The Per­fect Place For In­quis­i­tive Minds

Bright sparks will love the Orkney In­ter­na­tional Sci­ence Fes­ti­val

The Scots Magazine - - Focus On… Orkney -

WHILE Orkney is a reg­u­lar haunt of nat­u­ral­ists, ar­chae­ol­o­gists and his­to­ri­ans, it opens its doors to an­other field of ex­per­tise when its Sci­ence Fes­ti­val opens on Septem­ber 5.

The venues vary from St Mag­nus Cathe­dral, Kirk­wall, to the 75-seat Gable End The­atre on the is­land of Ly­ness.

In a dis­tin­guished list of speak­ers, No­bel Prize-win­ners Sir Paul Nurse and Peter Higgs – of Higgs bo­son fame – are the two head­lin­ers. Both will fea­ture at “In Con­ver­sa­tion” events, with au­di­ence mem­bers en­cour­aged to take part by ask­ing ques­tions.

One of the pre­sen­ta­tions will be from world-fa­mous molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gist, Pro­fes­sor Ford Doolit­tle, who will travel from Canada and de­liver a talk on evo­lu­tion, while renowned pro­fes­sor Karim Labib will present ev­i­dence of the first liv­ing crea­tures on Earth, which lived a mind­bog­gling three bil­lion years ago.

This year’s theme is young peo­ple, and one group of eight young­sters, some from Orkney and oth­ers from else­where in Scot­land, will fea­ture heav­ily in the or­gan­is­ing and run­ning of the events, along with more young­sters who will be given the op­por­tu­nity to as­sist.

In fact two young Or­ca­di­ans, Lucy Leech and Hope Laing, will carry out the of­fi­cial open­ing of the fes­ti­val.

Spe­cial events will aim to en­cour­age young­sters to re­cy­cle in cre­ative ways. There will be an up­cy­cling fash­ion work­shop help­ing par­tic­i­pants to re­shape their wardrobe, while sav­ing the planet in a fun, en­gag­ing and imag­i­na­tive way.

The fes­ti­val will also play host to peo­ple from all across the world, with two young Uzbek TV pre­sen­ters com­ing along to dis­cuss the his­tory and sci­ence of their

Sir Paul Nurse

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