Wednesday 10 February 2016


Exciting news! The 28th Edinburgh International Science Festival programme has just launched, and it is packed full of brilliant, clever, creative and wonderful things (er, if I do say so myself!). This will be my fourth year working at the Science Festival and I'm so proud of how it grows and changes each year. It's knackering, and fairly stressful, but it's all worth it when the programme hits (and everyone sees how ace we are).

This year's Science Festival will run from Saturday 26th March - Sunday 10th April. Themed around the idea of Building Better Worlds, we'll be looking at how science, technology, engineering and design can help improve our lives and our world through a totally packed programme of events, exhibitions and happenings.

There's loads on for families at City Art Centre and Summerhall, but if you don't care about kids, our adult programme is ace. There's a space party, millions of food and drink events, pandas, an astronaut, robots, wearable tech fashion workshops, dinosaurs, comedy, dancing, theatre, and so so much more.

I probably shouldn't pick favourites, being professionally-linked to the company and all, but whatever. Here's my top ten events in the programme this year! Buy tickets and come along. Yay science.

The Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire - a huge, hands-on celebration of human creativity, showcasing makers from across the UK. There's always fun things to play with, stuff to make, and robots to ooh at, and this year the ACTUAL maker of R2D2 will be there!

Big Bang Bash - a massive space party in the National Museum of Scotland. You can try on a spacesuit, send an encrypted message on a genuine Enigma machine (so cool), dance in the science ceilidh, see the solar system in a planetarium, and drink space-themed cocktails from the Bar at the End of the Universe.

Adventures in Viticulture - fancy going on a wine safari? Feel super smart learning about the world of wine, while drinking loads of wine. All in the name of science!

The Mathematics of Why I Don't Have a Boyfriend - I perhaps wouldn't normally rush along to a talk on mathematical modelling, but throw in some comedy and I'm there.

Cheeseology - do you like eating loads of cheese? And learning about why cheese is so brilliant? I will say no more.

Tiny Homes Village - tiny homes are super cute, and for the Festival, we're building a village of them on the Mound! You can go inside and poke about loads of different tiny houses, from self-sustaining eco pods to emergency housing solutions for refugee camps.

Designing Fictional Worlds - people love fictional worlds, but why are they so drawn to them? This event pairs psychologists with author Charles Stross and my pal from school, Andy Robinson (who designed EVE: Valkyrie), to find out why.

Chocolate: Food of the Gods - find out the past, present and future of chocolate at this scientific feast!

Unbottling the AI Demon - all of the very smart people in the world have decided that the biggest risk to mankind is artificial intelligence.  It's a really terrifying topic and this event looks fascinating - Prof Raymond Tallis and Prof Kevin Warwick investigate the risks of AI... (we're probably all doomed).

The Visit - a special screening of The Visit, a sci-fi documentary-style film, that shows how government agencies try to cope with human mankind's first contact with alien life. You can see the trailer here - it looks super creepy!

You can browse the full programme at

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