The sound of the sea runs through this year’s programme, with topics ranging from ancient Norse navigation to tidal power in Ushant. We have stories of lost ships of the Spanish Armada and lost lands beneath the sea, and underwater photographs from Scapa Flow and the Arctic.

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Each year we have exhibitions – last year we featured upcycled clothing design with 3D-printed elements, photographs of Orkney buildings old and new, the story of Samuel Laing and the herring fishing …

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We hope to have the programme online here in mid-April, in good time for everyone making travel arrangements. Meanwhile for a general flavour of the Festival, here’s a link to last year’s programme …

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“Those soft green hills, the ledged sea-cliffs, the shallow lochs, those curving sweeps of sand… the story of them all can be traced back, and much of the story goes back around 390 million years…”

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There’s plenty of opportunities to sample local fare, in daily lunches and in special events like a talk and tea in the 17th-century Skaill House. And for a look back at some past highlights . . .

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Music for James Clerk Maxwell, in classical and traditional style, words by Maxwell himself, songs from Mr Boom, postcards of John Rae and other famous Orcadians, badges to wear with a smile…

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You’ll find more in our online magazine. It highlights science and people, with stories of ideas, adventures and exploring new territory, past and present. There’s images
of the countryside, night skies, seascapes

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Festival Updates

The dates for next year’s Festival are 7-13 September 2017. More information will follow here as the programme takes shape.

Festival Topics
With 2016 designated in Scotland as the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the programme included a show of 3D-printed upcycled fashion.

Creative art and design work takes discarded clothes as the raw material for new stylish creations. 3D-printing techniques now open the way for additional dimensions of creativity, in the clothes themselves and in the production of accessories.

Some beautiful costumes took shape and were on display throughout the Festival in a window of Age Concern Orkney, Victoria Street, Kirkwall (the former Croy’s draper shop). There were also opportunities to try out upcycling and see 3D printing in action at the Family Day, in the King Street Halls, Kirkwall, on Saturday 3 September.

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This was my very first visit to Orkney and therefore, my first exposure to the vibrant and exhilarating Science Festival. It was an incredible week – the Festival pulsated! It was far larger and far better supported than I would have thought possible.
visitor from Edinburgh