Molecular Plant Sciences

Blog - IMPS at Edinburgh Science Festival 2023

10-13th April 2023, National Museums Scotland

A diversity of fossil of living plant species on display at the Edinburgh Science festival.
A diversity of fossil of living plant species on display at the Edinburgh Science festival.

Written by Tea Reinert

The Edinburgh Science Festival is a city-wide event held in April every year all over the city. Since 1989, the Edinburgh Science charity has been engaging the public about the wide breadth of fields in science and how fun they can be. The festival has had so much success, it has spawned other festivals around the world with similar science-forward mandates. There’s something for everyone: art installations, story times, lectures, and ‘Latelabs’ are just a few of the types of events that were put on in Edinburgh in 2023.

The National Museum of Scotland is one institution which joins in on the festivities. This year they accommodated scientists from the University of Edinburgh School of Biological Sciences for four days, so that we could interact with the public and show what we’re researching. IMPS researchers from the Hetherington, Richardson and McCormick labs teamed up to create a poster about our work and came up with fun activities for guests to interact with. We had a matching game, microscope slides, and live plants. This was all set up as a booth where we were able to chat to guests. Some of us talked about plant fossils and evolution, while others talked about the shape of leaves in crop plants like rice and barley. A big hit amongst our guests were the microscope slides, which showed tree rings from a Jurassic conifer.

We loved interacting with the people who attended, and we had interesting discussions and great questions! We can’t wait to be back next year.

Thank you to all of our IMPS Outreach volunteers who made this event possible!

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