Thursday, 11 September 2008

Good Bye Liverpool...... Hello Manchester!

I've now been back from Liverpool for a couple of days and think I have just about recovered from two days in the train station!

Science busking was great fun, thanks to everyone who came and helped out, we couldn't have done it without you especially David, Louise and Marieke. Although I've done that kind of things a couple of times before I've never done it quite so up close and with truly "household" equipment, I actually learned a lot including how to make a very scary bunny even more scary! If you want to learn how to make the wall grow, see a tame tornado or free yourself from a deceivingly simple looking knotted rope, then come along and join us all out and about busking in Manchester during the Manchester Science Festival. We'll be at Piccadilly train station on the 23, 24, 27, 28 October AND in the Trafford Centre on the 30 October, how can you miss us!

While in Liverpool I also managed to get to a session on communicating science ideas. The session was a really interesting mix of people from different backgrounds and sectors ranging from TV production to school teachers, funders to practitioners. Some great ideas were raised and it made me think about how I communicate and how we work as a festival.

Thanks to the BA for a lovely week, the chance to busk in the station and see a giant spider on the side of a building next to the station (very conveniently arranged for us I thought) although I'm still pretty sure that our expanding spider was better!

See you all in Manchester in a few weeks.


I spent a really interesting and informative half-day yesterday helping judge the BA perspectives poster competition. The idea is that scientists and researchers think about the social and ethical implications and impacts of their work, make a poster about it and then stand for three half days talking to the public about it (and us judges!). The topics ranged from women consenting to share eggs to nano technology to body clocks to malaria. Walking round to speak to 10 of the entrants about their work and pressing them on their views and opinions made the posters really come alive.

I think I was coming at it very differently to some of the other judges (more glossy mag or train station, than academic conference), but that only made it more interesting... I somehow also ended up on the final moderating panel of four to help choose the winner and runners up, which meant another bite of the cherry with regards to seeing even more early career scientists displaying and talking about their work. I was pleased with the final decisions we made as a judging panel - I thought it reflected the balance of topics and quality of work well. And well done to all involved!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Science station

Us busking at Lime St station in Liverpool this afternoon as part of the build up to the BA Festival this week and the Manchester festival in October...

Thursday, 4 September 2008


We're now less than a week until physicists in Geneva switch on the massive experiment at CERN known as the LHC (Large Hadron Colider).

They're going to recreate the moments immediately after the Big Bang - and if all goes well they won't accidentally create a black hole in the process! (Though I am assured if they do, it'll be so instanteaneous that none of us, even them, will ever know it happened).

In celebration of this momentus event, the Manchester BBC Big Screen is showing some fizz-ics short films from this Saturday as part of the build up. Catch them before the black hole catches us!

Monday, 1 September 2008

This coming weekend...

There's something secret and incredible coming to the streets of Liverpool this weekend - quite a mystery!

But it's good timing for us and The BA Festival since we'll be science busking in Lime St Station on Fri 5 (12-6), Sat 6 and Sun 7 (both 11-4).

Hope to see you there!