The seventh Edinburgh International Science Festival sparks, fizzes and bangs into life with the customary broad range of subjects, from mathematical models in infectious disease control to toilet technology through the ages. The main strands to this year’s event look at China’s contribution to science, the relationship between war and technology, the importance of astrology and , of course, the omniscient and ubiquitous Internet.
Forensic science makes an impact as the laboratory doors are flung open and the technology and skills behind solving crimes are exposed. In an eye- opening report, The List dares to follow a trail written in blood, exploring the secrets of a Scottish forensic science lab and its brown paper packages.
As in previous years, the Festival’s aim is to break down the barriers between those who practise science and the rest of us who consume its products. Most of the events require no specialist knowledge to enjoy them, just an interest in science and how it effects everybody’s day to day existence. The hands-on approach of many of the exhibits is designed to bring science to life and encourage an exchange of ideas between the folk in the white lab jackets and the lay public who might not know their arsines from their elbows, but could certainly get a taste for a demonstration on the science of the pizza.
Forget dusty blackboards and strange smells at the back of the chemistry class - this is a chance to gaze into the future, understand the past and grasp the present.
The list plugs in to the best of the 1995 Edinburgh lntemational Science Festival. (Jonathan Trew)
I CITY ART CENTRE 2 Market Street. 529 3541. MonfTue. Sat 10am—5.30pm: Wed—Fri 10am—9pm; Sun noon—5pm. £3.50 (£2); Family Ticket £9 (two adults and two children).
Star Trek: The Exhibition Until 31 May. Delving into the wardrobe and prop room of the television and ﬁlm phenomenon is this exhibition of original Star Trek sets. costumes. photographs. models and more. I FRUITMARNET GALLERY 29 Market Street. 225 2688. Tue—Sat 10.30am—5.30pm.
Textiles And New Technology: 2010 15 Apr—10 Jun. Exploring the revolution in textile production. changing the perception and use of materials in every sphere. from the fashion world to architecture. Ages 14+ and specialist.
I AOAM HOUSE Chambers Street. 650 8058. Mon—Sun lOam—Spm.
Science Box Passive Smoking Exhibition
Fri 31 Mar—17 Apr. Highlighting the dangers of sitting on the top decks of Glasgow buses. an exhibition exploring scientiﬁc evidence of illnesses caused by passive smoking. Ages 8+.
I AOAM HOUSE Chambers Street. 650 8058. Mon—Sun 10am—5pm.
Science Extravaganza Sat I Apr. Hands— on electronics. lasers. a microscope biology competition and more from GEC Scotland and Heriot-Watt University. Ages 8+.
Starlab And Space Show Fri 3 I Mar— 1 7 Apr. £1.50. Enter an inﬂatable planetarium for a unique journey through the constellations of both hemispheres. Ages 7+.
Eurofighter 2000 British Aerospace reveals the latest technology and materials used to create the Euroﬁghter 2000
' aircraft in a hands-on exhibition.
I ROYAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND 2 Chambers Street. 225 7534. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm.
Rockets Masterclass Mon 3-7 Apr. 10am—5pm. £12. Under expert supervision. design. build and fly a high- performance model rocket. propelled by a
safe. solid fuel engine. Ages 11+. (‘heck details in advance.
Robot Workshop 8 and 9 Apr. 10am—5pm. £25. Experience the world of cybernetics and build a robot to take home. Aimed at experienced Mad1.abbers only. Advanced bookings essential.
Anyone For DNA? 13 Apr. 10am and 2pm. £5. A workshop exploring the techniques used in genetic engineering. Use household chemicals to extract DNA from an onion - but bring your own onion. Ages 11+.
Genetic Fingerprinting Stimulation 14 Apr. 10am and 2pm. £5. Be a forensic scientist for a day. discovering whodunnit by digesting DNA samples taken from ‘suspects'. Ages 11+.
I SCIENCE OOME West Princes Street Gardens. 10am—5pm.
BrainPool Breakfast At The Dome Tue 4 Apr. 8—10am. Visit the Science Dome‘s CyberCafe and discover how Scots are revolutionising the way they do business. BrainPool connects Scotland‘s movers and shakers. from accountants and architects to musicians. Ages 16+.
The Sound or Science Roadshow 8 and 9 Apr. 10am—5pm. BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4 join forces — Alun Lewis demonstrates the science of sound and Martyn Harries discovers sounds are not always what they seem. Ages 8+.
I POLICE FORENSIC SCIENCE LABORATORY 11 Howden Hall Road. 557 4296.
