• The exhibition highlights how humour can become a vehicle for the dissemination of science with nearly 200 cartoons inspired by discoveries, research and scientists signed by cartoonists from more than 30 countries and from different periods
  • Lukyan, Ortifus, Musa Gomus and Hamid Soufi are some of the cartoonists who bring this exhibition to life
  • Aimed at a family audience, ‘Science, Innovation… And a lot of humour’ will be open from 20 December 2023 to 4 February 2024
  • The exhibition will also include workshops for children where they can experiment with science

València, 20 Dicembre 2023.- The conjunction of humour and science is the guiding thread of the new exhibition at the iconic Clock Building of the València Port Authority (PAV): ‘Science, Innovation and… a lot of Humour’. Focusing on the informative character that graphic humour is capable of imprinting on complex subjects and concepts such as science and innovation, the exhibition uses nearly 200 cartoons signed by cartoonists from more than 30 countries and from different periods that highlight how humour can become a vehicle capable of integrating knowledge and cultural, environmental and social values.

Humour is an essential part of our culture, and although it uses tools that are the opposite of those used by science, in this exhibition it is used as an ally to show advances and innovations and their implications in our lives in an understandable way, and it is also used as an engine to encourage critical thinking.

Lukyan, Ortifus, Musa Gomus and Hamid Soufi are just some of the cartoonists who bring this exhibition to life and who, with their works full of wit, are capable of bringing scientific knowledge to us through laughter and irony. But this exhibition also goes a step further and critically shows the precarious situation of science, scientists and researchers and also explores the real implications of innovation in the fight against climate change.

‘Science, Innovation and… A lot of Humour’ – in line with the exhibition series on graphic humour that the PAV began six years ago – highlights the immaterial value of humour as a channel of scientific communication. An exhibition designed for all audiences that can be visited in the Clock Building from 20 December 2023 until 4 February 2024. A place where you can enjoy and learn science as a family with lots of humour, creativity, images and words in the form of cartoons.

Art historian Ester Medán is the curator of this exhibition organised by the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV) in collaboration with the Quevedo Institute of the Arts of Humour of the University of Alcalá de Henares, which aims to raise awareness of the relevance of graphic humour as a vehicle for explaining science.

About this exhibition Medán says, “we intend to show how humour has the capacity to attract people to complicated subjects such as science, innovation or technology. Humour can make us think and reflect on how all these contributions of science affect people”. For his part, Juan García, from the Quevedo Institute of the Arts of Humour, points out that “the international character of this exhibition is evidence of the importance of science for society”.

The exhibition is also a tradition of the Port Authority of València as an action for the Port-City interrelation based on culture and humour. Themes that allow the Clock Building to become a privileged enclave to visit during the Christmas, New Year and Epiphany festivities.

A witty tour through Science and Innovation

Through the route proposed in the hall of the Clock Building, we observe the connections and divergences between science and humour with works that highlight the coincidences between elements belonging to these two apparently very different environments, but whose fusion awakens our curiosity and interest in learning more about the scientific world.

Nine different sections, divided into brightly coloured panels, transport us to a world where researchers, scientists, discoveries, projects and technology are the protagonists. Thus, the tour begins in the section Brilliant Minds where scientists and researchers are the protagonists of the panels: Margarita Salas, Albert Einstein, Katherine Johnson, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Sigmund Freud, Galileo Galilei or Santiago Ramón y Cajal, are some of the protagonists.

The second panel is dedicated to Concepts, where you can see vignettes explaining scientific concepts such as Agenda Setting, Artificial Intelligence, Catalyst, Electromagnetic Waves, CrispPR…, among others. Next, the tour offers us a reflection with the panel dedicated to Science versus Belief, which shows the differences between the two worlds.

The hard work of the scientist and researcher can be seen in the panel entitled He who follows gets it, while the practical applications of science to our daily lives occupy a section entitled Science in Action. It has also been taken into account how important it is to imagine and dream so that projects and ideas end up becoming reality, and for this reason, one of the sections From Imagination to Reality has been dedicated to this concept.

Sustainable innovation is presented in vignettes on sustainability research. Revolution 4.0 is presented in vignettes that deal with technology and digitalisation. And Space Exploration can be seen in illustrations on astrophysical research.

Children’s workshops

Within the framework of the exhibition, workshops will be held for children where they can experiment with science. The aim is to arouse children’s curiosity in the field of research and innovation, while at the same time encouraging critical thinking.

Each workshop session is designed to introduce participants to the fascinating world of science through practical and fun experiments such as: making a rocket out of vinegar and bicarbonate; washing in a glass; a lemon battery; observing the magical reflection of water; making snow or salt crystals, among others. In addition, the little ones will be able to make their own vignettes and display them on an ad hoc panel. The sessions will be held from 11:30 to 13:30 and the dates proposed for these workshops will be public holidays: 24 and 31 December, 21 January and 4February. And on working days: 10, 17, 24 and 31 January.