Who is best placed to write about science for the general public – scientists, who know what they’re talking about; or writers, who know how to express ideas clearly and readably? Our panel of distinguished authors have written books about botany, chemistry, alchemy and scientific history and biography. Join them for a conversation about knowing and communicating. Are they scientists, or writers, or both? Hosted by Stranger Than Fiction, Edinburgh’s only organisation devoted to writers of non-fiction.
Around one in six people In Scotland will have a stroke at some point, with about 12,500 having one every year. The damage caused by a stroke can be widespread and long lasting, and rehabilitation can be slow but it is the topic of much on-going scientific research. Join Dr Nick Ward from the stroke research group at the UCL Institute of Neurology as he explores the reorganisation of brain networks to support recovery; and hear from Dr Gillian Mead from The University of Edinburgh who will discuss the importance of exercise after a stroke.
Venue: Summerhall: Histology 2
Sweetly roasted or full-bodied and bitter? Find out how the chemical make-up of your coffee is key to its aroma and taste. Take a break and join Prof Mike Lean, Chair of Human Nutrition University of Glasgow alongside Dr Tanita Casci, Dr Isabel Vincent and Dr Stefan Weidt and Prof Mike Lean from the University of Glasgow Polyomics group and Glasgow Science Festival for live demonstrations, talks and tasty samples.
Billions of years ago the Big Bang sent everything flying. In theory, gravity should stop galaxies from moving apart and matter should re-collapse on itself, but galaxies are actually moving apart with ever-increasing speed. Theorists are developing a solution: dark energy. Royal Society Research Fellow, Dr Clare Burrage, reveals the nature of this mysterious force to host Prof James Hough, Research Professor in Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow.
Venue: Summerhall: Dissection Room
This extravaganza of sound and vision is a fascinating introduction to the world of atoms, molecules, solids, liquids and gases. Join us for an explosive showcase of exciting demonstrations featuring sudden colour changes, fireworks and flashes, crashes and bangs. Presented by The University of Manchester
Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. Writer David Adam has suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for 20 years. Join him for an unflinchingly honest account of his experiences, drawing on recent research, historical accounts and patients’ experiences to present an account that will explore how we deal with intrusive thoughts and challenge your thinking about mental illness.
Venue: Edinburgh Castle: Exhibition
Peter the stonemason has returned from the 14th century to show us how medieval builders created amazing structures such as castles and abbeys. Follow the journey that a block of stone would have taken from the quarry to become the keystone in a beautiful gothic arch in this lively, interactive show. Presented by Edinburgh Castle.
The senses can be powerful memory triggers, eliciting both positive and negative emotions. The ‘Proust Effect’ occurs when a long forgotten smell or taste can connect us to our childhood, or a piece of music transports us back to our adolescence. Author and senses expert Dr Cretien Van Campen of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research – whose work includes both social studies and artistic projects – will explain how sense memories work, why they are special, and hopes to elicit scent memories from the audience with a range of specially concocted aromas.
Join best-selling author and broadcaster Simon Singh as he explores how the mathematically gifted writers of this TV cartoon have smuggled mathematical concepts into their storylines. Discover how The Simpsons has brought everything from calculus to geometry, from pi to game theory, and from infinitesimals to infinity to life in unusual and entertaining ways.
Why is it hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be relaxed on a first date? Find out why we find spontaneity so elusive, and how early Chinese thought points the way to a happier life, encouraging us to pursue our goals indirectly. Author and academic Edward Slingerland of the University of British Colombia blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us a fulfilling alternative to striving modern culture.