Science Festival Explores Invisible Worlds
The Edinburgh International Science Festival is leaping into 2012 with a programme designed to challenge, inspire and explore. The Festival, which runs from the 30th March – 15th April at venues around the city, will be celebrating science through vibrant, innovative events, hands-on activities and explosive experiments for adults, children and families.
Dr Simon Gage, Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, said “Laugh about it, dance about it, dream about it or simply talk about it; we've never had such a variety of ways of soaking up hundreds of new ideas that spin from the birth of stars via dad dancing to maths comedy. For two weeks in April Edinburgh will become one of the world’s greatest playgrounds for the restlessly curious.”
Highlights of the jam-packed programme include InMotion – a major event celebrating the science of human movement at National Museum of Scotland; Invisible Worlds a series of incredible photographs displayed in St Andrew Square taking viewers on a journey through the hidden realms of the very big and incredibly small, focuses on food, dining and the sensory experience, as well as the environment and the eco-system. The Science Festival will also look into the art of manipulation and mind bending with a rare appearance from Derren Brown in conversation with Richard Wiseman (21 April).
In the year that sees Olympic fever hit the UK, the theme of movement can be seen throughout the Science Festival. The flagship production InMotion is a celebration of the science of human movement and performance in relation to sport, technology and dance. InMotion takes pride of place in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland and is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund together with the Welcome Trust and EPSRC.
The events programme moves forward into new intellectual and cultural spaces as the Science Festival invites everyone interested in the world around them to join in its exploration of all things science. The varied programme celebrates ideas while embracing discovery, innovation and creativity and welcomes a wide variety of speakers including scientists, comedians, psychologists, dancers, chefs and photographers. Adventurous adults are invited to hot foot it over burning coals in Firewalking (8 and 9 April), challenge their senses in Sensory Dining (10 April), with comedian and broadcaster Steve Mould, and discover the science behind dad dancing in The Dancing Brain (1 April) as Peter Lovett introduces the results of a national study into this phenomenon.
Energy, earth, environment and climate are never far from the headlines, and the Science Festival tackles these big issues head on with a timely and fresh look at some of the most important and topical issues. From clothing that cleans the air you breathe (Catalytic Clothing, 4 April), to poetic explorations of extinction (via some hard-hitting debates on food security, climate change and energy), there is plenty to discuss in this, the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. And this year’s Edinburgh Medal recipient – acclaimed climate scientist and activist Dr James Hansen – is a perfect figurehead for this focus.
For families, the Science Festival remains the perfect Easter Holiday adventure. Edinburgh’s City Art Centre is transformed into a science playground packed full of circuits, scary skeletons, racing robots and manic monsters. New activities for this year include Visual-Eyes, supported by Optos, where children can peek inside a giant eye, find out how lenses work and even dissect an eyeball. Other family-friendly events include a series of science stories at Scottish Storytelling Centre, scientific trails around National Museum of Scotland and the chance to explore the science of food with live cooking demonstrations and tasting experiments at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory team will be presenting free live shows in the Usher Hall and drop in activities on the Mound Precinct.
Visitors won’t have to wait to explore the Science Festival though - the journey to Invisible Worlds, begins today in St Andrew Square, in the heart of Edinburgh. A free, open-air photography exhibition of subject matter that is usually invisible to the human eye, the exhibition is an incredible collection of images that straddle the borders between science and art from varied fields such as biomedical imaging and astronomy.
The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from Friday 30 March to Sunday 15 April. Full details of the programme can be found here and all tickets can be found here. Tickets can also be purchased by phone through the Science Festival Box Office on 0844 557 2686 or in person at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival shop, 180 High Street, Edinburgh (open 10.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 11.00am to 5.30pm Saturday). Invisible Worlds runs from today to Sunday 15th April in St Andrew Square from 8.00am to 6.00pm daily. Admission free (no ticket required).