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BLACK HOLE AT THE GALAXY’S HEART

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Most large galaxies, like our own, seem to contain a supermassive black hole, and some of these, called Active Galaxies, give out so much energy they outshine all the stars. Prof. Ian Robson of the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh tells all.

£3 – £5

EVOLUTION: COMPETING OR COLLABORATING?

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Does selfishness drive evolution, in a struggle where the strong survive? Or is evolution more about a diverse interacting web of life? Molecular biologist Prof. Ford Doolittle of Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, opens up the possibility of bringing together the two approaches.

£3 – £5

THE ORIGINS OF LIFE ON EARTH

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

John D. Mackay Memorial Lecture The first living creatures can be traced back to more than 3 billion years ago. But how did they form? Prof. Karim Labib of the University of Dundee looks at the latest evidence.

£3 – £5

THE STARLINGS’ SONG

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Messy, friendly, bully... threatened? How much do you really know about the common starling? Conservationist and writer Rachel Dowse explores these birds with an award-winning talk from the Hay-on-Wye Festival. In collaboration with ASLE - the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

£3 – £5

BUT OH MY LOVE! THE CHAIN OF TIME

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

[one_fourth last="no"][/one_fourth]The 19th-century Irish mathematician Sir William Rowan Hamilton reshaped physics in a visionary language of waves and light, on which quantum theory later drew. A master of many languages in childhood, he was friends with Coleridge and Wordsworth, and wrote poems of lost love. Howie Firth tells his story

£3 – £5

HOY EVENING

Hoy Kirk

Take the 5.45 pm ferry from Stromness to Hoy to hear of the art and science of brewing and distilling from Rob Hill, Marie Stanton, Eric Walker, Tim Dolan. See the spectacular mountain-themed performance ‘Orographic’ from the group Oceanallover with music and costume design. There’s a light supper too -

IN SHACKLETON’S FOOTSTEPS

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

He led his men through the harshest conditions of Antarctic seas and brought every one to safety. Polar historian Dr Maria Pia Casarini tells the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, and Martin Gray and Dr Alison McLure show scenes of places on his route.

£3 – £5

MUSIC FOR MEADOWS AND STORMY SHORES

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

St Andrews New Music Ensemble with music for the natural world – from Hildegard of Bingen and Gabrieli, Handel and Haydn, Schubert and Liszt, to Malcolm Arnold and a new work by Emily Doolittle. With accompanying images from Orkney shores to Newfoundland waters and polar ice. Tickets £8 & £5.

£5 – £8