An acrobat takes to the air to mark the start of National Science Week.

An acrobat takes to the air to mark the start of National Science Week.

The countdown to National Science Week 2000 is almost complete. This Saturday 18 March thousands of children and adults will be crowding into the university's Downing Site to watch Really Wild Show celebrity Howie Watkins open this year's programme.

Children dressed as Things with Wings will be parading around the site at the opening ceremony, and trapeze artists Skinning the Cat will be dazzling spectators with their aerial display.

Throughout the day visitors will be able to wander into many University departments not usually open to the public, and find out about the extraordinary science that goes on inside.

From Bodybuilding in the Department of Anatomy, to explosive mayhem in the Elementary Laboratory with Crash, Bang, Squelch!, the day really does have something for everybody.

In the afternoon, visitors will be invited to Take 5 on Flight, with a mini lecture series exploring the evolution of flight. Dr David Norman, scientific advisor on the hit BBC television series Walking With Dinosaurs, will be getting the lecture off to a flying start with Dino Saurs - an explanation of how experts used fossil findings and lateral thinking to piece together how dinosaurs took to the skies.

Later, Dr Jim Secord will take a look at the development of flight in birds, and Dr Charlie Ellington will explain how, according to the laws of aerodynamics, insects cannot fly.

Science Week celebrity Howie Watkins will then talk about how to hunt for insects in the garden, and Felicity Kok of BAE SYSTEMS will give an insider's view about what it's like to be an engineer at one of the world's leading aerospace companies.

Throughout National Science Week (17-25 March), our showcase lecture series, Science at Seven, will be featuring some of the university's liveliest and most stimulating lecturers. The series starts Friday night with Dr Michael Majerus, whose lecture Spot On will offer fascinating insights into the sex life of ladybirds.

Further Information:
See the full National Science Week programme for further details about the upcoming week's exciting events.

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