Fire performers Feeding the Fish will provide an explosive start to National Science Week 2002 at the University of Cambridge. Along with the BBC's Dr Adam Hart Davis, Feeding the Fish will be launching the popular Science on Saturday programme tomorrow (16 March), at the University's New Museums Site, in Downing Street.

The 2002 theme is The Elements and visitors will be invited to find out about every element of science, from volcanoes to the environment and into outer space.

Dr Hart Davis, star of such programmes as Science Shack and What the Victorians Did for Us, will also be giving a children's lecture later in the day.

Other highlights will include the return of the student group Crash, Bang Squelch!, a chance to build a model plane, and a series of mini-lectures for children on topics ranging from the Sun, to life in the Antarctic.

The highlight lecture series, Science@Seven, in the Lady Mitchell Hall, in Sidgwick Avenue, will kick-off tonight (15 March) with a talk on Volcanoes, by Professor Herbert Huppert, of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

National Science Week Co-ordinator Sarah Shaw said:
"Our theme this year covers a huge spectrum of science - from fire and ice to the periodic table. All our visitors will be able to get involved in hands-on science events or just come along and listen to some of our exciting lectures."

Highlights throughout the week include:

  • Air Time
    Start of the week debate on 18 March
    Chaired by BBC science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh, with panellists including Dr Susan Owens, from the Department of Geography, and Professor John Pyle, who works on the UK Global Atmospheric Modelling Project (UGAMP), as well as experts from Greenpeace and BP.
  • Stand and Fight
    Science@7 Lecture on 19 March
    Professor John Parker, of the University's Botanic Garden, will be talking about the remarkable ways in which plants can defend themselves.
  • Elements of Surprise
    Science@7 Lecture on 20 March
    Dr John Emsley, author and science writer in residence at the Department of Chemistry, will show how the elements affect our everyday lives, sometimes in unexpected ways.
  • The Book of Mankind
    Science@7 Lecture on 21 March
    Dr David Bentley, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre will give a beginner's guide to the human genome.
  • Heart of Darkness
    Science@7 Lecture on 22 March
    Professor Jeremiah Ostriker, Plumian Professor at the Institute of Astronomy, will close the series with a look into the Heart of Darkness as he explores dark matter and beyond.

All Science@7 Lectures take place in the Lady Mitchell Hall, on Sidgwick Avenue. Doors open from 6.20pm. Admission is free.

For full programme details, look at the website at: or call 01223 766766 for a brochure.

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