Tuesday, 11 June 2013


Not the Ladies' College but the science festival. Everyone knows about the music one, but this is a veritable treasure trove of discovery and excitement. It caters for all ages and academic levels and is particularly good at enthusing children with a huge range of hands-on stalls, like a cross between the best of university and the village fete. Did you know you could set fire to wire wool just with a fire alarm battery? Or that wandering albatross attract squid at night by stirring plankton into a storm of bio-luminescence? Or that dolphins use sunscreen they get from fish who eat coral with sunscreen in it? Subjects range from the discovery of the Higgs Boson to the botany of gin to the chemistry of fireworks.
Everyone was there, Brian Cox, of course, Peter Higgs of the boson, James Watson of DNA, Dara O Briain, Iain Stewart, Marcus du Sautoy, Lucy Worsley, Quentin Cooper, Jim Al-Khalili, Rev Richard Coles, Robin Ince... A Who's Who of science and TV. It's fascinating to see these people in the flesh, and many are free to chat or answer more questions afterwards.
Anyone with an interest in any form of science will find this quite addictive!

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