l I Our Environment Global and Local I'niyersity' of Iidinburgh. I)ayid I luriie 'loyy‘erlyenue42). llam l2.3llpin:

Stey'e Shirley. I Science. Technology and Communications. Microelectronics and l

Admission to lecture {I (Stlp). Ialk by (‘armen I’lacido. I Wildlife and Environment: Seals in



Is the earth the only place in the Universe where file exists? Most astronomers think it‘s unlikely that we‘re completely alone and. in the absence of an alien encounter either first hand or through radio messages. the debate lies firmly in the laps of the stargazers and on their interpretation of the information they gather from space.

Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest. intheirtalk ‘ET. . . Please Phone Earth' (Mon 3 April, see listings), will be assessing ET‘s chances of existence. outside Spielberg‘s imagination that is. As HeatherCoupertold me , ‘We start with the number of stars . . . there are 200,000 million in our galaxy alone. Then we ask how many of these have planets around them it turns out about half is the most optimistic value and then of these how many could support life as we know it? If there is life will it have reached a level of technological development that would permit it to communicate with us?‘ These arguments quickly lead to some suprising conclusions!

Keeping things closer to home by a few thousand lightyears. DrJohn Becklake will be looking at what it would be like for us to take up residence in orbit, in histalk, ‘Living in Space‘ (Wed 5 April. see listings). There is promise of some ‘real space hardware‘. . . a saucepan perhaps?

" 3|laiii I2. 3llprn I)eiiionstration of

' (ornputer' training for the I 'rieinployed I British Association Workshop Science and Technology: Media Workshop ( 'Iiaplaincy Centre. Seminar Roorri I (ycnue3l.

9 3llam 1pm Illl including lunch. "I orri \\ ilklc lsclctit e correspondent oI I/tr’ Independent). \Iagnus I mklater (editorof Illr‘ Si urmrmi ) and ( iL‘l ry Day is a radio

and I \' broadcaster lead a yyorls'sliop discussion for practising scientists on hoyy to coriiriiririicalc scientific affairs to the media

I Why Hasn't Scotland Exploded? Royal Museum of Scotland I yeriue 23) Illam ()peri It i all IN I‘ tic \‘orce rsllie approprr.’itely named speaker yyhoyyrll answer the question ( ~ould Scotland liayc been the home of one of the worlds natural nuclear reactors’ lsee 'Sclellce And I he l-artli's Sti ucturc' panel)

I James Clerk Maxwell Roy al Museum of Sevillaiinllyelllle 2“) I I illalti I lec I’tolcssor lyan Iolstoy .issesscsllie

contr ll‘lltl‘ll)\ of Many ell. .rn lidrnliurgh lmr n physicist. recognised as one of the greatest scientisrs of our time \yhosc ilclllc‘\ eriiellls l alik aloligsltle ftiose oI I'mstcrn and Newton

I Managing IT For Success Royal Mtrseum of Scotland ( y entie 23) “pm. Open toall. ItIIt‘llllLlIlttl) Iechnology analysed by Mrs

30 The list 24 March—(i April 1989

Communications I 'niy'ersity of Iidinburgh. Kings Buildings. James(‘lerk Masys ell Building lecture Theatre A (y'enue 4H). (1.30 l).3l)pm. I5ree. Short talksand demonstrations ysith Professor Peter (irant and Di .Iimrny Drippson the substantial contribution of microelectroriics to modern methodsol comrnunications.

I Scottish Education and Action for Development: Chasing the Dragon Queen Margaret (‘ollege ( yenue 2| ). 2 5.3llpm. See also 5 and (i Apr IIiglin topical conference lasting three daysexarriming tIie plotilenis technological change creates for the dc\ elopitig yyor‘lcl. looking it) particular at the fields of health care. agriculture. economic dey elopriierit. social change and em ironriiental destruction. Speakers frorii around tfie yyorldjl'liere yy ill be an accompany irig exhibition on health and disease in the

I hird \VorlclIior' more details contact SI‘..-\I) on “3| -(i(i7ll12ll.


I Science at the Seaside I’ortotiello library (yenuc 47). t).3llarii l2.3tlprn. I)eriionstration of('omputer'I'rainingfor the l’nemployed See Tue 4 Apr

I Molecule Theatre/Discussions Moray

I louse Science lecture 'I’heatrc (\ enue Io). Mon 3 hi 2 Apr. I‘icketslrom Iidiriburgh Science I‘estiy al and Irorn

y enue. Living in Space 2.3llpm. Why should man go to the Stars'.’ I)r.lohri Becklake looks for ansyyers mm the Iielp of slides. y ideo footage and space hardyyar‘e.

