It’s Friday… competition time!

Festival director Dr Debbie McNeill would escape the undead by going underwater!

It’s Friday!  To celebrate, we’re giving you the chance to start your weekend on a high by winning a pair of tickets to see Helen Arney‘s acclaimed comedy show, Voice of an Angle‘ on 11th June at Blackfriars.

To enter, all you have to do is answer this question:

If there was a zombie apocalypse, where would you hide?

Email your name and answer to gusfbooking@gmail.com.

The deadline for entering is 3 pm today.  Good luck!

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The Big Science Bake-Off

Do you like science?  Do you like cake?  Do you like competitions?

Do you like sciencey cakey competitions?  Then read on….

cake

COMPETITION: THE BIG SCIENCE BAKE-OFF

As part of the ‘Glasgow, Naturally‘ weekend at the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery on the 15th and 16th June, we’re inviting science and cake lovers to take part in a baking competition like no other!  Come and enjoy a delicious blend of cake and scienc

To take part in The Big Science Bake-Off, simply:

  • Bake a science-themed cake (or cakes)
  • Bring it along to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum at 11am on Sunday 16th June
  • You can also submit photographs of your cakey creations by emailing sciencefestival@glasgow.ac.uktweeting @GlasgowSciFest or posting on our facebook wall

From astrophysics to zoology, cakes to suit all tastes are welcome!  Open to all ages.

All entries will be displayed in the Kelvingrove Museum on 16th June. The lucky winner will receive a full set of high quality silicone bakeware!

HAVE YOUR CAKE BAKED BY GREGGS

Calling all budding cake designers: don’t miss the chance to have your cake design transformed into a real-life delicious cake by our lovely sponsors, Greggs bakers!  Head along to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on 16th June and draw your best science-themed cake for our Design a Cake Competition.

The winning design will be brought to life by expert bakers at Greggs!

For children aged 12 and under.

Science has never tasted this good!

Walk Like a Geek

Engineering enthusiast Dr Nina Baker will be leading two guided ‘Geek Walks‘ around Glasgow on Saturday 15th June and shedding some light on the importance of engineering for the city…

ninapic

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a research administrator who does research into engineering history in my spare time. I am also a Glasgow City Councillor, for the Scottish Green Party.

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I developed the Geek Walk as the first output from a wider project called “Dr Baker’s Geek Guide to Glasgow” which is being sponsored by the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. I thought it would be good to get it a bit of publicity by doing the walk as part of Glasgow Science Festival and in fact there is so much demand that extra time slots are being added.

When you think of Glasgow, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?

Varied, optimistic, interesting.

If there was a zombie apocalypse, where would you hide?

Let us for the sake of the argument assume the ZA is happening on a certain day not far from Halloween – I would hide in amongst the annual Zombie Lurch parade in Kelvingrove park, suitably attired of course – the ‘real’ zombies wont be able to tell who to gnaw on and who to leave alone!

What’s your favourite park or nature spot in Glasgow and why?

The river because it is still quite unused and so the wildlife isn’t afraid – we sometimes get seals and dolphins come up right into the city.

Impress us with your favourite science fact

James Watt not only invented the condenser that made steam engines truly practical, he also perfected the ball-governor that controls their speed. You can see him leaning on the former in the old Royal Technical College building at the University of Strathclyde and with the latter on his knee on the facade of the Athenaeum building in Nelson Mandela Place.

watt at strathclyde (2)

Join Nina outside the City Chambers on 15th June and open your eyes to engineering in the city.  Walk times are:

11:00-11:30 (SOLD OUT)

12:00-12:30 – Tickets available – Book online

Is TV bad for babies’ brains?

Professor Dimitri Christakis is a pediatrician, researcher and parent from the University of Washington and a leading expert on how media exposure (such as watching TV) affects child health. Dimitri is coming to Glasgow next month for the European Paediatrics Conference, Europaediatrics; he’s also leading a special event for Glasgow Science Festival, offering practical advice for parents and discussing the latest research in breast feeding and brain development over coffee and cupcakes!

dimitri

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Dimitri Christakis.  I am a pediatrician, a researcher and a parent.  I am passionate about child health and my laboratory focuses on how children’s early experiences shape their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I happen to be in town for the European Paediatric Association’s Conference and was delighted to be invited to the festival.  Talking with parents is one of my favorite parts of my job.

When you think of Glasgow, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?

I cannot wait.

If there was a zombie apocalypse, where would you hide?

I have the good fortune of having a 15 year old son who is well prepared for this eventuality and so I will follow his lead.

What’s your favourite park or nature spot in Glasgow and why?

I look forward to learning where I should go from my audience!

Impress us with your favourite science fact

The human brain uses as much voltage in a day as a refrigerator light does.

You can meet Dimitri at our Connecting Parents to Paediatrics event from 14:30-15:30 on 6th June at Offshore Cafe on Gibson Street.  The event is FREE and includes coffee and a cupcake. Book online.

