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We'll be announcing the 2018 programme soon but in the meantime, please browse last year's events!
British Airways i360: pod flight with chief engineer
Get a new perspective on Brighton from the world's tallest moving observation tower. Join British Airways i360 chief engineer and director John Roberts for a guided tour of the construction exhibition, a short talk and a hosted flight on the futuristic glass viewing pod. British Airways i360 opened on Brighton seafront in summer 2016. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye.
What can the past tell us about energy consumption today?
Rebecca Wright asks what lessons can be learnt from the Mass Observation Archive, a huge database that records everyday life in Britain. Explore whether knowledge of previous energy practices could provide novel solutions for managing energy consumption in the future.
Seeing the world through a baby’s eyes
Bring your baby along to this exhibition with a difference. Explore art created specially to appeal to your baby, inspired by the latest scientific research into infant vision, and find out what babies can see and what they like to look at. The artwork will be on display throughout the British Science Festival. Researchers from the Sussex Baby Lab will be at the gallery on Thursday 7 September to discuss the artwork and demonstrate the techniques they use to investigate how babies perceive the world around them.
Personalising medicine for children
Personalised medicine has been hailed as the answer to disease, but is access to its benefits achievable for all children, from both high and low socioeconomic countries? This panel brings together experts and the public to explore whether the science supports implementing the key changes to medical treatment it would require. This event is supported by Novartis.
Are you afraid of becoming old and isolated?
Although we should celebrate the fact that we are all living longer, for some this brings with it years of social isolation which is detrimental to health. Mark Yeoman will examine the mechanisms through which age and social isolation impacts on the functioning of the central nervous system and how these processes may be reversible.
Discover quantum: an immersive laboratory experience
Step into the fascinating world of quantum computing and experience the sights and sounds of the Ion Quantum Technology research lab at the University of Sussex. A group of researchers, led by Professor Winfried Hensinger, are working to build the world’s first large-scale quantum computer. From discovering new life-saving medicines to unravelling the unknown mysteries of the deepest recesses of space, this research has the potential to transform all of our lives. Come to our pop-up lab, meet the researchers and find out more about the spooky physics behind quantum computing.
The winner shouldn’t take it all
Exceptional performances tend to occur in exceptional circumstances, but people often mistake luck for skill when evaluating these outliers. This has led Chengwei Liu to argue that perhaps we should be rewarding second place. With evidence from the sporting world and business, Chengwei ponders that skill, in the face of luck, may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
The Particle Zoo: news from the subatomic world
Gavin Hesketh gives an update on the latest from the Large Hadron Collider: the largest experiment ever built, studying the smallest things we know. By smashing subatomic particles together, we are learning more about the whole universe: what it is made of, how it behaves, and possibly even where it came from.
Save the day
Interdisciplinary artist Charlie Hooker will be recording the British Science Festival in a unique way. Each day, as the sun tracks across the sky, its arc will be traced using a giant sunshine recorder, creating a unique artwork. This installation will be in place Tuesday to Friday during the Festival, producing one picture each day. If you would like to enter a competition to collaborate with the artist to create your own Festival Heliograph please enter the competition below. Save the day competition – closes midnight Thursday 10 August 2017 Remember your visit to the Festival with a unique picture marking the time and place on the day of your Festival visit, recorded using a giant sunshine recorder. Four lucky people will be selected to produce a unique collaborative artwork. To enter, you will need to select a pair of photographs, diagrams, texts, equations or objects that you feel represent two disciplines within the arts and sciences. These two items should be accompanied by a brief outline of why you feel they are significant and how you think they might be set out in the final design. Good quality jpegs, pdfs or Word docs can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org Previous collaborations have involved things like: a photograph of a significant place or person; sheet music; poems; hand-written equations; flowers or leaves; diagrams of stars and constellations; iconic phrases and objects. The choice is yours! The final artwork will be set out by Charlie Hooker to comprise blue and white sun-shadow cyanotype images, converted from the material you send in, overlaid by a scorched gilded sun arc, recorded at the Festival site. The material you send in should be no larger than A4. This is a collaborative Art/Science project. You can begin the design of your artwork on your own or work with others. There will be four winners, one unique artwork made each day. If you have a preference for a particular day, please mention it in your entry. The completed artwork is delivered to you within four weeks or, if you would like a day out in the country, you can visit Charlie Hooker in his studio and pick up your picture yourselves.
