Fancy seeing Winchester engineer Matt Denton‘s two tonne Turbo Diesel-powered Mantis robot – the biggest all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world? Or how about deconstructing the Hat Fair with Dr Ken Farquhar as he explores the science behind juggling, circus and the like. Perhaps you’d like to launch into some rocket science with Lucy Rogers? If you haven’t already guessed, Winchester is readying itself for a scintillating science-tastic take-over at the Discovery Centre 25-27 July, with the return of the annual Winchester Science Festival, launched in 2012. The festival will feature science, music, comedy and hands-on exhibits all weekend with plenty on offer for the whole family.
Friday’s programme is geared towards younger science fans. Terry Harvey-Chadwick’s Fire Show at 10am will feature some explosive demonstrations with his brand of ‘fun science’. At 11am, step-aside Superman, Channel 4’s Simon Watt will be taking a closer look at genetic mutations and revealing that we might be closer to the X-men than we thought with his talk ‘Mutants. What Are they Like?’. Winchester Science Centre’s Alex Boxley will be talking us through the universe at 3pm and at 5pm award winning Dr Mini Saaj will be exploring Nature-Inspired Robots For Science & Medicine. Adults can pop along in the evening to Frogs and Friends, a comedic talk with The Ugly Animal Preservation Society’s professor of comedy, Simon Watt. And its worth noting that all the festival evening events are for 15s and over.
Saturday’s programme starts at 10am when Dr Radu Sporea assisted by Andrew Pye will lead us in a participatory look at modern photography with hints and tips for practitioners. At midday, Dr Jock McOrist will be making the elusive String Theory accessible for everyone. After lunch there are two opportunities to listen to the extraordinary astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. To round off the day, Bright Club Guildford will present an evening of comedy, music, art, research, science and performance. On Sunday, budding Bear Grylls‘ can take a journey into the extremities with Prof Mike Tipton exploring physiological and psychological responses to harsh environments. Sally Le Page will be leading us on a lighthearted romp through the bizarre world of animal sex lives with Secrets of Sex. The festival reaches its climax with Being 747, where science meets music in a pop rock group inspired by the work of David Attenborough.
Various exhibits will be on offer on-site throughout the festival, including the Mini Professors, free group science sessions for pre-schoolers with songs and experiments. The Soton Astrodome c/o the University of Southampton will be running a mobile planetarium hourly all weekend from 11.15am. Shows are free but advanced booking is advised. The National Oceanography Centre will be bringing along the PufferSphere, a glowing 2m digital globe, which shows complex climate and weather systems.
Ticketed talks are available online with SEE Tickets where you can book a full festival pass, daytime or evening passes or just for specific talks. Children accompanied by an adult go free all weekend and there are some free events in the programme. For full programme listings which may vary visit winchesterscifest.org.
Winchester Science Festival is run by the not-for-profit Winchester Science Foundation who aim to champion and celebrate science with the public, raise the profile of women in science, promote science education and science communication and raise the awareness of Hampshire science.