There is a subtle tweak in the name, but the ethos behind the festival remains the same – to get you interested in science no matter what your age.
This year the theme is Frontiers. There is huge emphasis on the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing and taking the theme of breaking through new frontiers, with the science festival programme is based around that.
This is the 31st festival programme presenting 270 events at 31 venues across Edinburgh from 6-21 April 2019. With the main sponsor EDF Energy the festival will push the limits of our knowledge about ourselves, the world and universe around us.
The new festival hub will be at Pleasance where you can see Experimentarium, admire the outdoor exhibition, Moments in Time, and go to see science shows, events, debates, discussions and workshops.
Dr Gordon Rintoul : “This marks a really important point in the evolution of the festival with a rebranding and refocusing.
“It is also of course fifty years since the moon landing, and some of us are old enough to have watched those scratchy images on a black and white television set. There is a little connection in this museum to the moon landing that some of you may be aware of. If you go into the Discoveries gallery you will find the prototype of one of the cameras developed for the Apollo moon landings.
“Why is it in Scotland? Well, of course, there is a Scottish connection because we get everywhere. It used the same colour television technology developed by John Logie Baird. It was not a commercially successful technology but it was used on the moon.”
Dr Rintoul was quick to point out that there is a full programme in the National Museum of Scotland, where they are also staging the ROBOTS exhibition up on level 3 giving you a flavour of the world leading research being conducted here in Edinburgh.
Darrell Williams Chief Operating Officer said : “After our 30th birthday last year we looked forward to what we could do. It was part of that that we became Edinburgh Science which better reflects the ever diversifying nature of our programme across all strands of our business – Scotland, UK, Europe and internationally There are three main elements : Edinburgh Science Festival, Edinburgh Science Learning and Edinburgh Science Worldwide. The Festival is one of the biggest and most famous in the world holding its position in an increasingly competitive environment by continuing to innovate and grow.
“Our Generation Science school programme includes 58,000 school pupils from all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities with a focus on areas which are in the top percentage of the Scottish index of multiple deprivation. We have a proactive community engagement strategy across Edinburgh too.”
If you are a school anywhere in Scotland you can book a visit from Generation Science and get more information here.
The festival is a charity working all year round, not just in April and not just in Edinburgh. To emphasise this, Simon Gage Director and CEO of Edinburgh Science showed a photo from Abu Dhabi where Edinburgh Science also stage a festival each year.
Amanda Tyndall Creative Director of Edinburgh Science Festival showed us the moon landing on the big screen in the museum auditorium which is still a breathtaking moment even half a century later. She said : “With new venues and partners and a programme packed full of events and ideas our Frontiers theme sees us explore the research horizons of everything from the depths of the oceans to the furthest reaches of space and the intricate pathways of the human brain. We celebrate the spirit of adventure and enquiry that drives science and the ideas and individuals that are expanding the Frontiers of our collective knowledge and have aplenty of fun on our journey.
“At the heart of all science lies an unquenchable curiosity; a deep urge to explore and explain the unknown and to push the Frontiers of our knowledge about ourselves, the world around us and our place in the wider Universe. We know more and more each day, yet the unknown still outweighs the known. It is the desire to redress this balance that sits at the heart of science. And of our 2019 programme.”
Edinburgh Science Festival is also supported by Principal Funding Partners: The City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government, Edina Trust and Baillie Gifford.