Chance to get to grips with snakes and spiders in Aberdeen bookshop

Chance to get to grips with snakes and spiders in Aberdeen bookshop

A roving reptile alongside J K Rowling’s latest blockbuster or a spindly spider amongst Stephen King’s novels is not what you would typically expect to encounter on a trip to your local bookshop.

But a free event hosted by the University of Aberdeen will bring a host of wonderful creatures to Waterstone's Aberdeen Union Bridge branch on Saturday (August 15).

Visitors to the store will have the chance to handle a range of fascinating creepy crawlies including snakes, spiders and beetles, and learn more about their habits, habitats and characteristics from Inverness-based reptile specialist Nick Martin.

The event is part of the University's Café Scientifique series which aims to bring the latest topics in science to the public.

Free sessions – which will include a talk by Martin and the opportunity to get hands on with a range of slippery characters and little beasties - will be hosted in the store's ground floor children's section from 2pm – 5pm.

Dr Ken Skeldon from the University of Aberdeen's Public Engagement with Science Unit said: "Café Scientifique is now in its second season and this is the first time we have introduced a Saturday daytime session aimed specifically towards young people, as part of the series.

"This session will give the public the unique chance to literally get to grips with pythons, beetles and spiders and learn more about these fascinating creatures with talks throughout the day.

"It's not often you get the chance to inspect these animals and insects up close, and the event aims to intrigue young minds to learn the interesting stories of these creatures in an exciting and engaging way."

Café Scientifique – Snakes is the Bookshop will be held in Waterstone's Union Bridge Branch, Union Street, Aberdeen on Saturday August 15 from 2 – 5pm.  Entry to the event is free and advance registration is not required. 

Café Scientifique is hosted once a month until October in the Costa Coffee café of Waterstone's Union Bridge branch.

Upcoming events in the series include a talk by Dr Alexandra Johnstone from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health which will cover the latest in obesity and weight loss research, and University of Edinburgh scientist Dr Wendy Marsden who will discuss the scientific advances which could enable humans to live much longer.

More information on Café Scientifique – Snakes is the Bookshop and the other events in the Café Scientifique 2009 Spring/Summer series visit

Café Scientifique 2009 is sponsored by the University of Aberdeen and a Science and Society grant from the Scottish Government.