EXPLORATHON event promises discovery, debate and entertainment

Aberdeen will become a hub of discovery, debate and entertainment when the University of Aberdeen hosts EXPLORATHON 2020 later this month.

The University will take part in the seventh EXPLORATHON event in Scotland from Saturday, November 21-29, which will also see Glasgow, Strathclyde, St Andrews and the Beltane Network of Universities in Edinburgh bring events to their respective cities.

EXPLORATHON is the Scottish celebration of European Researchers’ Night, Europe’s largest public engagement with research event, which showcases the cutting-edge research being conducted in universities through a range of exciting and interactive formats for people of all ages and interests.

Scotland has 60 socially distanced events on offer throughout the week, 12 of which will take place in Aberdeen, including daily podcasts, virtual tours of the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and Rowett Institute as well as live debates and workshops.

The fun kicks off on Saturday, November 21, when budding photographers are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild and take part in the What Does the Fox Say? competition at Aberdeen’s Sunnybank Park. Participants are encouraged to get to know their animal neighbours and send organisers their best photo and write the funniest caption.

When AI Gets it Wrong on Monday, November 23, is a fascinating one-hour event looking at the real-world implications of relying on systems that use Artificial Intelligence,

Meanwhile, a number of EXPLORATHON Lunch Bytes podcasts will take place throughout the week, covering a range of topics such as Financial Security for Offshore Decommissioning Performance Related Pay: The Good, The Bad, The Stressful, and Understanding the Health of Whales & Dolphins.

There are also two PechaKucha events taking place on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Meaning “chit chat” in Japanese, participants will have the chance to join some of Scotland’s researchers at these fast-paced and lively events showcasing research projects happening right now.

There are also opportunities for teachers and school pupils to take part, with Thursday, November 26, featuring a panel debate on the cost of the school day, and a range of online videos and resources to access. Aberdeen Art Gallery are supporting the programme with their Art of Empowerment teaching resource, created specifically for EXPLORATHON.

The week will conclude with The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, which will be broadcast live from The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh, featuring three academics, one comedian and 60 minutes of rapid fire research.

EXPLORATHON is one of just four UK Researchers’ Night initiatives awarded funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Last year, more than 20,000 members of the public across Scotland took part, with around 900 researchers taking part in the activities.

University of Aberdeen Public Engagement with Research Manager Dr Chris Croly, said: “EXPLORATHON is a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the public the many different areas of research in which the University of Aberdeen excels.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with so many partners across Europe to ensure events for all ages and interests run in cities across the continent.” 

For more information and to book for events taking place as part of EXPLORATHON in Aberdeen, visit www.explorathon.co.uk/aberdeen or follow the event @ernscot on Twitter and www.facebook.com/ernscot.

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