And the guests won’t be the only ones eating creepy-crawlies - carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps, borrowed from Vienna’s botanical gardens - will serve as novel table decorations.
The Ball of Sciences, now in its second year, will take place on January 30th in the Town Hall (Rathaus) the day after the controversial right-wing Akademikerball.
Ball of Sciences organizer Oliver Lehmann has said that his event is about diversity and openness but that he isn’t setting out to be an ‘anti-Akademikerball’, even though he said it was nothing more than “a networking opportunity for the extreme right”.
He said that the aim of his ball is to “represent Vienna science in all its diversity, excellence and greatness."
The guest of honour will be Eric Kandel, an American neuropsychiatrist and Nobel prize winner who was born in Vienna to Jewish parents and left Austria in 1938 as a child.
Life Ball organiser and AIDS activist Gery Keszler will be one of the Ball of Sciences’ ambassadors.
Tickets cost €80, and €25 for students. Money raised from the ball’s casino will go to a fund a Vienna University initiative to help refugees.
Vienna’s ball season reaches its peak in January and February, with hunters, doctors, lawyers and coffee-house owners all holding their own events.