concern, chemists must be able to measure minute amounts of chemicals in samples. I The Razor Edge of the Eximer Laser Mountbatten Building, Grassmarket , 2.30pm. Dr Malcolm Gower gives the low-down on the uses of lasers. including those used in CD players, barcode readers, cancer surgery. and the so-called eximer lasers used in medical lasercorncal sculpting.

I Rockets Away Mountbatten Building. Grassmarket . 2.30pm. What is a rocket? How do space rockets work? And how are they being used to fly satellites and probes to explore the frontiers of space? Dr John Becklake explains with an illustrated talk. working demonstrations and a video.

I Putting Computer Viruses to Good Ilse Mountbatten Building, Grassmarket. 5.30pm. Prof Harold Thimbleby describes computer viruses, how they work and why they are so dangerous. before demonstrating a system that puts virus-like behaviour to good use.

I Switching Onto Electronic Banking Mountbatten Building, Grassmarket. 7.30pm. Robin Reid takes his audience back to basics before bringing it up to date with home and office banking, remote telephone banking. ATMs, EFT-P05. and debit cards.

I Steel Supreme Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh Suite, 12.30pm. John Hume talks about the Forth Road Bridge, a 54,000-ton final piece in a railway jigsaw that linked Dover with the North of Scotland.

I Hands-on Science Mountbatten Building, Grassmarket. 12.30pm. lan Russell talks about the unprecedented popularity and diversity of these exhibitions, and explains the relevance and importance of the ‘hands-on‘ movement.

I Fireworks: Principles and Practice William Robertson Building, George Square. 7.30pm. The Revd R. Lancaster

will give a description of the skills involved in firework design, illustrated by what are promised as ‘colourful and noisy examples.‘

I I Hope Ma Coos Dinnae Get Ful Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Castlehill, 4pm. £1 .50 (50p). Bob Pass looks at distillers‘ feeds. a by-product of the whisky-making process.


I Alcohol In Medieval North Britain: Myth, Magic and Mead-Sickness Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Castlehill, 12.30pm,£1 (50p). Dr Brian Moffat reviews investigative methods and recent findings before touching on the social purposes and context of alcohol.

I The Art of Blending Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, Castlehill, 3pm. £3 (£2). A talk , followed by a blending competition and audience participation by master blender Richard Patterson of Whytc & Mackay Distillers.

I Food, Chemistry, and the Chemist Queen Margaret College. 36 Clerwood Terrace . 2pm. Catherine Reynolds explains how the hundreds of chemical reactions that occur during cooking are controlled and optimised by experience and by the judicious use of the senses.

I Feeding the Human Race Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 5.15pm. Food and the global population is discussed by Prof J .C. Holmes. who looks at population trends. and the question of how we are to provide enough food to feed twice the world‘s present population next century.

I Fast Plants for Fast Science Royal Botanic Garden, lnverleith Row, 7.30pm, Free. David Ingram describes the new forms of Brassica (cabbages and their relatives) whose rapid development is revolutionising research and teaching.

I Eating Rain Forest is Wrong Royal


Why are there certain places in the world that become famous for their beers? What are the factors that come togetherto produce better beers? Charles McMaster, head oi the brewing archive in Heriot Watt takes a look at the variables, such as the quality of the local water, that produce a really fine pint. He will be discussing the brewing tradition in Edinburgh, from the dark ages, when the art was introduced to the city by monks, until the more technologically oriented present day. ironically, the effect of the introduction of new technologies in the present century has resulted in the extinction of a large number of breweries. ‘There were 35 brewers in Edinburgh at the beginning of the century,’ says McMaster, ‘There are only three now.’ He will be giving a

lecture entitled ‘A History of Brewing in Edinburgh' at the Whisky Heritage Centre on 4 April (see listings).

At the same venue (3 April, see listings), 0r Geoffrey Palmer will be speaking about ‘Science, Culture and the Making of Beer’. Some surprising historical facts will be revealed. Joule, the renowned scientist, performed most of his experiments in his parent-owned brewery. Pasteur invented pasteurisation after visiting a large number of brewers. The famous Dr Johnson somehow became the first man of culture to sponsor a brewery. Other important scientific developments such as the practice of labelling foods with their protein content, are related to the brewing tradition in the most unexpected ways. (Mauricio Suarez)

College of Physicians, 9 Queen Street . 7.30pm. The ‘greenhouse effect‘. and the link between it and global food production systems, such as turning South American rain forest into grassland to produce beef for export to the developed nations. are highlighted by Dr John Gribbin.

