Save the… blobfish?

In the first of our festival interviews for 2014 we chat to our favourite “ugly animal” advocate, Simon Watt! After a run of successful shows last year, Simon is back at Glasgow Science Fesival with more clever comedy . . . 

Ugly Animal Preservation Society

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Simon Watt.  I am a biologist, writer and presenter.

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I am bringing my Ugly Animal Preservation Society show to the festival.  It is a comedy night with a conservation twist.  Last year we ran an online election that resulted in the blobfish being crowned the world ugliest endangered animal.  We are going to get Glasgow to vote to decide its very own ugly animal mascot.

The following night I will be MCing Bright Club, the thinking persons variety night.  It promises to be a great fun.

With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, Glasgow is gearing up to welcome the world. What’s your top tip for visitors?

Tough one.  I love GOMA and go there everytime I am in Glasgow.

If you are near the university area then go to the Tchai-Ovna for tea and then Voltaire and Rousseau to pick up a  second hand book for a bargain.  There are friendly cats and books stacked everywhere, making it feel more like a literary fire hazard than a shop- I love it.

Favourite Scottish food and drink?

The macaroni pie.  Bizarre, delicious and probably with a lethal dose of 2.

Impress us with your favourite science fact. Or joke.

There are more bacterial cells in and on your body than cells that make up your body.

Catch Simon at the Ugly Animal Preservation Society at The Stand on Sunday 8th June (tickets here) and Bright Club at The Admiral on Monday 9th June (tickets here).  

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2014…. Ready to Launch!

After months of planning, the Glasgow Science Festival 2014 programme has arrived! programmes As Commonwealth-fever grips the city, Glasgow Science Festival is set to bring its exciting mix of science and innovative events to its biggest ever audience. From 5-15th June, explore the frontiers of research through live comedy, film, exhibitions and hands-on activities.

This year’s programme is packed with free summer fun for all ages, from the hugely popular “Science Sunday” at the University of Glasgow to a veritable feast of science-themed activities in Glasgow’s best-loved Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Guided walks through the Glasgow Necropolis, Cathedral and George Square will open your eyes to the revolutionary advancements in engineering pioneered right here in the city. Book your free Geek Walk or Science on the Streets tour today. Kelvin-Grove Eat, drink and be merry in the name of science! Discover the chemistry behind your favourite beers, whiskies, coffees and cocktails through the festival’s delectable “Tasty Science” events. There’s even an event to help soothe that sair heid the morning after– join scientists for a Bloody Mary and full cooked breakfast at the “Hangover Hypothesis”, with partners Edinburgh International Science Festival. Award-winning restaurant Stravaigin will host a special Mystery Menu Dinner Party: can you guess what you’re eating, before the results of live DNA tests? Whisky2 While the nation’s sportsmen and women gear up for the Games, we’ll be uncovering the science of sport through public debates (“Is elite sport good for you?”) and exploring the limits of “animal athletes (“if Usain Bolt was an animal, which would he be?”). Weights Laugh and learn! Don’t miss Simon Watt (of Channel 4’s ‘Inside Nature’s Giants’) as he brings the Ugly Animal Preservation Society to Glasgow for the first time. For second and third helpings of clever comedy, head to Bright Club or A Splash of Cabaret where a cacophony of comedic scientists will stand up for your entertainment and enlightenment.

Dun dun. Dun dun. Dundundundundundun!  This year we’ve teamed up with the British Ecological Society and the Glasgow Film Theatre for a special screening of “Jaws“. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with marine biologists to delve further into the science of the deep. For the first time, we’re bringing science to offKILTR’s Street Feastival at the Glasgow Mela in Kelvingrove Park and KIDSTIVAL at The Briggait, with shiny new social media partners KILTR! Keep an eye on our website for some exciting competitions and festival gossip. Glasgow-Tree This is just a flavour of what’s in store this June. For full programme listings, please see our website.  Glasgow’s is game for science – and with the Duke of Wellington’s party hat firmly in place, it’s sure to be a memorable summer!