NEWS – Edinburgh Science Festival 2010 programme launched

An opportunity to make a scab and a ‘gooey blood milkshake’. A two-hour autopsy of a dead animal performed in front of a live audience. A chance to unwrap an Egyptian mummy. Is this the launch of a new Horror Festival to add to Edinburgh’s burgeoning list?

Not so. These – and many more fun-packed events, talks and activities – are all part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival’s 2010 programme, unveiled today at the Informatics Inspace building at Edinburgh University.

Edinburgh International Science Festival programme 2010

Edinburgh International Science Festival programme 2010

Now in its 22nd year, the Science Festival seeks to inform, educate and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds by bringing the world of science and technology to life in an annual celebration, this year running from 3-17 April in venues across the city.

Highlights include Steve Bloom’s spectacular, giant-sized wildlife photographs, 60 of which are being exhibited in St Andrew Square gardens from 12 March – 16 May. These will be joined in April by the innovative Sonic Dreams sound installation, a walk-in exhibit promising to wrap the visitor in 3D soundscapes from around the natural and human world. These two events are bound to make the recently-reopened gardens a popular and exciting place to visit.

Spectacular wildlife photography by Steve Bloom

Spectacular wildlife photography by Steve Bloom

The City Art Centre will be home to seven floors full of science-based fun and will feature activities ranging from treks through the jungle to building battling robots; and from the gloriously gory-sounding Blood Bar to the chance to unearth a dinosaur – and lots more besides. There will even be the chance to visit this action-packed venue without the kids in a special evening opening on the 8 April, where the little ones are not allowed!

In a direct attempt to attract teenagers to the festival and to the world of science in general, Abertay University are running a pair of intensive two-day Video Game Studio workshops, allowing attendees to see how games are made and have the chance to put what they learn into practice. The Grand Theft Autos and Modern Warfares of the future might well be born at these events, which are bound to sell out quickly.

This year, the Festival’s Big Ideas talks programme is double the size of 2009’s and the Informatics Forum will play host to a series of what promise to be stimulating, lively and fascinating lectures, debates and discussions: the history of LEGO, the neurological nature of sin, journalism in the digital age – just a few picks from a programme which has something designed to appeal to everyone.

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and as well as Steve Bloom’s celebratory photographs, a varied collection of events and activities are taking place at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Edinburgh Zoo. The zoo is home to what promises to be one of the Festival’s most unusual – and some may say grisly – events: the live autopsy of a dead cow. Not one for the squeamish, but if you’ve ever wondered exactly how those four bovine stomachs work, this one’s for you.

With over 220 events taking place in 35 venues across the city, this year’s Science Festival looks to be the biggest and most varied yet and we’re already breaking out our lab coats and safety goggles in anticipation.

Visit the Edinburgh International Science Festival website to find out more, download a brochure and order tickets for events.

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