theme of Roche Continents (10-16 August 2016), an interdisciplinary programme including workshops and lectures in the arts and science. Every year, Roche invites 100 of Europe's most talented students to Salzburg/Austria to experience a unique journey exploring sources of inspiration at the intersection of science and arts, creativity and innovation. Participants are carefully selected from an applicant pool composed of students aged 20-29 nominated by their professors in universities across Europe.
This year, Roche Continent with its 70 science and 30 arts students was a melting pot of 29 nationalities, offering a truly intercultural experience. CEB PhD student and WD Armstrong Scholar Theresa Maier had the unique opportunity to participate, while celebrating the programme’s 10th anniversary.
Roche Continents is organized by Roche with the Salzburg Festival, one of the world's most famous music festivals inaugurated in 1920. The 100 scholars were able to attend three contemporary concerts, and Richard Strauss’ opera “The Love of Danae”, as well as to personally engage in conversations with some of the world’s most promising musicians and recognised composers. In addition, the participants explored the interdisciplinary nature of artistic science and scientific art through lectures and talks, amongst others by Ben Moore (Professor of Astrophysics, University of Zurich), Renée Schroeder (Professor of RNA-biochemistry, University of Vienna), and Alley Welsh (Senior Scientist, Foundation Medicine).
“Throughout my childhood, I was educated with the emphasis to embrace both natural science and arts. Since I am seven years old, I am enthusiastically playing piano, regularly attending concerts, theatres, and modern art exhibitions, especially encouraged by my mum who is an artist herself. It always amazed me how art and music are able to serve as an universal language, communicating at the most powerful emotional level. I am so grateful for being part of the truly inspiring event ‘Roche Continents’ and the unparalleled opportunity of embracing unknown paths and novel sources of inspiration. I returned to Cambridge not only with novel food for thoughts, but also with countless unique memories and many new friendships.” – Theresa Maier