DISCOVER HOW TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD AT
2016 EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Edinburgh International Science Festival announced their 28th Festival programme – Building Better Worlds, which centres around how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it.
The Festival will run throughout the Easter holidays, 26 March – 10 April 2016, in venues across the city including Festival hub Summerhall, the City Art Centre, the National Museum of Scotland and partner venues Dynamic Earth, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will offer adults, children and families the opportunity to engage with science through fun events and workshops and will give everyone the chance to join the global debate of how we can build better worlds for now and the future. In 2016 there are 272 events in total.
FAMILY EVENT HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
· Dame Evelyn Glennie performs a new composition by composer Jill Jarman in the world premiere of The Sounds of Science
· Science in the Spotlight features world class children’s theatre from Catherine Wheels and Borderline Theatre
· Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is celebrated with Scotland’s first Tiny Homes Village and many other events of the Our Built Environment strand
· ‘Artist in LEGOⓇ bricks’ Warren Elsmore will create a vision of a Mars habitat at National Museum of Scotland
· Lee Towersey the co-creator of R2D2 from the recent global box office blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens appears at Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire
· City Art Centre is transformed into our family hub featuring five floors of fun and exciting experiments and activities for children in 2016
ADULT EVENT HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
· Lord Martin Rees, ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and Professor Chris Rapley will share their views and experience on the big challenges facing us today
· Meet Mars One finalist Ryan MacDonald at The Big Bang Bash, dance the night away with Peter Lovatt aka Dr Dance, and let Prof Richard Wiseman blow your mind in Experimental
· Astronomy pioneer Kevin Govender and the International Astronomical Union are jointly awarded the 2016 Edinburgh Medal
· Andy Robinson creator of blockbuster virtual reality game EVE:Valkyrie takes part in The Reading Experiment with author Charles Stross and researcher Emese Domahidi
· As part of GastroFest Prof Paul Hadley will put chocolate under the microscope to examine the nature of this essential crop, including a tour through its history and a look at how modern chocolatiers are bringing the laboratory into the kitchen in search of new creations Chocolate: Food of the Gods
Creative Director Amanda Tyndall comments: “In 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival asks: how can we all collaborate to help build a better world? It’s a huge question but I’m excited by the mix of world-leading scientists, artists, authors and innovators that will join audiences in Edinburgh to share and debate their visions of a better world.
Science and technology have the potential to help us address so many of the key challenges we face; from how we feed, heal and fuel the world to how we live happy and fulfilling lives as we do so. But they don’t work in isolation from the wider world. It is through collaboration with their creative cousins that we stand the best chance of innovating and securing our future.
This year’s Festival celebrates this with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.”
At the Queen’s Hall on Wednesday 30 March, Dame Evelyn Glennie makes her debut Edinburgh International Science Festival appearance in a world premiere of Sounds of Science, which includes a 21 minute soundscape by composer Jill Jarman representing how humans have changed the world over the last 10,000 years through a science and engineering timeline.
With thanks to the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival has commissioned two new children’s theatre shows as part of a new project Science in the Spotlight. Uncanny Valley, written by Rob Drummond and produced by Borderline Theatre in partnership with Ayr Gaiety Theatre, and Lost at Sea produced by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company. Both will have multiple performances during the Festival at Summerhall – our hub festival venue supported by Baillie Gifford.
Uncanny Valley will focus on AI (Artificial Intelligence), examining the technology available and raising questions of ethics around developments. How natural disasters can lead to scientific discoveries will be unearthed in Lost at Sea, the play is based on the 1992 true story of a shipping container losing its freight of thousands of plastic bath toys that inadvertently helped scientists to map the currents of the sea.
Showcasing the art of science Bio and Beyond, British Art Show 8 and the Royal Photographic Society’s International Images for Science supported by Siemens, are just a few of the exhibition highlights in the Festival programme.
The strand Our Built Environment explores how science is impacting on our homes and cities is supported by EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and includes the large scale outdoor installation a Tiny Homes Village. Situated at the Mound Precinct throughout the Festival, this full scale exhibition of ten tiny housing structures examines our changing style of homes and how small buildings may provide comfortable and realistic solutions to urban, eco and emergency shelter demands.
