Cambridge Events – University of Cambridge Science Festival

Events this year include the Astronomy Roadshow Planetarium
Once again, this year, I’ve taken advantage of the wonderful, amazing (and free) University of Cambridge Science Festival. On Saturday I sneaked in to watch Steve Mould, Blue Peter’s regular science expert, give a talk about the joys of really, really long molecules. 
It involved lots of goo, a certain amount of instant snow, and in-depth insight into the way disposable nappies work. Great entertainment, coupled with really clear explanations of the science of wacky polymers.
On Sunday I was back at the Babbage Lecture Theatre to see Chris Bishop of Microsoft Research explore the great ideas behind computer science. As he said himself, the talk bucked his usual trend – only featuring one explosion – but that one was a good one. And now I finally understand exactly how they get the twiddly bits on all those miniscule silicon chips…
Lots of audience participation (voluntary only) at both events, kept everything lively too.
I should say that there were clearly lots of scientists in the audience – they were shouting out all the answers – so you don’t have to be a rank amateur (like me) to appreciate these events. However, there are higher-level talks too. Guidance on age-group suitability for each event is given on the Festival website, with plenty, like those above, aimed at all the family.
There’s still a lot more to enjoy, from Simon Singh’s talk on Alan Turing and the Enigma Cipher (22 March, ages 14+) to something called The Geek Cabaret. (In a pub. Can’t say fairer than that.) And many more family events on Saturday, 24 March, including the Astronomy Roadshow Planetarium and Laser Rocket Racing.
The University of Cambridge Science Festival is taking place at venues across Cambridge and runs until 25 March.

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