Edinburgh International Science Festival lit/'iuus venues. Edinburgh. I’ri'5-41iu' [6 Apr lt‘s lidinburgh. but not as we know it. ()nce again the city erupts with twelve days of science and technology events which are anything but disciplined. Whether it‘s outer space. in your body. outer body. green issues or the animal kingdom that floats your boat. science and technology is made accessible. fun and interesting with a programme designed to literally blow your mind. Listed below are highlights of the talks and tours in the Popular Science programme froin Fri 5 Thu l l Apr. Highlights of workshops and activities for families and children are listed in the Kids section. L'nless otherwise stated. for tnore information or to book tickets. call 0131 473 2070.


Propping Up Pisa Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street. 7-~b’pm. £7 (£5). See photo caption.


Torchlight Tours Of The Museum Of Flight Museum Of Flight. liast Fortune Airfield. lladdington. 8—l0pm. Free. but ticketed. The darkened hangars of the museum provide an atmospheric setting for a tour of the nation's aviation treasures. Will the legendary ghost of liast Fortune airfield be stirring tonight'.’

Saturday 6


Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m 84? Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street. 247 42 l‘). Noon~ l pm. £6 (£4). The title of this event alone indicates changes in life expectancy. and with an higher proportion of the population in the aged demographic. issues surrounding care for the elderly have never been more important. Four short and diverse presentations by experts will be followed by a chance to express your views on the subject.

‘, as y PROPPING UP PISA Royal Museum. 2 Chambers Street. Fri 5 Apr. 7—8pm. £7 (£5). Rome‘s famOuS leaning landmark was close to toppling just a few years ago. but Since then Professor John Burland has worked on stabilising the tower. In the annual RSSA Science Festival Lecture. Burland will rec0unt his experiences of developing a computer model of the ground. and then deViSing a novel and controversial method of son extraction to stabilise Pisa.

Flight And Left Handedness In Atoms, Molecules Bodies, Brains And Cultures Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street. 2 3pm. £6 (£4). [leading in the right direction. the right of passage. right away; all different meanings of the word ‘right‘ and more importantly. a reflection of our society's preponderance to the right side. Bttt why should there be any left/right distinction'.’ Shouldn't we use both hands equally. shouldn't language utilise both sides of the brain'.’ Professor (‘hris McManus proposes that these differences have a single ultimate cause which can be traced back to the depths of space. Experiments With Cells Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street. 4.30 6pm. £7 (£5). Professor llein/ Wolff of Brunei l'niversity gives a fascinating presentation on the humble battery. Edinburgh Medal: Concern, Sincerity and the Power to Act Royal (‘ollege ()f Physicians. ‘) Queen Street. 7 S.l5pm. £7 (£5). l.ise Kingo. vice president of Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. is awarded the lidinburgh Medal for her pioneering work in sustainable development.

Is Man Just Another Animal? Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street.

8 9pm. £7 (£5). llumans share 99‘; of our D.\'A sequence with chimpan/ees. so why aren't we more similar? We follow the Darwinian rules of natural selection and mutation. but have not evolved to the same extent as other animals. Professor Steve Jones considers the recent development iit genetics and evolution and how they influence what it means to be human.


Torchlight Tours Of The Museum Of Flight Museum Of Flight. Fast Fortune Airfield. lladdington. S l0pm. Free. bttt ticketed. See Fri 5.

Edinburgh’s Oldest Volcanoes \‘arious Venues. 10am noon. £5 (£2.50). A guided walk taking in lidinburgh's oldest lava flow s in 'l'orphin llill Quarry. Meeting point specified on ticket. Plants Of The Pioneers Royal Botanic (iarden. Inverleith Row. 552 7171. llam & 2pm. £3 (£2.50). Tales of heroism and tragedy endured by plant collectors are retold by RB(iF guides.


Fooling The Eyes Royal Museum. 2 ('hambers Street. 2 3pm. £6 (£4). A tour of optical illusions presented by professor Nick Wade of the l'niversity of Dundee. The Search For Intelligent Websites Royal Mirseum. 2 ('hambers Street. 4 5pm. £6 (£4). After six years of searching. Jared M Spool still hasn't fottttd a single website that cart meet users needs more than half the time. This informative. entertaining and controversial presentation should give an insight into the challenges faced by website designers attd techniques for making websites more user-friendly. Under The Weather Royal Museum. 2 ('hambers Street. 6.30 Spin. £6 (£4). It's official. bad weather makes for poor health. .\'o wonder we Brits are always moaning about both. .\'ow the .\'HS and the Met Office have even joined forces to develop a forecasting system based on the weather. Join a panel of experts including BB("s Heather the Weather. epidemiologist Dr Paul Wilkinson and the I'M/“s Science liditot (‘Iive ('ookson for an informed debate on the implications of this finding.

Ken’s World (ieorgc Square Theatre. l'niversity ()f lidinburgh. (‘ieorge Square. 7.30 8.30pm. £7 (£5). Presenter. author and racontcur Ken ('ampbell is renowned for explaining complex scientific ideas iii a simple and humorous way. Here he tells of his experiences of meeting eminent scientists aitd how they influenced his tltinking. See preview.