Respected model artist Warren Elsmore will create the vision of a Mars habitat from LEGOⓇ bricks that will form the base of Mars Master Constructors, the free children’s LEGOⓇ brick building mission running throughout the Festival at the National Museum of Scotland.
On Tuesday 29 March Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, will discuss how we can survive the century and explore the risks that threaten our existence in Survival of the Century with Martin Rees, this event is supported by Siemens. European Space Agency astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, who has clocked up over 675 hours of spaceflight, will share his experiences and give us an insight into Tim Peake’s present workspace on Thursday 31 March in Updates from Space in a new partnership event by UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Delivered by Chris Rapley, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, 2071: The World We’ll Leave Our Grandchildren is a one-man play about our climate: how it has changed in the past, how and why it is changing now, and the need for humanity to act to avoid dangerous disruption in the future (Saturday 9 April).
The 2016 Edinburgh Medal is jointly awarded to Kevin Govender and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on Wednesday 30 March to recognise their wide reaching contribution to science. It is awarded jointly for the creation and practical establishment of Astronomy for Development, which integrates the pursuit of scientific knowledge with social development for and with those most in need. Under the pioneering stewardship of Kevin Govender, the office of Astronomy for Development has successful harnessed astronomy in the service of education and capacity building in the developing world.
Buddhify founder and mindfulness technology expert Rohan Gunatillake joins broadcaster Madeleine Bunting and youth mindfulness advocate Michael Bready to explore the integration of meditation with technologies and how these can be used in the real and digital world in Next Generation Mindfulness on Tuesday 5 April.
Recent evidence suggests that there may be a ninth planet in our Solar System, a title that was once held by Pluto. Iwan Williams who demoted Pluto to a dwarf planet during his work with the International Astronomical Union will be joined by Robin Catchpole, a strong advocate for Pluto the planet on Thursday 31 March. Together they will talk about Pluto, the possible ninth planet and they will reveal that our whole Solar System needs redefining in The Pluto Appreciation Society.
With Dolly the sheep’s 20th birthday fast approaching, Professor Sir Ian Wilmut discusses his life with the world’s most famous sheep in Dolly and Me on Wednesday 30 March and how the cutting edge research that he led on is still influencing science developments today.
With 28 events, 2016 is the largest Reading Experiment by Edinburgh International Science Festival to date. Spanning across the adult and children’s programme, The Reading Experiment brings together the very best writers in an exciting range of events which dive into the creative nexus where science and reading meet. Andy Robinson, creator of blockbuster virtual reality game EVE:Valkyrie takes part in The Reading Experiment with author Charles Stross and researcher Emese Domahidi.
Events connected to books before they launch include; More than a game – the maths behind football with popular Scottish sports pundit Pat Nevin and author David Sumpter (Friday 8 April), American evolutionary biologist Prof Sean B Carroll looks at how life works in The Serengeti Rules (Sunday 10 April) and on Thursday 31 March Kat Arney will be discussing genetics in her new pop-sci book Herding Hemingway’s Cats.
For adults there are plenty of opportunities to stay out late and play at the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival. City Art Centre, opens up for adults only on Thursday 24 March in Science Festival Lates. Big Bang Bash, at the National Museum Scotland on Friday 1 April, will feature David Bowie’s music, short talks by Mars One finalist Ryan MacDonald and astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell as well as a make an astrolabe activity which is supported by The Edinburgh Alwaleed Centre. On Friday 8 April atmospheric club night Full Spectrum sends the world into a spin at Festival hub Summerhall.
Festival favourite Prof Richard Wiseman will dazzle audiences in Experimental, his live mind-blowing psychology show based on experiments on Monday 28 March. 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival will mark Easter Sunday (27 March) with Let’s redesign the world, and dance with Big Brother’s Big Mouth advisor Peter Lovatt aka Dr Dance. At the dynamic disco event Lovatt will highlight how putting dance in the workplace could be better for business and society.
