Busking scientists and car boot biologists help launch national celebration of science

Busking scientists and car boot biologists help launch national celebration of science

It’s not everyday you see chemistry being sold from a car boot or street buskers offering bystanders a slice of biology instead of a song.

But these will be amongst the attention grabbing activities taking place in the north-east this weekend to launch National Science and Engineering Week (March 12 to 21).

Co-ordinated by the British Science Association in Aberdeen, over 30 events will be held in Aberdeen city and shire over the coming days celebrating the world of science.

A packed weekend of science will kick off on Friday (March 12) with the opportunity to take a behind the scenes look at the fascinating medical research being conducted by experts at the University of Aberdeen’s state-of-the-art Clinical Research Facility

The free Open Day event will take place from 10am – 4pm and includes talks, tours and interactive displays.

On Saturday (March 13) Aberdeen’s Union Square will play host to free activities for all the family from 10am – 4pm.

Budding young chemists will have the chance to experiment using materials from the kitchen cupboard courtesy of TechFest-SetPoint, whilst science busking researchers from the University of Aberdeen will be on hand throughout the day offering the chance to see dynamic science up close. 

A science-filled fun day will also take place at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh on Saturday, when Aberdeen’s Satrosphere Science Centre will provide a host of shows and activities for all ages. 

From the life-saving bra to the flirtatious ostrich - Saturday evening will provide the unique chance to learn more about some of science’s most entertaining innovations and bizarre discoveries.

The Ig Nobel Awards – which honour respected scientists who have accomplished some of science’s most off the wall achievements - will be streamed live to the University of Aberdeen’s King’s College Conference Centre from the University of Dundee, beginning at 5.30pm.

On Sunday (March 14) visitors to Thainstone Centre in Inverurie can expect to pick up more than just a bargain as researchers from the University of Aberdeen try their hand at selling science to shoppers.

From how proteins work to the science of biodiversity – these will be just some of fascinating insights being delivered from a demonstration-packed car boot throughout the day’s event, which is supported by the British Science Association and Research Council’s UK.

Dr Ken Skeldon from the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Science Unit and chair of the British Science Association Aberdeen Branch said: “This weekend’s wide range of unique and inspiring scientific events provide a fitting launch to National Science and Engineering Week in the North-east of Scotland.

“The aim of the week is to inspire school pupils and the public about science, technology, engineering and maths – and the exciting and high quality activities on offer this year are sure to do just that.

“The events taking place in the coming days span the full spectrum of science – from everyday experiments being performed from a car boot through to events which showcase cutting edge scientific research - there truly is something for everyone.”

The National Science and Engineering Week programme is sponsored principally by BP and the University of Aberdeen through a Scottish Government Science Engagement Grant. 

Research Councils UK are also a major contributor. 

Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications & External Affairs, BP said: "BP is once again delighted to be a principal sponsor of the National Science and Engineering Week here in North-east Scotland.

“The programme is aimed at enthusing and inspiring people of all ages and offers opportunities for the whole community to engage in science and engineering activities through a wide variety of presentations, workshops and shows.

“Our continued sponsorship is not only a genuine commitment to the future development of our industry, but also represents a positive investment in the future of Scotland."

The UK Clinical Research Facility Public Open Day takes place from 10am – 4pm on Friday (March 12) at the Clinical Research Facility on the University’s Foresterhill campus and is free to attend.  To register for the event or for more information contact Dr Marie Labus on 01224 559261, email m.labus@abdn.ac.uk or visit www.abdn.ac.uk/crf/openday

Science at the Square, at Union Square, Aberdeen takes place on Saturday (March 13) from 10am – 4pm and Car Boot Science at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie takes place on Sunday (March 14) - both are free to attend.

Science at the Lighthouse at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh takes place on Saturday (March 13) from 10am – 3pm.  Entry is £2 per child and free to accompanying adults.

Doors open for the The Ig Noble Awards live streaming at 5.30pm with the event beginning at 6pm on Saturday (March 13) in the University’s King’s College Centre. The event is free to attend but booking is required – contact Jill Burnett on 01224 273874 or email events@abdn.ac.uk .

For more information about events taking place as part of National Science and Engineering Week visit www.britishscienceassociation.org/aberdeen .