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We'll be announcing the 2018 programme soon but in the meantime, please browse last year's events!
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. 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. Drop in to 30 minute events at 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00. The artwork will be on display throughout the British Science Festival.
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.
From assembling Ikea furniture to complex computing, using intuitive shapes and diagrams can open up new opportunities for communicating and solving problems. If you enjoy puzzles come and find out how diagrammatic reasoning can improve your problem solving and see if you can crack some fiendish challenges.
Does mindfulness really help people thrive?
Is mindfulness training like a physical exercise that will improve our health and well being? This is a frequent comparison, but how far can it be stretched? Join Julieta Galante to discuss the evidence available and explore its most critical issues before you decide to get 'mindful'.
Life in the dark depths of the ocean
Photosynthesis is impossible in the deep ocean yet so many remarkable creatures manage to survive and thrive in the depths. Nicholas Higgs highlights how these discoveries in remote places of the planet may be more important in our daily lives than we’d initially thought.
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.
Meet the Smogmobile, a sophisticated mobile air quality laboratory in an all-electric van. Using state-of-the-art, next generation monitoring equipment, the Smogmobile is capable of measuring key pollutants and greenhouse gases with extreme accuracy, both at static locations and on the move. It is also able to switch between monitoring outside air and air inside the driver’s cab all without contributing any emissions itself.
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.
A future divided?
Nobody is born with prejudices, but from an early age, children express preferences for members of their gender and nationality, hinting at the divisions that plague mature society. Harriet Over will discuss her research on the psychological origins of prejudice and reflect on how this work can help us design research-led interventions to reduce the prevalence of this social problem. Harriet Over is the winner of the British Science Association's Margaret Mead Award Lecture for social sciences. This event is supported by Coast to Capital.
Improving the quality of life for people with dementia
Dementia is one of the greatest societal challenges we face. From astrophysicists using theories on galaxy discovery to help GPs spot people at risk of dementia, through to PARO, a robotic baby seal designed to help those with it, we will explore what living well with dementia looks like and how society and services can contribute.
So you think you know what works in the classroom?
Can an online resource where schools get access to evidence about effectiveness and intervention cost inform better decisions-making in teaching environments? Kevan Collins answers questions about the pioneering work done in England on what works best in the classroom.
Chaos: a turbulent story
A journey exploring one of physics' greatest mysteries – turbulence. From the origins of our solar system to the world inside our own bodies and from supersonic planes to million dollar prizes, Neil Ashton guides us into this chaotic world – revealing its secrets and how it impacts all our lives.
Treating leukaemia: the cell therapy revolution
It couldn’t be a more exciting time for the field of cell therapy, where the truly remarkable potential of live cellular medicines is starting to be realised for the treatment of leukaemia. Farlan Veraitch focuses on how the fusion of different disciplines has underpinned the advancement of the field and how this is impacting treatments for disease.
How does caring for one another affect economic decisions?
People aren’t always as selfish as economists assume. This event will examine how our social preferences affects our decision making and explore the economic consequences. Join an expert panel to discuss how we can incorporate personal motivations into economic models and discuss the implications on the organisation of firms, the use of monetary incentives, and the delivery of public services.
Deadly clouds and volcanic flows
Pyroclastic density currents, the deadliest volcanic phenomenon, have caused over 90,000 deaths yet are extremely difficult to monitor. Rebecca Williams developed a novel technique to study the deposits left by these currents and demonstrates how we understand these fatal flows as well as other catastrophic natural events.
Do drinking guidelines make sense?
Advice on our alcohol consumption can be confusing and hard to follow. Keeping track of how much we drink can help us to spot when we are overdoing it, but what exactly is a unit and how many can you consume each week? Improve your understanding of current guidelines with Richard de Visser, and get tips on how to apply these in the real world.
Art and science collaboration: an ecology of practices
Together, art and science allow us to sense and create meaning from our surroundings. Director the Arts Catalyst, Nicola Triscott explores the idea of both as components of an “ecology of practices” which encourage investigation of critical world issues beyond the gallery and laboratory. How can this approach improve our interpretation of reality?
The ethics of human gene editing
Emerging gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/cas9 offer the prospect of eradicating genetic disease and, possibly, extending human capacities. Jackie Leach Scully will explore how societies now face difficult choices about the kinds of people we want to have, the lives we want to lead - and who makes those decisions.
Your 500-million-year family tree
Humans are just one of over 50,000 vertebrate species descended from a common ancestor that lived over 500 million years ago. Fortunately, there are lots of fossils that bridge this large gap in time; by studying them using state-of-the-art X-Ray microscopes Joseph Keating examines how vertebrate bodies have evolved bit-by-bit.
Presidential Address: navigating trust in an uncertain world
Humans are inherently social and have worked together for millennia, precariously balancing trust and mistrust in others. It is not easy to know where to place our trust as errors and biases beset not only our gut feelings but also our reasoning. Join incoming BSA President Professor Uta Frith, celebrated neuroscientist and autism researcher, as she argues that diversity provides a solution for groups to overcome these biases to make the ‘right’ choice. This event is supported by Microsoft.