Showcasing the importance of science in the most delicious way possible, GastroFest returns in 2016 with a packed menu featuring producers, artisans, scientists and chefs. From the tempting and tantalising to the downright delicious, this smorgasbord of insightful discussions, thought-provoking presentations and out-of-this-world foodie experiences offers options to suit all tastes.
Go beyond the beyond at the unique event The Futurist Meal on Thursday 31 March and enjoy an experimental meal inspired by Marinetti’s 1930 Manifesto of Futurist Cooking. NHS dietician Catherine Collins, botanist Dr Greg Kenicer from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and chef Paul Wedgwood will be discussing, dissecting and tasting the super-ness of popular super foods in The Medicinal Meal (Friday 1 April).
Supported by Mackie’s of Scotland the past, present and future of chocolate will be investigated in the interactive event, Chocolate: Food of the Gods (Monday 4 April) where Prof Paul Hadley will be putting chocolate under the microscope. On Sunday 3 April at SciMart in Summerhall the science that helps produce food will be celebrated at the annual farmers market with a scientific twist, foodie fun for all the family.
Ideal for family days out are Space Day (Saturday 2 April), which is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), includes an amazing digital planetarium and the opportunity to create a nebula or travel back in time to Dino Day (Saturday 26 March) to discover dino fossils and take part in exciting dino egg hunts and excavations.
Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire supported by Siemens is the popular day out for technology enthusiasts and families. Over 50 makers will present their inventions on Sunday 10 April in the fourth Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire at Summerhall including Lee Towersey the co-creator of R2D2 from the recent global box office blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Overall the children and family programme of the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival has 139 events taking place around Edinburgh.
The highlight of our family programme is the City Art Centre, which will be full of fun and exciting experiments and activities in 2016 for children during the Easter Holidays and is supported by Cirrus Logic. Across five floors there are 20 science workshops and drop-in sessions of experimental fun for children from 3-12 years old. A child’s day pass includes three workshops and all drop-in activities. Little Giants introduces little ones (3+) to the wonderful world of bees in a highly interactive storytelling workshop. Budding coders can explore their developing talents in Bricks and Blocks (5+), using the LEGO WeDo kit they create a goalkeeper and programme him/her how to save the game. New for 2016, 7+ children can discover what parts are required to make a car move and explore a full sized engine in Mini Mechanics or if they are a little older (8+) and fancy trying their surgical hand at brain surgery using real endoscopes, the ER Surgery workshop is the perfect workshop.
Delving further into the children and family programme for children of all ages (up to 18) Minecraft enthusiasts can design their own space within Minecraft in a special two hour workshop Explore Our World in Minecraft (26-30 March). Drawn to the Light (Sunday 27 March) brings together the world of science and art with Dr Kathryn Harkup helping participants to paint, sketch and doodle with light.
Recommended for 8+, Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt includes how to make a dragon from cinema tickets and promises no nasty sums (Saturday 26 March). TV science presenter Jon Chase and author Mark Brake probe the fantastic frontier between movie magic and cutting edge science in Science of Star Wars (Friday 1 April).
The annual Edinburgh International Science Festival is produced by the Edinburgh International Science Foundation, an education charity whose mission is to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them through science. In 2016 there are 73 free events across all venues as part of the programme. Highlights include; Pop-Up Science: Enigma Machine where everyone has the chance to encrypt a message on a replica model of the Enigma machine (Friday 1- Saturday 2 April) at the National Museum of Scotland, discovering what animals do to survive at The Science of Survival at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Wednesday 6 and Saturday 9 April), Cells, Microscopes and Art explores our tiny world at Our Dynamic Earth (Thursday 7 April) and find out how to fake blood, guts and gore at SFX Blood and Gore Make-Up at the Scottish Parliament (every Saturday of the Festival).
Tickets for all events go on sale on Tuesday 9 February at 1100hrs. Book online www.sciencefestival.co.uk, by phone 0844 557 2686 or in person at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Office, 180 High Street.