ITMO Launches Entertainment Show About Science and Tech

What would it look like if Seldon the Robot took Alice on a date? What do St. Petersburg residents think about black holes in the Milky Way? And why should you stop referring to the Crazy IT Party meme when talking about scientists and programmers? ITMO University launched a new entertainment show about science and technology. Warning: some scenes may contain elements of populist nature. To learn what the Rector Vladimir Vasilyev would say to Elon Musk if they ever met, watch the pilot episode.

A bit of “Evening Urgant” vibes, Zach Galifianakis-style absurdism and lots of science: that’s what the new show is about. But instead of boring science, serious lectures and discussions, it features talks about what a date for two robots would be like, or what ITMO University’s Rector would say to Elon Musk.

“We came up with the idea of this show last autumn, when one of our partners suggested launching a series of lectures with scientists. But the thing is, there are already quite a lot of such events in St. Petersburg. We wanted something new”, says Valentina Levchenko, PR specialist for the Event Management Office at ITMO University.

Eventually, the team came up with something completely different from what they discussed with their initial partners. The concept changed many times, as they wanted to experiment with various formats, like, for example, to combine a talk show with serious science news about space, technologies and new discoveries in physics.

“Back then, we didn’t come to any decision with our partners and started working on our own. At some stage, we realized that no university has ever launched a talk show about science, technologies, and innovation. And so we decided to give it a try”, continues Valentina. “At first we wanted to make it something like a late-night show about science, but then we decided to introduce some more action. We watched various comedy shows, such as Zach Galifianakis’s “Between Two Ferns” and Eric Andre’s “The Eric Andre Show”. These shows provide comedy with a healthy dose of the absurd and surrealistic, and that's the formula we went with for our show”.

What it’s all about

The SHOCK Show's team
The SHOCK Show's team

An episode of the show lasts for twenty minutes or so and includes numerous segments. The news segment focuses on the latest trends in science and technology. Another segment, “RosCosmos” by Natalia Ros, a Master’s student in science communication at ITMO University, includes reports about science news, space, and technologies. For example, in the pilot series, there is a report about the Internet Day at ITMO University.

“The show is far from serious. Initially, we wanted it to be a regular popular science show, but then decided to try and think outside the box”, shares Ms. Levchenko.

The main segment of SHOCK Show features is an interview with a special guest. For the show’s pilot episode ITMO University’s Rector Vladimir Vasilyev took part in the show. The creators of the project also plan to invite renowned scientists, specialists in the field of education, and heads of IT companies to keep things varied.

Follow the project on YouTube and the university’s VK page.

Journalist
Personalities
Archive by year: