Glittering ideas light up city science festival
Makeovers using biodegradable glitter, live video tours of a vessel in the Atlantic Ocean and a close look at COVID-19 vaccine development are among events involving University experts at this year’s Edinburgh Science Festival.
A packed programme of online and in-person events celebrating the power of science and the importance of connection has been unveiled by the organisers of the citywide festival.
It will feature more than 200 events, tours, exhibitions, workshops for children, young people and adults, of which 70 per cent are available online and free to access to anyone around the world.
The festival – the world’s first and Europe’s biggest – has this year moved away from its usual Easter holiday dates to take place online and in person between 26 June and 11 July.
The University of Edinburgh is delighted to once again partner with the Edinburgh Science Festival, to help connect people with the wonders of science and the vital role it plays in all of our lives. After such a challenging period, it is pleasing to see how our academics have used so many creative and innovative ideas to devise events for this year’s programme. We especially welcome the Festival’s concerted effort to champion the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The University community plays a key role in the festival. This year dozens of academics will be sharing their expertise and insights, leading events and designing experiences for the public.
Below is a list of all the events involving researchers, organised by theme.’
One World: Science Connects Us – full programme
Explore the full One World: Science Connects Us programme on the Edinburgh Science Festival website.
AWEN: A Walk Encountering Nature
A self-guided walk that uses interactive art, sound, movement and play, prompted by global climate data and science, to explore our environment beyond the human scale.
AWEN: Encountering Climate Emergency
A live online discussion with members of the creative team for the Edinburgh Futures Institute’s and The Edinburgh Science Festival, who co-created digital experience, AWEN, A Climate Walk Encountering Nature.
Life in the COVID bubble: Voices from the frontline of critical care
Listen to the stories of people who worked on the frontline in intensive care during the pandemic.
Walking Through the Covid-19 Vaccine
This event will cover the science behind how vaccines work, the steps taken by researchers to develop and test them, and the different vaccine types. It will also address some common questions about safety and usefulness.
My depression, your depression
In three-minute digital stories, adults and young people with lived experience of depression, their relatives, researchers and clinicians provide an insight into their world.
This event explores how the human brain develops and function across the lifespan, and how can it be protected and repaired.
Ahead of the COP26 environment summit in Glasgow in November, join researchers on a journey through the city to find out how they're working towards a brighter future.
Secrets of Healthy Cognitive Ageing
This event looks into why some people seem to age more quickly than others, and the causes neurological ageing, based on research from the Lothian Birth Cohort.
Discover Edinburgh's Mathematical History
This self-led walking trail explores the mathematical delights hidden in Edinburgh's city centre, uncovering some of the city’s secret history, highlighting mathematics developed over the past 2,000 years, and posing some intriguing puzzles and games.
Exploring Edinburgh’s Volcano (Adults and Young People) | Exploring Edinburgh’s Volcano (Children and families)
Explore the evidence for these ancient volcanoes on these self-led walking tours and learn how geology still shapes the city and landscape we see today.
Sherlock Holmes and the Biofilms Mystery
Help Sherlock Holmes find out who broke into his apartment and why they did it!
Exploring Edinburgh's rich scientific and cultural heritage by downloading a copy of our Festival Discovery Trail.
A collection of online experiences developed by University staff and students, offering glimpses into our research spaces, showing what our staff and students do, and exploring the histories of our buildings.
Virtual tour of the Institute of Genetics & Cancer
Go behind the scenes to explore a group of research centres that seeks to improve our understanding of human development, physiology and disease, and apply this knowledge for the benefit of patients and society.
Signing Science - BSL Virtual Laboratory Tour
Explore a medical research laboratory from the perspectives of the scientists – both hearing and deaf – who work there in this tour conducted in British Sign Language (BSL).
Virtual Tour of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic
Take a virtual tour around the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, which delivers drug trials, makes discoveries and improves the quality of life for people living with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and early onset dementias.
In an online series of puzzles, participants will explore a mysterious research centre and solve the mysteries within before making good your escape (and saving the planet).
A special series of 15-minute episodes – produced and presented by PhD researchers at the School of Biological Sciences – highlighting how vaccines are developed, mass produced and adapted to combat new variants.
Glitter Bar: A Makeover Takeover!
An event at the online Glitter Bar, showcasing biodegradable alternatives to what is typically microplastic cosmetic glitter. Participants will receive a sample pack of various glitters and glues to try on at home. Registration deadline: Thursday 17 June.
70% Water: Life and Science aboard a Research Ship (5+) | 70% Water: Life and Science aboard a Research Ship (12+)
Join a live online tour of one of the National Oceanography Centre's research ships as it works in the open ocean, and hear how the scientists and crew live and work at sea for up to two months at a time.
Explore the exciting world of video games, learn the basics of coding in a visual programming language and build your very own computer game.
A range of science activities to do at home, using a smartphone.
Space and Satellites Artist’s Residence
A showcase of work of five Space and Satellites artists, representing a wide range of disciplines including sound, weaving, illustration, dance and more.
CreateWorks: Engineering Drama
A series of 14 powerful audio plays that explore how engineering is changing the world around us.
To launch the collection of CreateWorks audio plays, the team will host ‘Listen Live at Lunch’ events every day at 12:30 GMT from Tuesday 22 to Friday 25 June: https://createworks.eng.ed.ac.uk/events
Catalysing Creativity Exhibition
A new art-science exhibition that translates concepts, new materials and inventions into thought-provoking sculptural stories and narratives.
An immersive series of artworks that reflect complex human and ethical questions about our relationship between the body, science and technology.
Explore the limits of human perception and beyond by interacting with physical matter and aethereal spaces in acontemporary art exhibition at Summerhall.
Take a fascinating journey around the world through this large-scale outdoor photography exhibition that highlights the importance of the natural world, how it matters to our wellbeing, and the fragility and biodiversity of our one precious planet.
Catalysing Creativity Discussion
A discussion event to discover how Romain Viguier and Dr Mairi Haddow found many parallels between organised matter and society and became fascinated with the way materials change and adapt to their environment.
Conspiracies, Fake News and False Scientific Information
An event that explores the attraction of conspiracies and fake news, and ask how we can address the the spread of false scientific information and ensure that people’s beliefs and decisions are based on facts rather than untruths.
The Mirror Trap – Immersive Online Theatre
A short headphone play/experience/installation/horror story about psychology and quantum physics.
This event brings together international experts – including Professor Linda Bauld – to attempt to find out how to handle a pandemic.
Hosted by the BBC's Kevin Keane, this discussion brings together land and ocean policy experts and environmental communicators to explore what policymakers, governments and individuals all need to do to reseed biodiversity and rewild the world.
Marking Time: #Tidesong Launch
Experience the sound of the ebb and flow of the tides in harmony with the Earth, the Moon and the Sun in this collective coastal art event, using the interactive Tidesong app.
British Heart Foundation - Live and Ticking
Head of BHF Scotland, James Jopling, will be joined by Edinburgh's Prof David Newby and Dr Mark Miller to discuss the harms of air pollution, and answer your pre-submitted questions on the subject.
This event brings together two international experts in post-conflict trauma, Prof Thanos Karatzias and Prof Neil Greenberg, to explore what the prognosis might be for society and how we as individuals and as a nation can best mitigate the unequally-felt effects of this extraordinary year.
A series of interactive events showcasing local history, science and art to emphasise the importance of coastal communities.
The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science recognises and rewards the University’s outstanding science communicators.
This year’s winner Dr Andrew Manches will illustrate an emerging research field that supports early learning, with examples of digital designs that offer a different perspective on debates about children and the role of technology.