Dmitri’s TEDx talk:

In Blackfriars basement, no one can hear you scream…

After battling it out against popular flicks like ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, Ridley Scott’s classic ‘Alien’ emerged as the winner of our Sci-nema Smackdown Poll and will be screened in Blackfriars basement on 12th June.  Self-professed sci-fi geek Professor Martin Hendry is among the physicists involved in the event.  In today’s blog, he chats about what he’s looking forward to at this year’s Glasgow Science Festival.

posw (2)

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Martin Hendry.  I am Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow University, and Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology.  That means that I’m interested in finding out what happened a long time ago in galaxies far, far away!

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I’ve been a regular contributor to, and supporter of, the Festival for many years, but this year I come bearing a new hat – as chair of the West Scotland branch of the British Science Association. In that role I’m delighted to contribute to the Festival as part of our year-round mission to promote a wide range of events that engage and inspire a variety of audiences about science and engineering.

When you think of Glasgow, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?

It’s tempting to say “rain”, “rain” and “rain”, but it’s sunny and warm today so I’ll go for “dear green place”.

If there was a zombie apocalypse, where would you hide?

Probably where I grew up, in East Kilbride.  The zombies could never handle the roundabouts!

What’s your favourite park or nature spot in Glasgow and why?

Being a southsider I think I’d vote for Pollok Country Park.  There’s fantastic variety, from the awesome kids’ playground to the more rugged and wild woodlands and fields, and of course there’s the wonderful Burrell Collection.

Impress us with your favourite science fact

There are so many great facts about science it’s really hard to pick a favourite, but here’s one that keeps me awake at night:  of all the matter and energy in the Universe only about 4% is in the form of atoms – i.e. stuff we know about. All the rest exists in a mysterious form that we call “dark matter” and “dark energy” but we don’t really know what they are.

Favourite sci-fi flick? And why?

I think it’s got to be “The Empire Strikes Back” as the high-point of the Star Wars saga so far!  (Some would say that wouldn’t be hard, but I have high hopes for Episode VII in the hands of JJ Abrams).

Meet Martin at ‘Celebrate Scinema: Viewers’ Choice’ in Blackfriars on Wednesday 12th June for a special screening of the classic sci-fi hit ‘Alien’, followed by a Q&A with spacey experts from the University of Glasgow. The festivities kick off at 19:30. Tickets are a bargain at £3 + booking and available online.  

Celebrate Scinema: and the winner is…

The results are in. The votes have been counted and verified.  And the winner is….

blackfriars alienwithdate

The share of the vote was as follows:

Alien: 32.8%

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 19.7%

ET: 9.8%

Moon: 11.5%

Prometheus: 1.6%

Sunshine: 24.6%

Head along to Blackfriars on Wednesday 12th June from 19:30 and enjoy this Ridley-Scott classic, followed by a Q&A with real astronomers and science boffins from the University of Glasgow.

Tickets are a steal at £3 + booking. Get yours here.

It’s not easy being green…

Our little green friends have inspired former Beatles and indie bands, puppets and even computer games. Dipping for tadpoles is one of the first ways budding ecologists connect with nature and has been a childhood pursuit for generations.  Frog fanatic Rob Williams had a chat to us about how conservation charity FrogLife are celebrating Glasgow Science Festival this year.

Rob rockin' out for reptiles and amphibians

Rob rockin’ out for reptiles and amphibians

Who are you and what do you do?

Rob Williams. I work for Froglife, a wildlife charity dedicated to conserving amphibians and reptiles, managing their conservation projects in Scotland.

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

Froglife have been working hard over the past 4 years creating ponds in Glasgow as part of the ‘Living Water Project’. The Glasgow Science Festival is a great event to get people young and old, out and about and exploring the new ponds! It is amazing to teach a child to pond dip for the first time, or to see an adult instantly revert to a child as soon as they get a pond net in their hand

We are also raising awareness about a very important issue, the global amphibian decline. So many people are completely unaware of this mass decline amphibians are undergoing. That is why we called our event a ‘Festival of Frogs’ to help raise awareness of endangered amphibians through games and treasure hunts.

When you think of Glasgow, what are the first 3 words that come to mind?

Being honest, 1) Rain! 2) Ponds 3) Kelvingrove

If there was a zombie apocalypse, where would you hide?

Very likely in a pond, and I would fashion a breathing tube out of a hollow reed. I would at least die from hypothermia rather than a zombie attack.

What’s your favourite park or nature spot in Glasgow and why?

Cathkin Braes Country Park. The views are amazing both over Glasgow and southwards towards Whitelee Wind Farm and on a sunny day you can’t beat it.

Impress us with your favourite science fact

Unfortunately, this is my least favourite science fact but also one of the most important. As many as one third of the world’s 6,300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction and it is now regarded by many as our planet’s sixth mass extinction! That’s why amphibians need all the help they can get…..

Join Rob and other Frog Fantatics for a fun day out at the Festival of Frogs in Festival Park (are there enough letter ‘F’s in this sentence?) from 10:00-15:00 on Saturday 15th June.