It started with a seafood opening lunch, and over the next seven days more than 60 events followed. Topics ranged from astronomy to Arab science fiction, black holes to beremeal, relativity to early radio, new light on MS to hopes for hydrogen power.
The harvest of the sea was to the fore in the 2015 Festival’s opening event. News of the latest research on sustaining local crab and lobster stocks was accompanied by a seafood lunch provided by Orkney Fishermen’s Society, with additional support from several sources.
Nobel laureate Peter Higgs was in conversation with fellow physicist Frank Close, the venue the impressive new Orkney Theatre in Kirkwall Grammar School. The school also hosted the exhibition From Maxwell to Higgs, brought north by a team from Edinburgh University.
The Maxwell Torch was specially created for events throughout Scotland in 2015, the International Year of Light. The International Year of Light celebrates the 150th anniversary of James Clerk Maxwell’s papers...
Vistas of earth, sea and sky opened up in 2014, with a look into Orkney’s geological past as a great lake in Devonian times, and then a look further back in time to the origins of the universe and of life itself with one of the great astrophysicists of our time, Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe.
Songs of strength and struggle, of women north and south, with stories as well, set the scene in an eve-of-Festival concert; and there were stories from many places – from William Balfour Baikie’s exploration of the River Niger to James Clerk Maxwell’s probing into the nature of light.
When you sample the local fare at some of the Festival events, you may wonder where you can buy some to take home with you. There’s now a solution – a new pocket guide to some of Orkney’s ‘Peedie Producers’.
What makes the Clipperton Project’s Floating Laboratory special is the mix of people aboard – scientists, artists, photographers and people promoting the spirit of exploration in tackling the challenges of today’s world.
Prof. Steve ‘Jake’ Jacobs has written and presented a series for the Discovery Channel, and also for National Geographic TV and Fox Television where he was the creator and on-air host of the series Jake’s Attic.
Exploration was to the fore in 2013, the bicentenary of the birth of the great Arctic explorer John Rae. The Festival was opened by the widely-travelled documentary film-maker Alan Ereira, who showed his new film, made with Kogi people of Colombia, opening up a dialogue with western science.
This was the year when you could handle a meteorite and steer a Mars Rover, try out Stone Age technology and wear an Iron Age hood, join the Dustbin Detectives and the Viking soap carvers, meet an oil production safety team and study life in the sea, learn to card wool and weave threads.
The skies above Orkney’s most northerly island are among the darkest in Europe. The winning images from the first two second annual competitions for North Ronaldsay night sky photographs shows the sharpness and clarity with which features can be seen.
Jane Goodall in St Magnus Cathedral, the great climate debate in a courtroom format, medieval science in the Earl’s Palace, the Vintage Rally on Broad Street, and music at the Island Ceilidh and in the Festival Club…
This is a brief visit to four famous historical pipe organs in Germany, the Czech Republic and The Netherlands. High quality sampled version of these organs were played by Professor George Mcphee using the Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ system.
The Earl’s Palace and the nearby Bishop’s Palace, both usually imposing, empty stone shells, came alive last Saturday, when they were invaded by children, historians, architects, storytellers, artists, musicians, craftspeople, kitchen caterers, and ice cream vendors.
Science fiction predictions, the past glories of the church organ and a new electronic recreation, a trip to Hoy to hear about underwater archaeology, the bright light of photobiology, plus opportunities to chat about it all over some fine Orkney food and drink…