Rockets from Shetland and Sutherland sites may soon launch small satellites into low-earth orbit. But what of the dream of exploring space, 50 years after Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon? Matjaž Vidmar of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh describes ideas for stagepost space stations to build a highway to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Astronomers and doctors, writers and film-makers, scientists and marine engineers – all are featured in The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women and also in Quines: Poems in tribute to women of Scotland, a highly acclaimed new book by writer and actor Gerda Stevenson. The Dictionary is introduced by Rose Pipes, one of its editors, and Gerda Stevenson reads from Quines.
We're in a new venue this year with a wealth of activities for everyone to enjoy. Would you like to control an underwater robot? Or make a map or a rocket, or paper from natural materials? You can find out about seashells and the creatures that live in them, learn about kelvins and candelas or how to make your garden bee-friendly, make a molecule or a geometric lantern. You can find out how to make your own charcoal toothpaste, build a wind turbine, or run an electric car. Test your ability with Body Works, and turn old
Quartz pebbles from the River Ticino, roasted and pulverised into silica, soda made in Syria from seaweed ash to lower the silica’s melting temperature, manganese from Piedmont for colourlessness and transparency – Prof. Rebecca Stott of East Anglia University tells the story of the Venetian glass prism used by Sir Isaac Newton to spilt a beam of light into the rainbow colours of the spectrum.
The story of the scuttling of the German High Sea Fleet in Scapa Flow in 1919, told in the words of the Stromness Academy pupils who went for an end-of-term trip in the water boat Flying Kestrel and became eyewitnesses to history. In association with Stromness Museum and St Magnus International Festival
Dr Jaclyn Bell of Imperial College London describes the excitement of particle physics. The first in her family to go to university, she worked as a waitress and youth worker to pay her fees at Liverpool University. On graduating with 1st Class Honours in Mathematics, she won a John Lennon Memorial Scholarship for her community work and academic achievement, and went on to a PhD in theoretical particle physics before testing her skills as an astronaut candidate in BBC TV’s Astronauts series.
What are soap bubbles made on and how have they influenced scientific research? From tiny bubbles to colourful tubes, Philip Noble will demonstrate some of the amazing properties of the simple soap bubble, and encourage everyone to get involved in the journey of discovery. A scientifically trained artist, he has given bubble shows in 20 countries. Something for the whole family.
Andrew Appleby invites you to join chef Sam Britten with a menu of Orkney fare that’s been foraged, fished, hunted and grown. Between the courses there’s some background on Neolithic food and pottery, and ancient music from Kate Fletcher, Corwen Broch and David Griffith. Booking essential: tickets £13.75. In association with the John Rae Society
The big bang theory of the universe’s origin developed when Georges Lemaître, Catholic priest and professor of physics, found a solution of Einstein’s general relativity equation. Rev. Dr Gareth Leyshon, priest and former astrophysics researcher, explains. Prof. Wilson Poon of Edinburgh University, condensed matter physicist and theology teacher, takes up the question of science and belief – opposing or complementary?
Highly acclaimed documentary, co-produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, going beyond the current climate change narrative to highlight fresh approaches and new solutions, from tidal power to direct air capture of carbon dioxide. Several participants will be present to answer questions afterwards including Prof. Peter Wadhams who in the film highlights Arctic methane dangers from permafrost melt, Neil Kermode of EMEC, and a speaker from Orbital Marine Power. Doors open 7.15 pm. Tickets at door £5 & £3 (students and Young Scot).
The master drummers from Ghana are back, with music, songs and dances of sea and forest and daily work, carrying with them the sunshine and sea air from the fishing community of Jamestown, Accra. This time they are joined by ceremony leader, musician and dancer David Mbilou from Gabon to bring together the rhythms and colours and harmony of West Equatorial Africa. Tickets £12 & £10; £5 for under-16s. Sponsored by Pentland Ferries