Monday 19 February 2018


If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know I'm a big fan of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, who have just announced their 2018 programme - marking 30 years of EISF (and 2 years since I left the sci fest tribe!).

Themed this year around Life, the Universe and Everything (with a nice nod to Douglas Adams), the Festival will transform the city into a celebration of science and technology with talks, experiments, exhibitions, parties, activities and events to entertain and educate all ages. This year they're looking at where we've come from, where we're going, and how science is going to save the world, and as usual the programme is packed full of fun, creative experiences (as well as more of the serious talks and lectures you might expect from a science festival).

There's loads to choose from, but I've picked out my favourite events to point you in the right direction. Bring on the sci-fun!

What's on at Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018
Jason Hackenworth - Existence: Life and Beyond 

1. Science Festival Lates Sci Fest's Opening Party takes over their family venue, adds in some bars, and let's you get hands on with slime, surgery, space and psychology. It is so much fun, and this year it promises some extra 80s-themed fun to celebrate the Festival's 30 years!

2. NASA's Newest Recruit I secretly want to be an astronaut, so sign me up! The very funny Marcus Chown chats space jobs - want to be a Moon miner? A galactic architect? An alien cultural exchange officer?

3. A Panel of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones meets science and tech, in this chat about how the worlds of science and fantasy collide, hosted by comedian and author Helen Keen.

4. Dreading Friday the 13th  Taking place (of course) on Friday 13th, this event takes you on a journey through the psychology behind superstition... is it harmless? Can it help you? Science will explain!

5. Cheeseology 3.0 Back to the Festival for a third year (as everyone bloody loves cheese), this night teaches you about cheese as you eat cheese, giving you a win/win of leaving both smart AND satiated.

6. Existence: Life and Beyond Taking over the National Museum of Scotland's beautiful Grand Gallery, this free interactive exhibition will look back at the origins of life on Earth, and forward to the horizons of what life could be in the future. It'll also feature a new MASSIVE balloon sculpture by artist Jason Hackenwerth, who was last at the Festival with Pisces in 2013 (pictured above). I'm so excited to see what he'll make!

7. Frankenstein's Legacy: Who Are You Calling Monster? This year marks the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, and three writers from Scottish Book Trust's New Writers Awards programme have been commissioned to create new stories and poems inspired by this iconic book. These writers will read their own takes, and chat about the role of science and technology in creating and controlling life (which seems pretty important now they are cloning monkeys and teaching scary robots to open doors!).

8. Baking in Space Baking and engineering combine, in this event with Andrew from the Great British Bake Off (!!!!), who just happens to be an aerospace engineer as well as an adorable baker, and scientists and guests from the European Space Agency.

9. Get Your Hands Off Me You Damned Dirty Alien! More space! Aliens! Ethical dilemmas! A gang of astrobiologists, theologists, philosophers and theorists debate how our world will change in the (ever-increasing) likelihood we meet alien life.

10. The Lab of the Ludicrous Part stand-up comedy, part journal club, and part science project, this night leads you through some of the strangest science studies ever conducted.

Edinburgh International Science Festival runs 31st March - 15th April, and you can browse their full programme here.

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