Written In Blood Wed 5 and 11 Apr. 4pm. £2 (£1). Head of biology at the forensic science laboratory. Jim Fraser. explains how blood patterns are interpreted at crime scenes — from the direction of a blood trail to the position of the victim when they were dealt a fatal blow. Followed by a tour of the laboratory by
‘ working forensic scientists. Ages 14+. See 1 preview.
look and learn: plasma balls are go
I TRAVERSE THEATRE Cambridge Street. 228 1404.
Modern Problems In Science Promising a night of discreet science and pure entertainment are the Annoyance Theatre of Chicago.
I Children’s Adventure Tours Science Works. Adam House. 229 9816. Sat 1—17 Apr. lOam—noon; 2—4pm. £7.50. Babysitting bofﬁns offer to take the children off your hands fora few hours and treat them to a series of fully supervised scientiﬁc workshops. Ages 5—12.
I Ileriot-Watt’s Children’s Book Festival Waterstone's Booksellers. 128 Princes Street. 556 3034. 11 and 12 Apr. 10.30am. 11.15am and noon. Free. but tickets are limited.
I Make Your Own Fossil Science Works. Adam House. 557 4296. Thurs 6—8 Apr. 10am—5pm. £1. Recreate fossils from the prehistoric age using plaster of Paris and a mould of real ammonite. Ages 5+.
I Science Playcentre Science Works. Adam House. 557 4296. Fri 31 Mar—l7 Apr. 10—5pm. £1.50. Teeny tiny tots up to 3—6 year olds get an introduction to science with specially designed interactive exhibits. puppets and songs and a chance to experiment with goo and slime.
I Stretch Your Face Science Works. Adam House. 557 4296. Sun 2—6 Apr. loam—5pm. 50p. Make an anamorph of your own face using computer technology. Ages 7+. One of a series of workshops known as Och Eye The View and featuring 100 sq m ofoptic wonders.
What Have You Done With The Body? Royal Museum of Scotland. 2 Chambers Street. 235 7534. Sat 1 Apr. 11.45am—ll5pm. l-‘ree. Forensic scientists give a glimpse of their world
and the process of unravelling whodunnits. Ages 14+.
Autonomous Robots - Real Minds In Metal Bodies Old College Lecture Theatre 2. The Old College. South Bridge. 557 4296. Mon 3 Apr. 4.30-5.30pm. £2 (£1). Exploring the reality of today's robots and speculating on what robotics might teach us about the nature and function of our own minds. Ages 14+. Forensic Science: Recent Trends In Facial Identification Roya: Museum of Scotland. 2 Chambers Street. 225 7534. Wed 5 Apr. 4.30—5.3()pm. £2 (£1). Professor Peter Vanezis of Glasgow University discusses facial identiﬁcation techniques used by forensic investigators. dating back to the late 19th century. and introduces technological methods developed in the age ofcomputer and video. Ages 14+.
Inside The Internet Old College Lecture Theatre 2. The Old College. South Bridge. 557 4296. Wed 5 Apr. 6.30—7.30pm. £2 (£1). Exploring the lntemet's data highways. which promise a green alternative to traditional methods of communication by paper. This talk by Dr Gordon Brebner of Edinburgh University looks under the ‘tarmac' to explain how component computers are made to communicate. Ages 14+.
Star Trek: The Talks City Art Centre. 2 Market Street. 529 3541. Mon 3—7 Apr. 6-7pm. £5.50 (£3) for talk and entry to Star Trek: The Exhibition. £2.50 (£1) for talk only. A series of ﬁve talks looking at possible alien life forms. designing space ships to travel close to the speed of light. the possibility of beaming up from one place to another. and more.
Brave New Families Old College Lecture Theatre 2. The Old College. South Bridge. 557 4296. Sat 8 Apr. 1.30—5pm. £4 (£2). Talks by some of Britain‘s top geneticists. encouraging the audience to consider the social implications of the new reproductive technologies. From looking at motherhood at 60. to genetic screening. the issue of eugenics through the back door is considered. Ages 14+.
Time Travel: Fact 0r Fantasy? Royal Museum of Scotland. 2 Chambers Street. 225 7534. Fri 14 Apr. 4.30—5.30pm. £2 (£1). Recent investigations into black holes and worm holes in space suggests visiting the past is at least theoretically possible. A talk by Professor Paul Davies. Ages 12+.
Bookings and general information about this year’s Edinburgh international Science Festival can be obtained by telephone (0131 557 4296) and post (1 Broughton Market, Edinburgh, EH3 6110). The box office will be open for counter sales every day 31 March-17 April at the Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm. Tickets for lectures will also be on sale at each venue 30 minutes prior to the event, providing it is not sold out. Concessions are available to pensioners, unemployed and students unless otherwise indicated.
16 The List 24 Mar-6 Apr 1995