Cambridge opens its doors to the world
The theme of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival, from March 14-27, is ‘Science for life’ with more than 150 mostly free events showing how the sciences, technology, engineering and even mathematics are changing our lives.
“We had more than 35,000 visitors to the Science Festival last year,” said organiser Shelley Bolderson. “And this year we have some amazing events, for families, adults and schools that opens up a whole world of scientific discovery, on this planet and beyond.”
“The Festival gives us a rare opportunity to open the lab doors of Cambridge’s ground-breaking research departments. It lets the public interact and talk with scientists about how science is changing the world around us – and the challenges we face in the future.”
“We’re also bringing to Cambridge an amazing array of outside speakers. We are especially looking forward to CBBC’s gastronutty food adventurer Stefan Gates as well as including, for the first time, adult fringe events. This fringe includes attractions like ‘The science of sex’, a ‘time-travelling coffee shop’ and collaborations between researchers and dance artists to see if it’s at all possible to dance science!”
Cambridge Science Festival 2011 highlights include:
- The fireworks of chemical reactions by Dr Peter Wothers will kick off the International Year of Chemistry in a sensational display for all the family (page 25).
What do drugs do to the brain? – Professor Trevor Robbins looks at mental health and addiction (page 17).
- Success of the smelliest is all about sex and pheromones. Dr Tristram Wyatt will give a talk about what the chemicals of attraction of insects, animals, birds can tell us about humans (page 6).
- Festival of the spoken nerd – Music, comedy, interactive maths and Blue Peter science expert Steve Mould at the Festival Fringe (page 36).
- Why are we not all fat? asks Professor Stephen O’Rahilly as he looks at why we there are so many thin people at a time when obesity is soaring (page 9).
- Twitter can teach us about how our brain works, says psychiatrist, Ed Bullmore. This interactive event will include a live ‘Twitter brain’ experiment (page 8).
- The Hyde Fundraisers celebrate their 25th anniversary with an amazing display of life size reproductions of past and present characters from Doctor Who (page 19).
Anyone who thinks that science is just for geeks may be tempted by a host of arts events. At the Fitzwilliam Museum, Colour and Chemistry reveals how colour has been created to inform great art throughout history (page 4). There will be live performances in The Mathematics of Jazz (page 8), and Dr Harry Witchel will talk about music and the brain, revealing how You Are What You Hear (page 34).
The Festival does much more than entertain and inform. At a time when university funding is under extreme scrutiny, Cambridge will host important discussions between leading academics to examine the most important issues of the day.
- Former MP Dr Evan Harris and Dr David Cleevely will debate how tax money should be spent on science in Science Futures (page 7).
- Mundane futures: science, technology, and international development policy will focus on the development potential of innovation (page 4).
Added Bolderson: “Across all events, and with some special secret surprises we’ve got planned, we have something to cater to virtually every taste; whether you’re a child, teenager or adult – or whether you want to bring along the entire family.”