TALK KEN CAMPBELL George Square Theatre, Sun 7 Apr

‘I know nothing about science,’ says Ken Campbell in tones of extravagant delight. The reason the people at Channel 4 chose him to front the science series Reality On The Rocks, he says, was because of a comment he’d made in one of his hilarious one-man shows. ‘I was talking about belief and said in the absence of any better evidence I suppose that I should suppose.’

It was that open-mindedness combined with his Joe Public

Edinburgh life

perspective that appealed to the producers. An equally likely explanation is that Campbell has the kind of enquiring mind that could have been of great value to science had it not been channelled so entertainingly into the theatre. His monologues are odysseys into the unfamiliar side of the familiar, stories populated with eccentric characters, dark esoteric secrets, uncanny coincidences, all combining to create a landscape more exotic than the one we’re used to. Much like a scientist’s explanations of parallel

universes or quantum mechanics.

A glance across his CV reveals a life as adventurous as his tales. Campbell it was who set up the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool in the 1970s to perform The Warp, a 22-hour journey through music hall, sex and surrealism, and The llluminatus, a mere eight hours, but alleged to contain more simulated blow jobs than any other drama in history. It’s worth noting that Bill Drummond, who decades later would form the KLF, was the

production’s set designer.

To the general public, Campbell is better known as Fred Johnson, Alf Garnett’s testy neighbour in ’Til Death Do Us Part, as well as parts in Fawlty Towers and Brookside. And it’s on his experience meeting the world’s leading scientists for Reality On The Rocks that he’ll be drawing for his performance in the Science Festival. ‘l have had the fortune to meet some wonderful people, who could communicate these ideas to me,’ he says. He’ll be recommunicating the same ideas with a comic twist for one

night only. (Mark Fisher)


Plants Of The Pioneers Royal Botanic (iarden. lnverleith Row. 552 7 l 7 I. l lam a 2pm. £3 (£2.50). See Sat 6. Flowers By Night Royal Botanic (iarden. Imerleith Row. 552 7l7l. 8.30pm. £5 (£4). An evening walk through the grounds and glasshouses with night stories. exotic scents and more than a few surprises.

Other events

Big Machines Mttsettm ()l‘ Flight. liast Fortune Airfield. lladdington. 0l620 880308. 10.30am 5pm. £l0 per car. A mammoth day out at this fttlly -interactive exhibition of Big Machines. See the world's first jet airliner. take a ride in a tractor or tank. whi/ past a helicopter. or test your nerves in a flight simulator.

Science Festival Church Service St (iiles' Cathedral. Royal Mile. ll.30am. Free. A morning church service etnpowering individuals to make a difference.

Monday 8 Talks

Ian Stewart on Charles Jencks National (iallery of Modern Art. Belford Road. 624 6307. I245 l.|5pm. Free. btit ticketed. The interaction between art and science is higltlighted by Professor Ian Stewart w ho gives an illustrated talk on the earthwork sculptures of (‘harles Jencks. Arcltitect Jencks llth created it ‘pliysics garden' which celebrates the links between science. maths and art in a beautiful and tmusual way. Following the talk. audience members are im ited to wander round a recent work by Jencks positioned in front of the gallery.

Creating Biodiversity Royal Botanic (iarden. lnverleith Row. 7 ts’pm. £4 (£2.50). Dr Toby Pennington from the Royal Botanic (iarden on the effects of environmental changes on evolution. Getting A Good Night’s Sleep Royal Museum. 2 (’hambers Street. S 9pm. £6 (£4). Around 25‘r' of the Pt‘PlIlalion suffer regularly from insomnia. however

new behavioural therapies are being introduced which should provide significant improvements in sleeping patterns. llere l'niversity of (ilasgow professor (‘olitt lispie gives a practical summary of this condition and potential treatments.


Plants Of The Pioneers Royal Botanic (iarden. lnverleith Row, 552 7l7l. l lam & 2pm. £3 (£2.50). See Sat 6.

Other events

Face Your Phobias lidinburgh '/.oo. (‘orstorphine Road. 7- 9pm. £l0. Advance booking required. ()vercome your fear of spiders or snakes with these phobia workshops.

Tuesday 9


Obesity - A Matter Of Genetics? Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street.

6 7pm. £6 (£4). Aberdeen l'niversity‘s Professor John Speakrnan proposes a radical new theory of how our bodies regulate fat. He suggests fat could be controlled by a lipostat. and future research could allow us to reset our lipostat attd effectively shed pounds effortlessly.

Children With Autism - Exploring A World Of Their Own David Hume Tower. (ieorge Square. 6 7pm. £6 (£4). With the MMR debacle still ongoing. research into autism has exploded. Dr Patrl (iringas traces the birth. childhood and adolescence of two autistic individuals to gain a closer understanding of autism. and also highlight the nature vs nurture considerations.

Cooling The Greenhouse: Halving Carbon Emissions by 2050 Reid (‘oncert Hall. Edinburgh l'niversity. Bristo Square. 6.30 8pm. £6 (£4). Sir John llottghton of the Inter- governmental Panel on (‘limate (‘hange and Friends ()f The [Earth's Kevin Dtmion debate the implications of efficient energy

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