Hawking launches National Science & Engineering Week: Daughter of famous physicist leads programme

Hawking launches National Science & Engineering Week: Daughter of famous physicist leads programme

Author and daughter of Professor Stephen Hawking will launch this year's National Science & Engineering Week in Aberdeen.

Lucy Hawking, who is best known for the children’s books she has penned with her father - the world-renowned theoretical physicist - will kick off the annual celebration of science, engineering and technology, which is led by the Aberdeen branch of the British Science Association with support from the University of Aberdeen, BP and the Scottish Government.

She will discuss her George’s Secret Key to the Universe series of novels that take youngsters on adventurous journeys across space, and the importance of engaging young minds with physics and cosmology, in her talk which is free to attend.

It will take place at 7pm on Friday March 14 in the University’s MacRobert Building and is supported by Wood Group PSN.

National Science & Engineering Week runs from March 14-23.

Other events taking place as part of the week include:

  • Citizen Science: Get Involved! Test your skills at native mammal identification and learn more about how to get involved in local conservation projects in this event hosted by the Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre.  Sunday March 16, 12-4pm Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen
  • Bring Your Own Brain Discover more about the relationship between the brain and appetite as University of Aberdeen medical scientists discuss their findings into how the brain controls what we eat, and the damage the wrong nutrition can cause. Friday March 21, 6pm, Suttie Centre, Foresterhill Health Campus
  • Discovery Gallery: A Brief History of Timelines A talk celebrating the Aberdeen astronomer Sir David Gill whose fascination with telegraphic communication and accurate clock-making helped contribute to the creation of standard international datelines and mapping of the remotest parts of the globe. Thursday March 20, 7pm, Aberdeen Maritime Museum
  • Fantastic Forests Ever wondered how to measure the height of a tree without climbing it, or how much water they need to survive?Learn about the science behind trees in this event hosted by the Forestry Commission. Saturday March 15, 10-12noon, Countesswells Woods, Aberdeen

The week will culminate with a free Discovery Day at Satrosphere Science Centre from 10-4pm, providing budding scientists of all ages with activities including the chance to build Lego robots, learn more about the science of superheroes, the psychology of emotions and the evolution of the world’s animal population.

Three events from the University’s popular Café Scientifique series, which aims to engage the public with topical subjects in science, will also take place across the week. University scientists will discuss their latest research into Parkinson’s disease, the economic impact of environmentally-friendly choices, and the how the immune systems of sharks are providing insights into arthritis and the development of new cancer drugs.

Dr Heather Doran of the University's Public Engagement with Research Unit said: “This year’s National Science & Engineering Week in Aberdeen is better than ever with a diverse range of events designed to engage both adults and children with topics from across the scientific spectrum.

“From outdoor events exploring the phenomena of the natural world, to talks investigating our fascinating brains, the programme promises to deliver an array of scintillating science.”

Lynne Staples-Scott, External Affairs Manager for 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."

Many of the events taking place as part of National Science & Engineering Week are free and drop-in, but a number require booking.

The full programme is available by visiting www.abdn.ac.uk/engage/nsew