Science, fiction and ‘geeks’ in interwar Britain
The science fiction genre is booming, but seldom considered is the role of sci-fi in the first half of the 20th century and its early fans. Charlotte Sleigh introduces her research on these sci-fi fans’ fictional worlds and how it influenced understanding of science and their dreams of participating in it.
Join The Conversation
Take part in a live science newsroom with The Conversation, an independent news and commentary website produced by academics and journalists. Contribute ideas for Festival coverage and help to decide which stories should feature on Friday’s site as you experience the editorial process first hand. Discuss the current state of science journalism and get tips on how to write a hard-hitting science news story.
Food security and sustainability in a changing world
Increasingly turbulent and unpredictable environmental conditions affect the ability for everyone to have healthy diets. Join Alan Dangour to explore the future of food in a changing world and the likely impacts on health in high and low income countries. This event will take place at Silo, an award winning zero-waste restaurant. If you wish to stay for dinner, please book separately through their website.
Cassini: 20 years to Saturn
In September, the Cassini spacecraft will fall into Saturn, 20 years after its launch. Join Michele Dougherty, responsible for one of the key instruments on board, as she details the most exciting discoveries of the mission, from extra-terrestrial hurricanes to new moons which may be capable of supporting life.
Brighton Museum Late: breaking the glass
Explore Brighton Museum after hours as researchers from the University of Sussex digitally remix the collection. Enter a multisensory museum and see artefacts come to life through moving images, audio, taste, touch and smell. Interact with artwork beyond the frame and try out playful prototypes that allow you to experience Museum exhibits in new ways. This event is supported by Coast to Capital. Release the Starlings 20th Century Gallery, ground floor Pick up a starling from the main gallery and try out new smart object technologies to see them come to life through projections that react to your movements. The World’s Smallest Silent Disco Does Science Smaller Ancient Egypt Gallery Shake your stuff with Anubis and Ra in our Ancient Egypt Gallery as our Science playlists go head to head for your silent dancing pleasure. Firefly Game World Stories Gallery, ground floor (until 9.30pm) Try your hand at our fast-paced round table game played with biologically-inspired flashing LED badges and a healthy dose of competition. Multisensory Art Fine Art Gallery, first floor Find out more about cutting edge research on multisensory interfaces, and take part in a study exploring how taste, smell and touch can relate to your experiences of art. Seeing through Sound Fine Art Gallery, first floor Discover your inner synaesthesia and hear the colours of the rainbow and more using new devices developed by researchers at the University of Sussex. Augmented Reality Display Case At the entrance to Museum Lab, first floor Watch as a museum display case comes to life before your eyes to reveal the usually invisible story behind the object within. Nerd Nite at the Museum Museum Lab, 7.30pm & 8.30pm Twenty minute talks and from in-house museum nerds (otherwise known as curators). Join Alexandra Loske for a colourful conversation and discover more about parasites with Lee Ismail. A special thank you to our DJ Samuel Organ (The Physics House Band), spinning some experimental tunes up on the South Balcony. Join the conversation online: #brightonmuseums #BSF17
Fertility and egg freezing: what should women be concerned about?
Science communicator Emily Grossman is in her late 30s and earlier this year she decided to have her eggs frozen. Now, they are in a freezer in a clinic in London. Share her personal journey and join Emily and fertility specialist Vivienne Hall to discuss the realities of egg freezing and the issues and options for women.
Discover a new kind of live electronic music. Algorave is an international movement where dance music is made from algorithms created live by (human) musicians. Join some of the leading lights of the scene and become immersed in the rave as live projections allow you to see how music is built up from the code. This is an over 18s only event, please bring a suitable form of ID with you.
A one-way ticket to Mars
An exclusive screening of the new feature film Seat 25 which chronicles a woman's decision whether to, after winning a seat on the first human mission to Mars, leave all she knows and embark on the one-way trip. There will be an opportunity to meet the people behind the film and discuss how science is influencing the arts.
Out Thinkers serves to showcase the talent of LGBT+ researchers, providing a platform where people can talk about their scientific work while truly being themselves. This Out Thinkers event will feature a range of phenomenal speakers talking about their research and experiences as LGBT+ individuals in academia.
Late Night Woman’s Hour with Lauren Laverne
Lauren Laverne and a panel of guests including Sue Black, Sarah Kember and Rhianna Pratchett discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in science and technology. Come along, ask a question and share your experiences. The event will be recorded and broadcast on Radio Four to mark Ada Lovelace day. This event is fully booked, limited tickets available on the door.
Much ado about nothing
Our bodies are constantly revealing our thoughts and behaviour through the smallest micromovements, even when we are supposedly ‘doing nothing’. Physiologist and non-verbal communications expert Harry Witchel will show how motion capture can reveal our emotions as well as our actions – with a bit of help from improv artist Andrew Clover and the audience.