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Miniature Whisky School: YEAST

Highland Park Distillery, Kirkwall

Among the industry’s key workers are the microscopic single-celled fungal organisms which make the alcohol. Microbiologist Prof. Joanna Verran explains their life and habits, distillery manager Marie Stanton describes their use, and industry expert Dr Tim Dolan looks at their distilling history. Over-18s only, booking essential. Tickets £15. Organised by the IBD

£15

DARWIN’S ENIGMAS

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Darwin’s theory of evolution resolved a myriad of problems but, as Prof. Jon Side explains, there were still difficulties that he was unable to answer satisfactorily – such as the increasing complexity in some evolutionary forms. Can some of these questions be resolved today?

£3 – £5

WORKSHOP: PAPERMAKING FROM NATURAL MATERIALS

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Join artists Lin Chau and Shanshan Jiang for papermaking using garden plants and common weeds. An introductory hands-on workshop exploring ways of producing paper using natural resources around us, with all material provided. You can also feel free to bring along some small decorative items – such as stamps, strings,

£4 – £6

DARWIN’S GHOSTS

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Prof. Rebecca Stott of East Anglia University crosses centuries and continents to show how the idea of evolution surfaced in various forms at various times – from ancient Greece to 18th-century France. “These mavericks and heretics put their lives on the line. Finally, they are getting the credit they deserve."--The Independent on Sunday.

£3 – £5

OUTING: FORAGING THE OLD ROAD

From Finstown Car Park

Join ethnobotanical researcher Anna Canning and Orkney wildlife guide Megan Taylor to walk along part of the St Magnus Way and look for wild plants and learn about their traditional uses for sustenance and health. Walk includes hillside, woods and lochside. Outdoor event, numbers limited, booking essential. £25 price includes

£25

BORROWDALE, BLENCATHRA, THEN ON TO BEDA FELL

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Elizabeth Woodcock describes the landscape of the Cumbrian Lakeland Fells, including ravens, woodcocks, temperate rainforests, sphagnum mosses and the carnivorous sundew.

£3 – £5

KELVINS AND KILOGRAMS, AMPERES AND MOLES

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

How do we set the standard units to measure by? Prof. Graham Machin of the National Physical Laboratory tells the story of the evolution of the international system of units in use today – and how a major change is taking place this year. He will show examples of measuring equipment and describe developments in areas like temperature measurement – from the monitoring of nuclear waste to global warming.

£3 – £5

THE BAD BUGS BOOK CLUB

MacGillivray Room, Orkney Library & Archive, Kirkwall

Influenza to leprosy, zombie apocalypse to potato blight – join Joanna Verran, Professor of Microbiology at Manchester Metropolitan University, to discuss five novels where infectious disease forms part of the plot. The authors range from Margaret Atwood to Louise Welsh. Numbers limited: booking essential. Supported by the Society for Applied Microbiology

£4 – £6

TRACKS IN THE CLOUDS

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

CTR Wilson’s invention of the cloud chamber made the subatomic world visible by displaying particle tracks of condensation. Dr Alec MacKinnon of Glasgow University tells the story of the first Scottish Nobel Prizewinner in Physics, born 150 years ago, and how his particular mix of interests remains topical in current research on cosmic radiation and climate.

£3 – £5

TRAVELS ON THE SILK ROAD

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

A journey on the Silk Roads which have long connected East and West and continue today to carry people trade, culture, scientific knowledge and much more, with scenes ranging from golden minarets to flower-clad hills. Ian Cumming tells the story, and Ian Carse describes the land and people of Turkmenistan.

£3 – £5

THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD

King Street Halls, Kirkwall

Prof. Iain MacLeod of Strathclyde University describes how James Watt, who died 200 years ago, used the values of the Enlightenment to harness energy, leading to dramatic changes worldwide. Can those same Enlightenment values, he asks, help us tackle major energy risks and provide a way ahead to a new and beneficial era of energy use?

£3 – £5

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE SNOW LEOPARD

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

Snow-topped mountains, wooded valleys, and hills with irises and tulips – scenes of Central Asia and its plants are shown by John Mitchell, alpine supervisor at the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, describing his travels through Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

£3 – £5

THE SOURCE OF THE FLAVOUR

The Old Library, Laing Street, Kirkwall

Gin’s flavour has a botanical origin: today’s ingredients range from meadowsweet and dandelions to nettle root and cherry bark, sometimes cultivated, sometimes foraged. Master gin distiller Lesley Gracie of Hendrick’s Gin and William Grant & Sons explains the process. With tutored tasting with locally produced gins. Over-18s only, numbers limited booking essential. Tickets £10. Organised by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling

£10

ALONG THE TIDE-MARK GATHERING DRIFT

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

A beaver-chewed timber from North America, a sea heart from the rainforests of the southern Caribbean. A skate’s egg case, a lump of paraffin wax, and a lobster creel tag from Newfoundland. Martin Gray, who runs the Orkney Beachcombing page, describes the wealth of treasures that wash up on an

£3 – £5
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