A wise Walrus once said “The time has come…to talk of many thing” – Lewis Carroll.
Whilst we won’t be covering shoes, ships, sealing-wax, cabbages and kings (although you never know I might be wrong), we shall be bringing you a lot of science over the next week.
Tomorrow six University of Birmingham PhD students (Ed, Anna, Nicola, Leah, Dinesh and I) will travel up to Aberdeen for the British Science Festival 2012. It is time to start packing but instead I have the festival program open looking at the famous faces that will be attending. I have already shook Bill Bryson’s hand, one of the perks of finishing a degree at the University of Durham, but have never had a chance to be in the same room as these other scientific presenters and researchers. I feel I should attempt to meet the out-numbered ladies, Susan Greenfield and Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who have made it to the front and face of science broadcasting. I shall make this one of my goals for the festival along side working out how to blog from an iPad and trying to cover as much of the festival as possible. If ever there was an occasion for using a Time-Turner this would be it, although I don’t know if I could handle the responsibility of a predestination paradox should I meet myself in a past or present version. Good thing these devices don’t exist. There are plenty of mind blowing things to get my head around at this festival already I don’t need to throw temporal causation into the mix.
The festival has events covering everything from the unimaginably, and ever expanding, scale of the universe and the weird world of quantum physics to the workings of our minds, in attention and sleep, and the psychology behind psychopaths. We shall learn about the natural world, past and present, maths and social science, and of course the future of energy and resources. The festival really does have something for everyone, just have a look, and if you are not going there’s no need to worry. We shall be running round, visiting stands, getting our figures dirty, and trying to fit in as many talks as possible to bring it all back to you. Maybe we can inspire you to attend next year’s festival in Newcastle, or even volunteer on the British Science Association stand. You might even be in a position to think about submitting a proposal for a talk or activity at the festival next year.
I know for the next week I will be trying to keep my jaw from dropping and I hope, between the six of us, we can bring at little of that to wherever you are. Now for packing! You can follow us on Facebook or our twitter feed @UoBBritSciFest, and watch this blog for posts, photos and maybe an odd video.
Beckie Port is a Cancer Research UK funded PhD student in the School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham. You can follow her on Facebook or @beckieport. Beckie is attending the festival as part of a Scientific Public Engagement Award from the University of Birmingham and the Festival Student Bursary Scheme