Casting out the self
A new commission from cross disciplinary artist Dominic Hawgood, this site-specific installation and animation digitally reconstructs a major solo show of the artist that was recently cancelled. Enter an alternate virtual space that is a simulation of the original gallery. It functions as a hallucination of kinds, expanding the original exhibition and using imaging technologies to reimagine, reinvent and reinterpret place. The installation will be open 12-5 pm daily throughout the British Science Festival. This artwork was co-commissioned in partnership with Brighton Digital Festival and will be on display until 13 October 2017. There will be a launch event at 6 pm on Tuesday 5 September, please use this link to book free tickets to confirm your place. Dominic commissioned Lanark Artefax for the sound design, Gregory White for interaction.
Augmented presence, telematic touch and virtual reality experiences are implanted into secluded booths in Horatio’s Bar, taking you on an otherworldly journey to the digital dimension. Presented akin to Edwardian scientific experiments, they are comparable to how the technologies of film, illusion and clairvoyance first appeared in amusement arcades and attractions on seaside piers. This event is supported by Arm.
The unsung mighty molecules
Supramolecules won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and have a diverse, but largely underappreciated, range of applications. Why should you care about them? Because, as Imogen Riddell demonstrates, these molecules that neutralize lingering odours in the home can also be used to deliver life-saving drugs or even produce zero-emission vehicles.
The emergency mental health care crisis
How can we prevent vulnerable and suicidal people from being detained in police cells? Sociologist Gillian Bendelow researches the extraordinarily high rates of police detentions of distressed and mentally ill individuals in Sussex. Join her to find out how this collaborative local study with a focus on detainee narrative interviews has influenced policy at the national level.
When batteries go bang!
First commercialised in 1990, lithium-ion batteries have transformed modern life through their ubiquitous application in power-hungry consumer electronics. Recently, the safety of these batteries has been called into question, with high profile failures in phones and aircraft. Explore what can go wrong with Paul Shearing and hear the latest breakthroughs in battery technology.
Ageing with HIV in the era of survival
Modern HIV treatments are highly effective and has turned a disease that was once a death sentence into a chronic infection, heralding the era of survival. Yet, with survival comes ageing and a host of new challenges for those living with HIV. The Brighton-based team will share their research on ageing in HIV from diagnosis to care.
Are mega-tsunamis real?
Mega-tsunamis are thought to be generated by meteor impacts, as well as large-scale collapses of volcanic islands and are supposedly able to catastrophically affect distant shorelines. Phill Teasdale questions these ideas and the geological evidence for such events which suggests that the effects may be confined to regions much closer to the source.
When beliefs become facts
How do otherwise logically minded people end up believing in unfounded and often implausible ideologies? Join us for a screening and discussion of 'Right Between Your Ears', a documentary that explores the process of how beliefs are turned into certainties and taken for the truth.
Synthetic diamonds: a bright future
Discover a different side to diamond with Mike Ashfold as he reveals the amazing properties of this unique material. Find out how thin sheets of diamond can be created in the lab and hear how advances in this process are opening up new opportunities in materials science, electronics and quantum computing. This event is supported by Arm.
In the era of wearable technologies
Wearable devices are becoming extremely popular, but what is it that makes a gadget "wearable"? Daniel Roggen will dig into the unique characteristics of wearables and present research which is at the pivotal crossroads of sensors, electronics and artificial intelligence. This event is supported by Arm.
Food allergies: fact or fiction
Everyone knows someone with a food allergy, and you may have one, but what exactly does it mean and why do they affect people differently? Join Tara Dean as she explores the important questions associated with food allergies and discover the recent advances in this commonly misunderstood area.
