Project Description

About OISF Festival 2014

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.

The Festival opened with the story of the Clipperton Project, with its director, Jon Bonfiglio, highlighting the importance of exploring for individuals and communities across the globe.

Steve Jacobs, Wizard IV of many American television science shows opened the Festival in scintillating style and Orcadian geneticist Dr Jim Wilson went on the trail of Orkney’s Norse roots, identifying two local families who are direct descendants of the ‘Ultimate Viking’ Sweyn Asleifsson.

Other topics ranged from the mathematics of knitting to the physics of the web of fate, and from metals in medicine to molecular switches, with a look at solar power, storing carbon dioxide under the seabed, and the story of radio in World War I.

PROGRAMME 2014

It’s no accident mariners sail by the stars; perhaps that’s really their intended destination.

Jon Bonfiglio

I’d like to take the spirit of what you do to the far corners of the planet….. and then on to Mars and beyond.

Steve Jacobs

In original human DNA studies 15 years ago there was an unusual cluster in the North Isles of Orkney. Breaking this cluster up into subtypes provides links with four families of today, two in Caithness and two in Orkney, whose descent can be shown to go back to the time of the Orkneyinga saga.

Dr Jim Wilson

Ernest W. Marwick: writer and scholar

Items on display will include some of the photographs in the Ernest Marwick Collection, and you can also hear some of the sound recordings that he made. The exhibition will also offer a glimpse into his personal diaries. Ernest Marwick left school at just 10 years old after being diagnosed with scoliosis, but he did not let this hinder his education. Instead, he put the period of his illness to good use to read as much as he could.