The 24th Edinburgh International Science Festival programme was set in motion today, at a launch at the National Museum of Scotland, one of the main venues being used throughout the festival.
Festival Director Simon Gage attributed the scale and variety of this year’s programme to four factors. First, following the success of last year’s Festival, key staff were asked to help organise a similar event in Abu Dhabi. This proved to be a great success, allowing the Edinburgh International Science Festival to invest into this year’s programme.
Simon also thanked Deputy Director Amanda Tyndall, who joined the team last year, creating a programme which she hoped would “shake it up a little”, with an increased number of events targeted at adults as well as children. Dr Gordon Rintoul, the Director of National Museums Scotland was also praised for the Chambers Street venue’s return ‘in force’, with the museum playing host to many innovative and interactive events, as well as educational ones.
Lastly, Simon introduced Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, thanking her for the £180,000 investment as part of the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. She went on to describe the Festival as a platform which helped to nurture future talent and celebrate our scientific achievements.
And indeed, this year’s programme has benefited from the sum of all these parts, containing a wide variety of informative, entertaining and original activities for festival goers of all ages.
The full programme is available online and the box office is now open. Events and activities which caught our eye include the day pass to the City Art Centre, which will be packed full of activities for children for the duration of the Festival, including the Rampaging Chariots robotic fun and games. Kids will also have the chance to don their scrubs as part of the popular ER medical-themed event.
In this Olympic year, motion, movement, sport and dance are themes which combine in many of the events, including The Dancing Brain, a light-hearted look at the science of dance taking place every day in the National Museum of Scotland Auditorium; and the InMotion series of activities which take place in the same venue’s newly-refurbished Grand Gallery.
And the theme of innovation is perhaps best demonstrated by Power From The People, an installation which will see Arthur’s Seat illuminated by power generated from walkers and runners in Holyrood Park.
A more academic source of illumination is offered by Edinburgh E2, an all-day event featuring scientists, artists, musicians and authors discussing ideas and innovation at the National Museum of Scotland on 31 March.
Professor Richard Wiseman is involved in numerous events throughout the Festival, including an opportunity to separate the fact from the fiction of Firewalking; and a conversation with ‘psychological illusionist’ Derren Brown on 21 April.
And of course there’s more: much more. The physics of DJing and computer animation; worlds of bubbles and jungle safaris; a whole range of activities looking at the science of food…it’s safe to say that whatever your area of scientific interest, there will be an event which appeals.
Taking place at events across Edinburgh, including the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Botanical Gardens: from 31 March to 15 April the Edinburgh International Science Festival will turn the city into a laboratory packed with innovation, invention – and fun for all ages.
Tickets for all events are on sale now.