Dynamite and domesticity: chemistry cultures in the 19th century
Explore how 19th century chemistry entered everyday life and culture in unexpected ways. Examine the untold history of nitrate mining in Chile’s Atacama Desert with Louise Purbrick and discover how its legacy is entwined with European markets and landscapes. Closer to home, Charlotte Nicklas will discuss how women engaged with chemistry and applied their knowledge to domestic cookery, medicine, and dyeing.
AI: past, present and future
Can a computer be intelligent, creative, or even conscious? Cognitive scientist and author Margaret Boden will reflect on her several decades researching artificial intelligence, in conversation with science writer Jon Turney. Discover the wide-ranging applications of AI, and hear how a computational approach has shaped our understanding of what it means to be human. Professor Boden will be signing copies of her books immediately after this event. Books will be available to purchase. This event is supported by Arm.
Drawing on science
Broadcast journalist, Alex Fitch will be discussing the presentation of science in comics and graphic novels with comic creators, Daniel Locke, Sally Kindberg and Alex Frith, and ecologist, Chris Sandom. From 17.30, book a place onto the the workshop to create your own cosmos inspired comic.
Crowds, riots and contagious behaviour
Does panic really ripple through a crowd? Why is laughter infectious? And how can we explain the spread of violence and aggression at riots? Explore the concept of contagion with social psychologist John Drury and get involved in interactive experiments that reveal how emotions, ideas and behaviour through crowds.
Drawing on science – workshop
Create your own cosmos inspired comic in this space themed workshop with comic artists, Sally Kindberg and Daniel Locke and astrophysicist, Kathy Romer. Beforehand, from 16.00 there will be a panel discussion on the role of science in graphic novels and comics. Book your place now!
Get in tune with your inner engineer
How do you crowdsource an engineering project? Join Danielle George to find out how you can collaborate with astrophysicists to help us better understand the dawn of time. Be inspired, enthused and ready to go out and inspire the next generation of engineers. This event is supported by Ricardo.
North Laine Brewhouse: getting buzzed
Forget beer goggles, put on your bee googles and discover what it's like to be a bee tracking your way back to the hive in this unique, interactive gaming experience. While you're at it, get involved with a special bee themed Nanobrew and have a go at brewing an indulgent chocolate honeycomb porter while getting to grips with the science behind the techniques. True tastiness for the brain and the belly! No need to book, just drop in!
Brighton sewer tour
Explore the labyrinth of tunnels beneath Brighton and learn the secrets of the Victorian sewer system. Discover what has changed over 150 years of dealing with waste water and hear how Southern Water plan to bring cleaner seas to Sussex. You will need to wear approproate clothing for this activity, no shorts or skirts. Please read the FAQs before booking a place on this tour. This tour will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain.
Nature and technology collide at this new immersive exhibition from creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast at The Old Market. Discover a digital forest, hug a virtual tree, and see the world through the eyes of an animal. Habitats explores the wonder of our natural world through a digital lens. We invite you to come and escape, find a space where your mind can drift, relax and you can reconnect. This is a special British Science Festival evening session of an ongoing exhibition at The Old Market. Habitats will run from 28 August to 10 September 2017. For more information, please visit The Old Market website: http://theoldmarket.com/shows/habitats/
Fantastic beasts and why we see them
From the Beast of Bodmin to Big Foot, there are frequent sightings of the wild and the weird. In this event Rhys Jones will explore a series of intriguing natural mysteries from New England to the Ashdown Forest. Could big cats be roaming the British countryside or is it our minds playing tricks on us? This event will be followed by The wild furry urbanites.
Clean eating: the new diet revolution?
The latest kid on the dieting block is clean eating. What is it and why has it proved so popular? Geneticist and TV presenter Dr Giles Yeo and the editor of BBC's Horizon, Steve Crabtree, will be in conversation about diet fads over the ages, the health implications and answering questions about the latest trends.
The eulogy of Toby Peach
Join Toby Peach as he enters the (not so) exclusive Cancer Club; sample chemotherapy cocktails, select the perfect funeral playlist and marvel at Willy Wonka’s life-saving stem cell machine. From diagnosis to remission, relapse and treatment, experience a young man's journey with cancer in this honest, fascinating and inspiring exploration of modern science and the wonders of the human body.