“Technology and Knowledge” Unit’s Annual Joint Trip

The “Technology and Knowledge” Unit at ZSI undertakes a joint trip every year. This year, we stayed ‘close to home’ and the focus was put on Vienna and its women. We began our trip in the famous Viennese Café Landtmann, with delicious cakes and coffee. From there we started with the so called “Wiener Weiber Spaziergang”, which was the main point on our agenda, before we had a great dinner at the XPEDIT restaurant in the inner city of Vienna.  The “Wiener Weiber Spaziergang” was guided by Nina Breitenecker, and Austrian tourist guide. The guided city walk aims at providing information about selected influential and special women from all social backgrounds. Marianne Hainisch for instance founded the first school for higher education for girls in Austria (after fighting for it for 22 years) or Adelheid Popp who was a great Austrian feminist and socialist coming from the poor working class. The tour also introduced other famous women, including Berta van Sutter or Ida Pfeiffer, who was the first Austrian woman who travelled the world by her own. The tour not only gave information about the famous Viennese women but also about the ones not so well known by the public, even though they have played an important role in the Austrian history, art, and culture or who have been influential in great technological innovations, such as Hedy Lamarr (co-inventor of an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping). Only a very small number of these women got their own memorials.  If they did so, they are mainly very small (for instance a street sign) or are simply unknown. This shows their low celebrity and is even more a good reason to make a guided tour focusing on women and their achievements. Since we are working on projects which focus on gender equality and gender roles in society and science we see great importance in remembering these influential Viennese women and to learn about their fight for the rights of women (today) and their impressive biographies.
After a two hour walk having soaking all the information in our heads, the trip continued to the Italian restaurant XPEDIT. Its interior design is still reminiscent of the former purpose of the premises with groceries filled shelves which split the room. We enjoyed great, delicious food and wine, it was the perfect place to end our interesting and fun outing.

Wiener WeiberMarianne Hainisch MemorialXPEDIT