Edinburgh life listings

Edinburgh International Science Festival

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The world’s largest event devoted to the celebration of science is upon us once again. Listed below are highlights of the talks and tours in the Popular Science programme. Highlights of workshops and activities for families and children are listed in the Kids section. For a copy of the programme, call 09067 303001 (calls charged at £1 per minute). For more information or to book tickets, call 0131 473 2070.

Events are listed on a daily basis until Thu 12 Apr, and further highlights will be printed next issue.

Friday 6

Professor Heinz Wolff Rtwal \ltiseuni. 2 ('hamhers Street. 473 2070.

Spin. £5 (£3). RSSA .:\nnual Science l‘c\ll\;tl lccttit'c: .\ little Knowledge l\ .'\ ( iood 'l'lnng. .\ l.itt|e .ludgement Is I'.\ en lietter. 'l‘he lirunel l'ni\ersit} l’rol'essor discusses the hreakdow n ot trust which has occurred in this age ol know ledge and enlightenment.

Ghosts, Ghouls And Gadgets lianuerman’s. 2 l 2 (‘ow gate. 473 2070.

l lam. noon. lpm. 2pm. 3pm & 4pm. £3. .loin a team ol prolcssional ghosthunters on a scientilic esploratiou led h} Dr Richard Wiseman. The team w ill record gltostl) goings-on in the cit} 's hidden underground \aults using scientilic instruments on areas w here )ou'\e c\pct‘icnced unusual supernatural

actn it}. See panel.

Is There An Acceptable Face Of Cloning? Ro_\'al Museum. 2 (‘hamhers Street. 473 2070. 4 5.20pm. £5 (£3). (‘loning stem cells lrom human enthr}os has become one of the most contrm ersial Issues in modern science ttlttl its ethics

w ill he dehated It} representati\ es ol‘ medical. ethical and religions bodies including Dr :\tlslilt Smith ot' the (‘entre lol' ( ienonte Research tttttl Dr Donald Bruce ol' the ('hurch of Scotland.

Time Travelling Ro_\al Museum. 2 ('hamhers Street. 473 20‘0. 2.30 4pm. £5 t£3 l. l)r l.ohert l.amhourne speculates on the possihilit) ot' taster. slower ot‘ exert backwards time tra\el and its implications.

New Light For The New Millennium l‘ruitmarket (ialler). 45 Market Street. 473 2070. 2.30 4pm. l'iree. l’at Kane chairs this panel disctission which w ill dehate the tuture ot' light in the 2 l st centur}. l’anellists include l’eter link. the artist hehind Northern lie/In at the galler}. Kesan Shaw. lighting designer and l’rolessor Ilor Samuel ol' the Department ol l’h} sics and .'\sll'ollt)ltt} at St Andrews l'nisersit}. The Latest Search For Extraterrestrial Life Riwal .\luseum. 2 ('hamhers Street. 473 2070. 4 5pm. £5 t£3i. l)r Harrie Jones details the latest dc\elopments in the search l'or lite on other planets arid the prospects tor linding lite in our solar s_\ stem and lk'}t)|ltl.

Ghosts, Ghouls And Gadgets lianncrtnan's. 2 I 2 ('ow gate. 473 2070.

l lam. noon. lpm. 2pm. 3pm & 4pm. £3. See Sat 7 and panel.

Monday 9

Cancer Research Delivers - At Last! Riwal Societ) ()l‘ lidinhurgli.

22 2o (icorge Street. 473 2070.

5 (i.l5pm. £5 (£3). Due to admnccs in sequencing of the human genome. it is predicted that cancer w ill he under control h} 2050. Director (ieneral ol the ('ancer Research ('ampaign. l’rolessor (iot‘don .\le\'te considers the implications for the l'uture.

Science Question Time: Organic Or Gimmick? Reid ('oncert llall. lidinhurgh l'ni\ersit_\. Bristo Square. 473 2070. S 0pm. £5 t£3l. ()rganic produce is touted as the healthier option for its and the emironment. hut recent press suggests we should he more sceptical about its advantages. Ask a panel of experts their opinion as organicall) grown l‘ood goes on trial.

