Science but not as we know it – University unveils exciting March events

From busking scientists to topical debates about why our trees are dying – the National Science & Engineering Week 2013 programme launched today boasting something for everyone.

The 10-day long festival of stimulating events themed around invention and discovery is coordinated by the British Science Association’s Aberdeen Branch in partnership with the University of Aberdeen and caters for all ages and interests.

Kicking off on March 14 with an audience with TV Natural History expert Miranda Krestovnikoff (Channel 4’s Wreck Divers) members of the public and school children have over 30 events to choose from held in a variety of locations across Aberdeen City and Shire.

Researchers will dazzle shoppers in the Bon Accord Centre on March 15 as they perform on-the-spot experiments. Kids old and young can visit Satrosphere for a whole day’s discovery on Saturday March 23. Activities include experiencing the latest 3D teaching techniques being used in medical teaching and an exciting show from the University’s bone group called Secret Life of the Skeleton. There will be a chance to get hands-on with BP’s workshop on building a working light house while Aberdeen Maritime Museum will be challenging visitors to explore the myriad of objects made from oil.

Dr Rhiannon Thompson of the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit said “National Science & Engineering Week is the UK’s annual celebration of science in our everyday lives. Our programme is one of the largest in the UK and brings together the public with dozens of practising scientists and engineers, many of them our own researchers.

“The event also encourages partnership across the region, and this year we’re pleased to be working with over 20 local groups, charities and organisations resulting in 50 individual activities.”

Among other highlights is the return of Bring Your Own Brain on March 22 where latest research in brain injury at the University of Aberdeen will be presented in a lively panel discussion event.  Cafe science also examines brain repair with a fascinating look at how understanding the way we hear can help repair sight loss. 

Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications & External Affairs, BP said: "BP is once again delighted to be a principal sponsor of the National Science & 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."

All of the events are open to the public and most are free to take part in. Booking is advised for some and full details can be found at

Alongside BP the programme is supported by a science engagement grant awarded to the University of Aberdeen from the Scottish Government.