Thursday, 20 May 2010

Now that's what I call a festival

Before long, the festival season will be upon us. Yes, you too can stand up to your knees in mud, or queue for hours to get to a disgusting, smelly toilet. All to hear poor performances by so-so bands. Alternatively you can head off to a science festival and really have a good time.

I don't know where science festivals came from, but they've crept up on us in a big way as a celebration of all that's science. I suspect they may have started as spin-offs of literary festivals, but now they're fun events in their own right. (More fun, dare I say, than a lot of rather pompous litfests.) There was a time when it was Cheltenham or, er, Cheltenham - but now you can hardly turn a corner without a science festival popping up.

I'm going to be speaking at one I've not come across before - the Wrexham Science Festival. Taking place from 1 July to 10 July in this town up in the top right hand corner of Wales, the festival mostly takes place on the Glyndwr University Wrexham Campus and features four themes, Earth and the Universe, Animal World, Human Mind & Body, and Bright Sparks.

You'll find the likes of Johnny Ball and me with a load of local academics, giving science some welly. I'm doing a talk on Who Invented Science, exploring the nature of science through some key figures in history (7.30pm on Friday 2 July, Glyndwr University, Plas Coch Site), and like very many of the events here (and unlike most science festivals) it's free.

You can find out more about the festival at the website. To be honest it's not the greatest of websites - it might be best to head straight to the PDF version of the programme. And you can book online too.

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