Tuesday 1 0

The Northern Lights: Illuminating Near-Earth Space l-iuitmarket (ialler). 45 Market Street. 473 2070. 7- 8.30pm. £5 (£3). The aurora horealis or Northern Lights ha\ e pit/Iled

IDENTIFYING FACES Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, 473 2070. 6-7.15pm. £5 (£3). In a lecture to mark the centenary of the British Psychological Society, Professor Vicki Bruce discusses the contribution that psychological research can make to our understanding of face recognition processes and its use in eye-witness testimony or CCTV footage.



Meet at Bannerman‘s Bar. Edinburgh. Sat 7 8. Sun 8 Apr. Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr.

Men wearing grey boiler suits carrying turbo-charged backpacks shooting slimy green apparitions on sight. That’s ghost-busting. So where do the men in white lab coats using scientific thermal imagers, geomagnetic sensors and night-vision apparatus enter into the equation?

Paranormal psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman is undertaking the world’s most comprehensive investigation into the existence of ghosts at this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival, and is enlisting you, members of the public, to aid his quest to unearth supernatural phenomena. Wiseman explains: ‘Edinburgh has an amazing reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Europe. The south vaults in particular have had about 120 unusual experiences recorded there. I don’t want to give too much away by saying exactly what they are we don’t want people to come with preconceptions but what we will be doing is having people go down there and tell us if they experience anything


Wiseman acknowledges that the ghostly feelings experienced may have a perfectly natural explanation, such as a drop in temperature, but is

content that in such an eventuality, members of the public will nonetheless enjoy participating in a scientific study.

In addition to the public experiments, Wiseman and his team of scientists will also test for ghostly goings-on in Edinburgh Castle and Mary King’s Close and will present the results of the study on the last day of the festival. ‘We’ve got to analyse the data very quickly, and change it into a form we can present to people. It will be a lot of pressure but that’s nice because it gives it a sense of drama.’ Strange, but true. (Maureen Ellis)

aitd atna/ed scientists l‘or )ears. l)t‘ Stew \lilttlt oi the l'ltiVet‘stl} of Leicester

pro\ ides an insight into this strange natural phenomena.

Edinburgh Medal: Our Genome Signet Library. Parliament Square. 473 2070. 7 Spin. £5 (£3). Director ol the Sanger (‘entre in ('amhridge. Sir John Sulston recei\ es the lidinhurgh Medal for his work in deciphering the human genome and his adxocac} ol‘ public ownership ol the code.

Wednesday 1 1

Identifying Faces Ro}al Socier or lidinhurgh. 22 2o (ieorge Street. 473 2070. (1 7.15pm. £5 (£3). See photo caption.

Is There Anybody Out There? The Search For Other Solar Systems (ieorge Square Theatre. l‘ni\ersit'\' ()t‘ lidinhurgh. (ieorge Square. 473 2070. S 9pm. l‘ree. hut ticketed. Recent astronomical evidence would suggest that there is the possibility of lite on other planets. Professor Anneila Sargent considers the prohahilit} ol' linding planets that can harhour lite in

the l'ni\ersit_\ ol' lidinhurgh Science l'eslt\;tl Lecture.

Synaesthesia: The Strangest Thing Ro)al .\liiseum. 2 (‘hamhers Street. 473 2070. (i 7pm. £5 t£3i. Dr John Harrison diseusses his new book on the human condition s_\ naesthesia. whereh} people see colours w hen the} hear sounds. and questions its genetic and learned potentials.

The Net Generation The lluh. ('astlehill. Ro}al Mile. 473 2070. (i.3()pin. £5 t£3i. IBM's Dr Jim Schnit/ talks about the need (or l'amilies to prepare and he aw are (it the c} herworld ol' the future.

Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature Rosal Museum. 2 (’hamhers Street. 473 2070. S 9pm. £5 (£3). ll' human madness is geneticall} linked. then through emlution. the gene should become extinct. llowe\er. Dr Daniel .\'ettle ol~ l'nixersit} (‘ollege London argues for a connection between madness and artistic genius.

92 THE LIST 3:" .‘slw—T.‘ 3st r .