More than 350 of the UK’s top scientists and engineers will descend on Birmingham for the British Science Festival this week.
The event, which is the largest celebration of science, engineering and technology in Europe, will be held at Aston University and includes debates, workshops, exhibitions, field trips and unique opportunities to question leading figures from the industry.
The six-day festival, from September 14-19, attracts visitors of all ages and aims to bring science closer to the public by showing how it can be engaging, insightful and applicable to everyday lives.
Organisers believe Birmingham is the perfect location for the event with it’s rich industrial heritage and promising future in the digital age.
Scientists will look into how James Watt, who pioneered work on the steam engine in the city, came to develop a crucial linkage mechanism, and how the mathematics involved are still the key to some of today’s latest technology.
More recently, Birmingham has been at the forefront of scientific development in everything from lasers to fertility testing.
Intriguing stories of how these developments came about and the impact they have on people’s lives will be revealed at the festival, say organisers.
As well as looking at the past, current researchers will also explore and explain their work in areas such as ageing research, particle physics, and the possibility of bionic eyes.
The majority of events will take place at the Aston University campus, however, other venues in the city will also be hosting events.
Among other highlights will be Time Team presenter Tony Robinson, who will be discussing both his life on screen and off, sharing his enthusiasm for archaeology and exploring the unique chain of events that has brought us to the present day (September 19, 6pm in Adrian Boult Hall).
Award-winning journalist Ben Goldacre will be courting controversy as he presents his new show on how pharmaceutical companies produce distorted evidence (September 17, 6.30pm, in the Adrian Boult Hall).
Professor Iain Stewart, presenter of popular, shows How Earth Made Us and Earth: The Power of the Planet, explores his passion for geology in Man and the Climate – Past and Future.
In it he investigates how the impact our actions have had on the Earth. (September 18, 4pm at Aston University main building)
Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said: “We are delighted that Aston University has been chosen to be lead partner in the British Science Festival in Birmingham in 2010.
“We have a long history of engaging with business and industry, as well as the diverse communities in Birmingham and the region, and we are confident our links will help to bring the city together to celebrate science and drive innovation.
“I believe we will put on a really great festival which will confirm the West Midlands as a leading centre for science, technology and innovation.”
The festival programme is online at: www.britishsciencefestival.org.
Science Festival highlights:
* Peter Reddy talks about how we can all play football into our 50s and 60s. September 14, 10am-12noon
* Grime Scene Investigation – Find out what happened when Dr Anthony Hilton took his mobile laboratory to the streets to reveal the hidden world of the microbes. September 15, 5pm-6pm
* Professor Malcolm Stevens talks about the dreamof finding a cure for cancer. September 15, 5.30pm-6.30pm
* Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya talks about whether different groups in society can ever be equal. September 16, 4pm-5pm
* Go-kart challenge – see a rigorous engineering process in action September 17, 10am-5pm
* Alcohol – do we like it too much? September 18, 5.30pm-7.30pm