Big And Beautiful, Royal Museum, Fri 12 Apr; Between Fire And Ice, Royal Museum, Sat 13 Apr; UFOs: Have Aliens Ever Landed?, the Hub, Sun 14 Apr
Space if the Science festival programme is to believed — is the place. And of course Edinburgh is the place to find out all about it.
He may SOUttd uncannin like the Fast Show's own comedy scientist Den/i) Dexter. but yeti've got to believe the enthusiasm of this soft-spoken American. “I'm incredibly excned about the Festival.‘ says Professor Donald Kurtz. 'I'm only disappOinted that l couldn't be there from the start.‘
He may have missed the kick-off but Kurtz is here for a series of three talks extolling the latest and greatest facts about the cosmos. Big And Beautiful is not some oversi'zed ladies clothing store but the first of three talks run through the highlights of the latest discoveries made by the Hubble telescope.
‘I lelid not to focus too much on the technology.‘ says Kurtz. 'Its too easy to get bogged down in that. I'm more interested in what's happening around us.’ And what's happening arOund us is a true spectacle: planets are born. stars explode and die. and black holes shoot Jets of gas at the speed of light.
Kurtz is particularly keen to convey the sheer scale of events on our neighbooring planets. "Its hard to give people a true impression of what they're seeing. the only way is through comparison. At one pOint we show a picture of the volcano that erupted in the Congo taken from space and then compare it to a picture of a volcano on Mars that's 23km lllgh. Bear in mind that Mount Everest is only 8.8km high.‘
The second lecture entitled Between Fire And Ice explores the fragility of the solar system and explains alien environments. asterOids and the eventual demise (in several biilion years) of our beautiful planet.
The final and most contentious subject is UFOs. wherein Kurtz debunks several X—FiIe-ish myths and reveals the truth behind Roswell. ‘I have to be careful with this one as I know people are very sensitive about their own experiences. It often ends up that I don't do very much talking'
So whether its myths. maths or molten lava on Mars. Don Kurt? is your man. (Mark Robertson)
Art and Science: Equal Partners? Thursday 11 April
BBC Blue Planetzbive to the Abyss
READER OFFER: £1 off the following shows at The Edinburgh Science Festival
Our Cosmic Habitat Royal Museum. 2 ('hambei's Street. 6 7pm. £7 (£5). Sir Martin Recs. Astronomer Royal at the l'niversity oi ('ambridge. considers whether the birth of life on earth was an accident. late or coincidence.
You Bet! with Simon Singh (ieorge Square 'l'heati'e. l'niversity ()l‘ lidinburgh. (ieorge Square.
6.30 7.30pm. £7 (£5). See photo caption.
Age 8. Intelligence David lluiiie Tower. (ieot'ge Square. 6.30 7.30pm. £6 (£4). livery scltool pupil in Scotland born in l‘)2l was tested in the Scottish Mental Survey in I932. 70 years on. that data has been Used by researchers including l’rot'essor [an Deary and links between age and intelligence have been idetttilied. The lidinburgh l‘niversity lecturer will discuss the findings in his new book.
Where In The Universe Are We? Royal Museum. 2 (‘hambers Street. 8 ‘)pm. £7 (£5). l’l'tilcsstit‘ John l’eacock ol' the l'niversity ol' lidinburgh on our positioning in the immense universe.
The Ageing Brain David llume Tower. George Square. 8 ()pm. £6 (£4 ). A lively and unusual debate surrounding age and mental decline. Professor Lawrence \Vhalley challenges the view that mental decline is inevitable. and advises on how to prescribe yoursell a healthy old age witlt the aid ot‘ a few simple rules.
Amazing Animal Encounters lidiiihui'gh Zoo. (‘orstorphine Road. 33—1‘)l7l. 7.30 9pm. £5. linter the fascinating world ol‘ animals and see a chameleon dart tor a tasty locust or test a python's gripping power at this interactive aitd fascinating workshop.
Tuesday 1 6
Making Food Better - ls Organic The Best Answer? Royal .\luseum. 2 (‘hambers Street.
6 7.30pm. £6 (£4 ). Three of Scotland‘s leading l'ood experts debate the future of Scottish l'ood production. lleat' Scottish Agricultural College’s l’rol' David Atkinson. the ('entre for Human licology’s l)t‘ l'lt'ich [netting and the Scottish ('rop Research Institutes Prof John llillman discuss the pros and cons ol'(i.\l ltmds. organic farming and stistainable agriculture.
Cyber Man: An Evening with Kevin Warwick (ieorge Square 'l'heatre. l'iiiversity ()f lidinburgh. George Square. 6.30 7.30pm. £7 (£5). When a silicon chip transponder was surgically implanted into Kevin Warwick‘s arm. he effectively became part-man. part machine. The l'niversity of Reading professor and cybernetics
The Science of Marijuana Saturday 13 April
Amazing Animal Encounters Monday 15 April
expert will talk about what it felt like to have a chip in his arm. w hat he has learned from the experiments. and what are the implications for mankind.
The Unbalanced Mind David llume 'l'owei'. (ieorge Square.
6.30 7.30pm. £7 (£5). l’rol‘essor Julian Left. a leading expert in social and cultural psychiatry. on the el‘l‘ects ol' the social environment on itieittal health. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth I)avid llume 'l‘ow'er. (ieorge Square. 8 9pm. £6 (£4). l’rol'essor Kathy Whaler on the techniques used to explore what lies beneath the surface of our planet.
How To Build A Time Machine with Paul Davies David llume 'l‘ower. (ieot'ge Square. 8 9pm. £7 (£5 ). The laws of physics would suggest that forward and backwards time travel is possible. yet time travel remains in the realms of conjecture and science liction. Best-selling author l’aul l)av ies will suggest how a time machine might be built and explore the ramilications ol~ time travel.
YOU BET! WITH SIMON SINGH George Square Theatre. University Of Edinburgh. George Square. 473 2070. Mon 1:3 Apr. 6.30—7.30pm. 5.27 (£5). It's only hardened coupon JtlllleS who're interested in betting and probability these days. Right? If only. Doctors offer probable statistics on success of operations. scientists track the probability of meteorites colliding with earth and where would be without Heather the Weathers rain forecast. Simon Singh believes we can use statistics to Our advantage and the presenter of Channel 4s The Science Of Secrecy will place real bets to demonstrate his theory.
How to Build a Time Machine Tuesday 16 April
Lg" rjr\ . 7pm Friday 12 April 5.30pm 7.15pm 8pm
" ’ ’ ‘ >5 The Fruitmarket 8pm Royal Museum Edinburgh ZOO David Hume
' ‘ Gallery George Square 27 (25) (main entrance) Tower (Theatre A) m t e r n at ' O n 3' £6 (24) Theatre, 27 (9:5) 95 Q7 (95)
SC I e n C 8 Take this voucher to any of the above shows on the TERMS 8. OONDITIONS: Olne Ivouc:Tl:er per persentper V's)!- ‘est “3'” date and You wi" receive it off when You llELiﬁil‘fJfﬁlﬁ‘iﬁiﬁ‘ig‘la$31.33... £§ff,‘..'iél.‘i.ﬁ‘lf.lh
purchase a regular or concession ticket.
110 THE LIST '.' 7?, Apr 70’)?
other offer. Only original vouchers Wlll be accepted.