Novelist Lucy Hawking – daughter of world-famous scientist Stephen Hawking – has kicked off a three-week festival encouraging Birmingham shoppers to explore the power of imagination.
Ms Hawking spoke to city schoolchildren about the work of the likes of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin in the first of a series of events at Selfridges.
Speaking to the Post, she said her talks were borne out of wanting to tell the story behind the work of some of Britain’s great scientists – having been raised by one of them.
The campaign, the Festival of Imagination, will take place at the landmark store until February 23.
Ms Hawking, who has co-written three novels for youngsters with her father, said: “I am a story-teller. I tried to take his work and explain it through story-telling to a young audience and I realised that there wasn’t anything available to primary school children that gave them information in an accessible and entertaining way.
“I am not a scientist, but I work with scientists to get their message out to six to 11-year-olds.”
She added: “We are talking about imagination and science and trying to get young people to understand how scientists use imagination in their work.
“We try to take the audience on a great, cosmic journey and try to get them to think what it would be like if they were there.”
The Festival of Imagination will see the store play host to a series of inspirational lectures, workshops and exciting live interactive experiences.
These will take place in a specially designed pop-up space, The Imaginarium designed by artist Beth Derbyshire, built in the store’s foodhall.
Highlights from the festival include Revolution 18’s David Bowie disco-documentary on February 7, Catherine Hobkinson’s interactive ‘Touching Taste’ food workshop and Birmingham theatre company Stan’s Café’s ‘Theatre of the Future’ discussion on February 21.