I Language and Learning I'niy ersity of Izdrnburgh. l)ay id Ilurne 'I‘oyyer ( yeriue 42). 3 8 Apr. 9am 5pm. See Mon 3.

I Discovery Dome (British Telecom) Royal Botanic ( iardcn (\‘L‘lltlc‘ 43). I'ntil I2 Apr. 9.30am (i.3llprn. {I .51); ( ~liild {I : I-amily £4. See Mon 3.

I Edinburgh Science Walks From Royal Museum of Scotland tyenue 23). Daily until I2 Apr. Walks start out at lpmand 2.3llpm and last approx l': hours £2. See Mon 3.

I The Black Box Merchant ( ‘oriipany lyenue 45). llarii. Professor \‘y' A. Penny talks on the history and deyelopment of black box flight recorders.

I Wildlife and Environment: The Mountain Gorillas DI East Africa Roy aI Botanic (iardcri. lecture 'I'heatre (yenue 43). 3pm. Admission to lecture {I (Slip). 'I alk by Roger \Vilson

I Wildlife and Environment: Rhum and the While Tailed Sea Eagle Royal Botanic (iarden. lecture 'I heatre t yenue 43). 7pm. Admission to lecture Ll (Slip) 'I alk by ('liris Iitough.

I Scottish Education and Actionlor Development: Chasing the Dragon Queen Margaret ('oIIegc (yenue 21 ).

‘).3llam 5.3llpm.SeeIue4.

I Artilicial Intelligence-A Glimpse olthe Future Royal Museum ol Scotland ( Venue 23). 3.3llpm I'ree. lecture by: Professor .l.A.M Iloyyc. Artilicial Intelligence (see ‘Scrence And I‘hc Thinking Machine‘ panel) offers us the prospect of machines that can listen and understand human conyersations. translate into loreigri languages. recognise complicated \ isual images and much more. I’rolessor I loyyc giyes a taste of yshat's tocome.

I Global Communications for Humans and

. Machines— Extending Alexander Graham I Bell‘s Vision Royal Mirseum of Scotland

(yenuc 23) 5.?in (r3llpm. I-ree. lecture

by Professor I-lanagan.

3 I Light-Hearted Computing; Prospectslor

Optical Computing Royal Museum of Scotland (yenue 23). I lam. I‘ree. Professor Brian Wherrett looks at the prospects of Using light beams in a neyy generation of superfast computers. Ilc presents this lecture with the help oflasers and computers.

Ir 5pm: 7 ‘) 3flpm. One day conference tackling the topical subject of the dangers to the em ironment (see panel “Science And’l‘lie Iinyiroiiment‘ ). for further details of speakers and program call the Science I’estiy al llotline on 031—228 4‘50.


I Science at the Seaside I’ortolicllo Library (y'enue47). 0.30am l2 3tlpm, Demonstration of ('oinputer ‘l raining for the I'nerriploycd. See Inc 4 Apr.

I Tellord College Open Dayleltortl ('ollegc (yenue 4o) Illam 5pm. 7 .s‘ .‘xllpm A chance to see hoyy Scotland‘s largest further education centre tackles a yy ide range of scientific studies

I Science at the Seaside I’or‘tolicllo library (\‘L‘lltlc‘ 47) 2 Spin. Ben Scc\ giyes an Iilectr'oriics l)eriioristration.

I Molecule Theatre/Discussions Moray

I louse Science lecture 'I'heatre (y enue lb). Mon 3 I-'rr '7 Apr. 'I‘icketslrom Iidinburgh Science I"estiy';il and from ycnuc. Pterosaurs: The Furry Dragons 2.3llpm. Before there \y ere birds. there were flying. furry dinosaurs I)ay id I ‘nyyin uncoyers their lost yyorld.

I Language and Learning t 'rin ersin of Izdinburgh. I)il\'lLI lluriie 'I oyy er (ycriue 42). 3 S Apr. 9am 5pm. See Mon 3.

I Discovery Dome (British Telecom) Royal Botanic(iardcn (yeriuc 43). Inn] 12 Apr 9.3llam (i3llpm. LI .5”; ( ‘hild Ll : family {4. Sec Mon 3.

