chemistry in action Credit: Cambridge University
With the theme of ’breaking boundaries’, the Festival will focus on the unceasing progress of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a programme of events to suit children and adults of all tastes and ages"
Cambridge Science Festival is hoping to break new boundaries in celebration of London 2012 as it asks ’How fast can Usain Bolt run?’ and takes ’A mathematical look at the Olympics’.
Bookings for the Festival, which takes place from March 12-25, open this morning with more than 180 mostly free events for the public to choose from. Organisers are hoping for a record turnout after last year’s total of 35,000 visitors.
With the theme of ’breaking boundaries’, the Festival will focus on the unceasing progress of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a programme of events to suit children and adults of all tastes and ages.
There will also be a special sub-section of events with a special Olympics and Paralympics theme.
And for the first time, the Festival will have a guest director; comedian, actor and author Robin Ince – co-host of the BBC’s Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox.
Ince will join Alan Moore and other guests on March 16 in the ’Bad Science Book Club’ where the panel will discuss the odd, arcane and downright terrible science literature, as well as ’Happiness Through Science’ on the Festival’s flagship family day (Saturday, March 18), where he asks whether it’s possible to be happy and rational at the same time.
Other star names from the world of science include: Richard Wiseman (Science of the paranormal), Jim Al-Khalili (On the shoulders of Eastern giants), Simon Singh (Alan Turing and the Enigma cipher), Alastair Fothergill (Frozen Planet: the making of a landmark wildlife documentary), Carolin Crawford (Sounds of the Universe) and Stefan Gates (Gastronaut live)
Other highlights include evening lectures on topics as diverse as ’The musical brain’, ’Plants for the future’ and ’Great discoveries in medicine’.
Robin Ince said: "The last few years have seen a reinvigoration of public engagement with science that has been both hopeful and thrilling. I have looked at audiences as the Cambridge Science Festival and elsewhere and seen a broad mix of age, gender and hairstyles!
"It’s a joy to have the opportunity to curate a few events at the Cambridge Science Festival which seems to have an even more hectic schedule than recent years. Asking the question ’why’ and then using what we have at our disposal to try and fashion an answer is one of the adventures of being human."