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DRAGON IN THE DARKNESS

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Eoin F. Scott Memorial Lecture Dragons are part of an ancient cosmology, with conflict of opposites, says Marko Frelih of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum. They are linked in folklore with eternity – and hence gold, and treasure. Could this explain the one inscribed in Maeshowe?  

£2 – £4

THE MEN IN MAESHOWE

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

The John D. Mackay Memorial Lecture Who broke in to Maeshowe in the 12th century and carved runes on the walls – and why did they do it? Dr Ragnhild Ljosland of Orkney College UHI looks at clues from the Norse period.

£2 – £4

SAILING BY THE SUNSTONE?

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Crystals of Iceland spar have long been connected with old Norse navigation. But is this true? Mark Shiner of Orkney College UHI looks at the navigational challenge and Dr Michael Wharmby of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg explains the physics of polarised light.

£2 – £4

THE SCIENCE OF THE SHROUD

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Christian relic or medieval fake? The Shroud of Turin has provoked fierce arguments amongst historians and theologians. Can science provide an answer? Physicist Prof. Peter Wadhams is on the official scientific commission investigating it.

£2 – £4

THE GENOMICS REVOLUTION AND YOU

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Join Dr Steve Scott of the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridgeshire, to discover how genomics is revolutionising our world. Rapid reading of genetic code is enabling big advances in diagnosing disease and tracking deadly outbreaks. We're even analysing bacteria in space – but what does it mean for our future?

£2 – £4

BIG BILL AND THE GUNS OF ALAMEIN

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

At the battle of Alamein 75 years ago, radio operator Bill Sutherland maintained the vital flow of information to the Allied artillery with extraordinary bravery. Serena Sutherland tells the story of the man, and Prof. Tom Stevenson describes the radio equipment, helped by Dorothy Brankin of the Museum of Communication

£2 – £4

THE FOLK WHO BROUGHT THE OIL ASHORE

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

It’s 40 years since the opening of the Flotta oil terminal. Dr Kate Johnson of ICIT Stromness, who worked with one of the engineering companies who built it, looks back at the human side of the achievement, including the way in which the Orkney and Shetland County Councils achieved unique

£2 – £4