I Edinburgh Science Walks I'rtlltl Royal Museurii of Scotland (y criue 23) Daily until I2 Apr. Walks start out at lpmand 2.3llpm and last approx l' .‘ hours L2 See Mon 3.

I Wildlife and Environment: Bats. Dur Only Flying Mammal Royal Botanic ( iarden. lecture 'I'heatrc (y eriue 43). 3pm.

Scotland Royal Botanic (iarden. lecture ’I'lieatre (y'eriue 43). 7pm. Admission to lecture {I (Sllp). Talk by Rob('ampbcll. I Scottish Education and Action for Development: Chasing the Dragon Queen Margaret ( 'ollege (yenue 2| ).

l).3l)am 2pm. See 'I'ue 4.

I Open Day at 80 South Bridge Centretor Speech Technology Research t'imersiiy of I'drnburgh ( Dept of Artificial Intelligence and (‘entre for Speech 'I echnolotl.‘ Research)(y'enue 4|) ()pen Illam 2pm. Dept of Artificial Intelligenceopen

Illam 3pm. I)eriionstratronson slliiyy of yyork from these tyyo groups including an I' nglish to Japanese translator . a computor that yyill explain ayyay the hardest maths problem you set it and a roymg I urtlc. I Things That Go Bang Napier l’oly lecliiiic. St Margaret‘s I Iall ( yenuc 2") 3 3lland 2.30pm U for general public; II for pupilsot schools affiliated yyrth Instituteot I’hysics. Demonstration lecture yy rtli I’rofessor R B (‘uridall. a leading yyorld

- authority on e\plosl\es. Described as 'all

eytraordinary eyening coriibrnrng scholarship and mi . . (‘uridallrnoyes among his equipment.exploding eyerything in sight‘tsee panel)

I The Stirling Understanding Vision Project Royal Museum of Scotlari (yenttc 2 3)

I lain I)r \Valt discusses \cttral (’omputers. a type of computer that simulates the behay row of the brain's neurons and in many yyays the human learning process. I Ie looks at their applications in image recognition

I What Can We Learn About the American Indian? Queen Margaret ( ~ollege. I ,ccture

'I heatre(yenue 2l) 2pm Ialk by Dr .lairnc Bet'nal of .laycrana I 'nrycrsity ol

Bogota. ( 'oIoniIiia.


Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computing that's taken on the awesome task of endowing machines with a degree of human sophistication. The crux to this ambitious initiative. as Prof. J Howe from the Edinburgh A.l. Centre told me. is to ‘incorporate human judgement and decision-making skills into a machine‘.

To give me a feel forthe potential

fruits of AL, he told of a scheme. being

worked on around the world, to make

an ‘interpreter‘ that allows you to speak

in your own language and translates simultaneously into any other language: hotel reservations in Moscow suddenly become a possibility for us all. To appreciate the difficulties involved in this type of translator. remember that the machine must not only recognise spoken words but have a pretty good idea of the structure of language itself. If you want to hear more about machine translators, autopilots for cars. robots that can learn and many more antics from the futuristic world of Al. go along to Prof. Howe‘s lecture, 'A.l. —A Glimpse of the Future‘ (Wed 5 April, see listings). If the very mention of computers brings you out in a cold sweat or, possibly more likely. leaves you stone cold. there are numerous opportunities during the Festival to convince yourself that they‘re perfectly subservient beasts and frequently highly entertaining. For a test drive on a

,/ .5“ Hi. variety 0 machines esrgne specifically to serve uninitiates like us. Q try the Open Day at the Human Computer Interface Centre (Mon 10 April, see listings next issue) where. from the comfort of your seat. you can take yourself on a tour of Glasgow stopping as you go to find out more aboutthe sights. Drtest your writing skills againsta spelling, grammerand sexist language corrector. There will also be displays of the latest computer graphics. Look out. as well, forthe Compugrafex Exhibition (see Exhibition listings), and two talks that promise to be entertaining, ‘Communication and Parallel Supercomputing‘ (Tue 11 Apr, see next issue‘s listings) and ‘The Stirling Understanding Vision Project‘ (Thurs 6 Apr, see listings). (THE LlST's useful computer phrases: ‘user-friendly‘ ‘easy', ‘expert system‘ 7 ‘a computer‘. ‘human computer interface‘ - ‘using a computer').