Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Cheltenham Science Festival 2008

4 - 8 June 2008, Cheltenham Town Hall

This year’s Cheltenham Science Festival promises to be as exciting as ever. Some of the most outstanding scientist will flock to Cheltenham to discuss the festival topics. This year Cheltenham Science Festival hopes to unsettle minds with a choice of taboo topic, such as our planet’s overpopulation, boundaries between scientific evidence and political correctness, medical history of vibrators, and many more mind bending discussions.

2008 guest director of Cheltenham Festival is Nick Ross, journalist, broadcaster and former presenter of BBC Crimewatch. He has prepared for Cheltenham several events, including discussions about crime and intelligence on Sunday, 8 June. Other popular scientist and science-loving celebrities to look out for this year are Richard Dawkins, Robert Winston, Tony Robinson and Richard Hammond.

The festival has expanded and offers 2 days of free outdoor activities for families and a number of events around Cheltenham. Discover Zone, situated in the main hall of Cheltenham Town Hall, brings free interactive science to all ages. You can meet robots, explore molecules, test your reactions, create electricity, see what you could look like in 10 years, investigate DNA and much more. The Discover Zone is open every day of the festival, from 10am to 6pm, 5pm to 6pm being aimed at adults who are encouraged to pop in and have a chat with the scientists.

From 6pm every day, After Hours offers some edgy and entertaining debate about science in a relaxed atmosphere, over a drink. New for 2008 is Talking Point where you can continue your discussions of previous events with speakers and other members of the audience over a cup of coffee.

Family Events will include Surfing the Solar System with Lucy Hawking, daughter of Stephen Hawking, Science with Mr. Men where Mr. Bump and Little Miss Sunshine will give a science lecture with a difference, and Richard Hammond Car Science where the Top Gear presenter will explain how cars revolutionised the world.


Wednesday, 4 June 2008
2pm - 3.30pm, Town Hall, The Moral Maze – Join Michael Buerk and his panel to tackle a big moral questions in science in this provocative BBC radio 4 programme.
8.30pm – 9.30pm, Town Hall, Dawkins on Darwin – Richard Dawkins will explain Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, to coincide with his forthcoming Channel 4 series.

Thursday, 5 June 2008
2.30pm – 3.30pm, Town Hall, Ghost in Your Genes – Robert Winston explores epigenetics, hidden influences on genes, that could lead to the most important developments in medicine in our lifetime.
8.30pm – 9.30pm, Town Hall, Time Team – Tony Robinson shares amusing anecdotes and historical tales from his archaeology digs with the Time Team.

Sunday, 8 June 2008
4pm – 5pm, Town Hall, Psychologist Steven Pinker and playwright A C Grayling discuss the immense power of words.
5.45pm – 6.45pm, Town Hall, What Makes a Brilliant Mind? – Nick Ross talks to psychologist Steven Pinker and neuroscientist Colin Blakemore and Sophie Petit-Zeman to find out whether high IQ is important when it comes to success.

Wednesday 4 June
10.15-11.15am From blueprint to building
12-1pm The secret world of abuse
2.15-3.15pm 100 years of British aviation
4-5pm The kingdom of infinite space
4.15-5.30pm 99.9% Human
4.30-5.30pm The power of fusion
5-6pm Science café: Toxic truth
6-7pm The God particle: Is science the new religion?
6.30-7.30pm Quantum dots
6.30-7.30pm NHS funding: Nice or nasty?
8.30-9.30pm My hero: Dawkins on Darwin
8.30-9.30pm Free will
9-10.30pm Shaken or stirred?
7-8pm Photography
9-10pm Sperm warfare

Thursday 5 June
10.30-11.30am Computer whizz: The best is yet to come
12-1pm Robotic world
12.30-2pm BBC Radio 4: The Moral Maze
2-3pm The caffeine kick
2.30-3.30pm Epigenetics: Ghosts in your genes
4-5pm Clocking on
4.15-5.15pm Sustainable world: John Beddington
4.30-5.30pm Future cars
5-6pm Science café: Best of the Fest, L'Oréal ladies' day
6-7pm Astrobiology
6.30-7.30pm Beautiful beings
6.30-7.30pm Food for thought
8-9pm Arabic science
8.30-9.30pm Time Team
8.45-9.45pm How the zebra got its stripes
7-8pm Destination: Space
9-10pm Tight corsets whilst reading French novels: The vibrator

Friday 6 June
10-11am States of mind: Hypnosis
12-1pm States of mind: Sleeping and dreaming
2-3pm Sustainable world: Sustainable China
2.30-3.30pm States of mind: Unconsciousness
4-5.15pm States of mind: Consciousness
4-5pm The Prince and the rainforests
4.30-5.30pm Advances in medical technology
5-6pm Science café
6.15-7.15pm Mind reader
6.30-7.30pm The right to die
7-8pm Sustainable world, Jonathon Porritt: Too many people?
8.45pm-late Slam the atom!
9-10pm Ben Goldacre: Bad science
7-8pm Visualise: The beauty of science
9-10pm Not rocket science

Saturday 7 June
10-11am Surfing the solar system family event
10.30-11.30am Animal adventure
0 10-11am Experitent Workshop: Create a brain
1 11.15am-12.15pm Experitent Workshop: Create a brain
10-11am What becomes of the broken hearted?
12-1pm Stories from stats
12-1pm On your marks... Get Set... Gold! family event
12.30-1.30pm Light fantastic
2-3pm Science with the Mr. Men
1.15-2.15pm Experitent Workshop: So you want to be a brain surgeon?
2.45-3.45pm Experitent Workshop: So you want to be a brain surgeon?
2-3pm In the shadow of the moon
2.30-3.30pm Psycho-Geography
4-5pm Sustainable world, David King: The hot topic
4-5pm Learning from other planets
4.30-5.30pm Image of a troubled mind
4.45-5.45pm Science café: Best of the Fest
6-7pm Martin Rees: Our Earth, the big bang and beyond
6-7pm Earth: The power of the planet
6.30-7.30pm Strange Fruit: The journey of the human race
8.30-9.30pm Good vibrations
8.45-10pm Mark Watson: Crap at the environment
9-10.30pm Ig Nobel Cabaret
6.45-8.15pm Famelab International
9-10pm Love and other viruses

Sunday 8 June
10-11am Dinosaurs of the sky family event
10-11am Jack and Jill: Why so ill?
10-11am Living in the stone age
10.15-11.15am Mental capital and wellbeing: Your well-tuned brain
12-1pm Mental capital and wellbeing: Dyslexia
12-1pm Richard Hammond: Car science family event
12.30-1.30pm Ready, steady, science
2-3pm Life, the Universe and everything
12.15-1.15pm Experitent workshop: Whodunit?
2-3pm Experitent workshop: Whodunit?
3.45-4.45pm Experitent workshop: Whodunit?
2-3pm Mental capital and wellbeing: Dyscalculia
2.15-3.15pm Climate engineering
3.30-4.30pm Science café: How was it for you?
4-5pm Steven Pinker & A C Grayling
4-5pm Living with nuclear
4.15-5.15pm The normality of crime
5.45-6.45pm What makes a brilliant mind?
6-7pm Engineering the gold
7-8pm Call my scientific bluff
8.15-9.15pm Science knight
5.45-6.45pm Serendipitous science

Tickets are available at Cheltenham Town Hall box office, tel. 01242 227979 or online at

For more information about this and other Cheltenham events please visit our Cheltenham events guide.

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