Tens of thousands of visitors descended on Aberdeen city and shire this week to take part in one of Europe’s largest and most high-profile public science events. Organised by the British Science Association, the University of Aberdeen and Techfest-Setpoint, the British Science Festival featured more than 250 events, including famous names such the physicist Professor Brian Cox and author Bill Bryson.
The University of Aberdeen also made a number of high-profile research announcements in areas including diet, physics, health, archaeology, history, psychology, chemistry and the environment, during the Festival which ran from Tuesday (September 4) until Sunday (September 9). Its principal sponsors were BP and Shell.
Organisers praised local people for the support shown to the Festival which last came to the city almost 50 years ago.
Professor Dominic Houlihan, Vice-Principal at the University of Aberdeen and one of the academics responsible for bringing the Festival to the city said: “The British Science Festival has been a fantastic success for Aberdeen City and Shire. The 250-plus events showcasing the latest in science, engineering and technology proved extremely popular, with many events totally booked out. We are delighted with the support given to the Festival by the people of the north-east of Scotland and beyond, which demonstrated a real thirst for new and stimulating knowledge and debate.”
Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said: “At the end of a wonderful week, I think we can all say the Festival has been a resounding success. From illuminating talks and discussions, exhibitions that provoke and fuel thought, and first-time presentations of cutting-edge research, the range and depth of activity has been extraordinary and those attending seem to have felt the same. Coverage in the media has been extensive. Aberdeen and the University have been wonderful hosts and instrumental in making this such a memorable British Science Festival."
Fiona Bayne, Head of Communications, Shell Upstream UK, said: "The atmosphere has been fantastic this week with the British Science Festival in Aberdeen. We have exceeded all expectations at our Shell Energy Exhibition, with over 2,000 schoolchildren attending the Satrosphere Science Centre. Promoting science, engineering and technology to young people is vital if we are going to meet the growing global demand for energy."
Lynne Staples-Scott, Corporate Responsibility Manager, BP North Sea, said: “This year’s Festival has offered a tremendous range of opportunities for BP and the oil and gas industry to engage with different sectors of the scientific and local community. I am delighted that BP has been able to support the successful return of this major Festival to Aberdeen, after an absence of nearly 50 years, putting Scotland once again at the heart of scientific activity and debate."
Sarah Chew,TechFest SetPoint Managing Director, said: “We have had a wonderful week of record-breaking participation of schools, children and families. TheTechFest team is delighted to have been part of this event for the NorthEast. We are grateful to our sponsors and supporters and all the schools and families who have made it possible. We look forward to the legacy and can't wait to put our TechFest programme together for next year!"
The British Science Festival has an illustrious history spanning 178 years, and has developed into the largest public access celebration of science in the country.
For highlights of the Festival and details of the University’s news announcements visit: www.abdn.ac.uk/2012/
For more details about the Festival visit http://www.britishsciencefestival.org/