I The Release of Genetically Altered Organisms into the Environment Mountbatten Building. Grassmarket. 7.30pm. Dr John Beringer discusses how genetic engineering is being used to such ends as to produce yeasts that generate human insulin. or to grow plants that are resistant to pests and explains how such organisms differ from normal ones. what the risks of releasing them into the environment may be. and what is being done to safeguard the public and the environment.

I Superconductivity: More than mere perpetual motion Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, 10.30am. Superconductivity promises dramatic new engineering applications both on the large scale (transport. energy storage) and on the miniature scale (superfast microelectronic computers). With supporting demonstrations from Oxford instruments, Prof G.B. Donaldson illustrates both the magic and the utility of this fascinating phenomenon.

I The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life Mountbatten Building, Grassmarket , 12.30pm. Are we alone in the universe or do other intelligent species exist? lfso. are they more advanced than we are? Prof Archie Roy describes new plans by scientists to search for extra-terrestrial life.

I The Exploration of the Solar System Mountbatten Building. Grassmarket. 2.30pm. Prof Archie Roy describes the spectacular success of spacecraft in the past 20 years in visiting all but one ofthe planets and their families ofmoons, and the wealth of new knowledge acquired.

I Chemistry and Light Mountbatten Building. Grassmarket. l().30am.The importance of photochemistry in our modern world is revealed during Dr Andrew Mills‘ and Dr Peter Douglas‘ demonstration lecture, which shows how light can be generated electrically. thermally and chemically. The uses of chemistry and light. in medicine. communications. electronics. photography and plastics are also discussed.

I What Makes a Scientist? Royal Museum of Scotland. Chambers Street.12.3lipm. Norman Butcher explores some ofthe characteristics ofscientists. drawing on his knowledge of a wide range ofsubjeets.

I Gambling for Fun and Profit Geography Department. Drummond Street. 2pm. Free. Dr lain Currie looks at the many different kinds of gambling. including football pools. horse racing. slot machines and card games. The secrets ofvarious gambling systems will be revealed.

I Energy and Emergy Royal Overseas League. 100 Princes Street. 2.30pm. Dr David Scienceman explains a new quantity. cmergy. which can be used to measure everything in terms ofembodied energy. He suggests that the best way to understand a country‘s economic system is by tracing then measuring the flow of energy around it. and then taking appropriate action to optimise the energy contribution to the public economy.

I Strike A Light Mountbatten Building. Grassmarket. 2.30pm. The chemistry and cost of a box of matches. Dr John Emsley tells the history: a story ofdangerous devices, human suffering. capitalism versus socialism. penniless students and a Princess. the Salvation Army. Women's Liberation. a terrible industrial disease and much more. . .

I The Preservation of Science Royal Museum of Scotland. Chambers Street. 7.30pm. Can science museums ever be both serious and enjoyable? Dr R G W Anderson considers our different attitudes


It must be said that the world of cinema has treated scientists worse than almost any other medium, almost universally portraying them as either the kindly absent-minded genius (KAG), the crazed world-dominating lunatic (CWL), or the unwitting, blind-to-the-world dupe (000).

The one thing that all these stereotypes have in common is that they all wear white lab coats and have a workroom filled with test tubes and retort stands, even if they are astrophysicists. It goes without saying, of course, that all such films should carry a sign saying DAHGEB! UXC! (‘Unexploded Cliché’)

The season of films run by the Filmhouse in conjunction with the festival begins on Monday 3 with Metropolis, which does feature a CWL, but is nonetheless one of the finest films made in the silent era and well worth going to see, not least for it‘s message that love and individuality will always win. Altered States and The Crazies, the former starring John Hurt as a kind of 080, but ii I tell you that it is directed by Ken Russell and it's about weird, hallucinogenic experiences then you should know all that you need. The Crazies isn’t bad either.

The Fly is probably the ultimate U80 scientist film, with this poor guy so concerned about getting his work completed (iorthe betterment of mankind, of course) that he doesn't even notice the large, noisy, eponymous insect buzzing about. Paired with the extremely interesting movie, Shivers, this should be a great night out for weirdos. Finally we have 1000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse, a decidedly odd yet brilliant film, that is, as we euphemistically like to say, highly thought provoking. Later on in the festival, Andrew Tudor will be giving a lecture on Monsters and Mad Scientists, which give a general overview of the mauling science has had at the hands of cinema. And no KAG's anywhere? Remarkable, Captain. (Toby Scott)

See listings for full details of films.

to collections based on the history of science to those ofari and antiquities.


I George Eliot’s Synthesis of Science and Art Royal Museum of Scotland. (‘hambers Street. l2.3l)pm. Prof Keith ()atleyguitles us through the author (ieorge liliot‘s fascination for the natural history of human life.

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