Competition: Beer and Science

It’s competition time!

This Thursday, Glasgow Science Festival is hosting a special event in Glasgow’s favourite microbrewery, WEST. Meet the beer experts, take a behind-the-scenes tour and enjoy four delicious beer tasters.


We have a pair of tickets to give away for this delicious event!

To enter, simply tweet with the hashtag #glascifest the name of the scientist (dead or alive) YOU would like to go for a beer with. Peter Higgs? Marie Curie? All suggestions welcome!

The deadline for entering is Wednesday at 12 noon.


Day two: parklife, whisky and Strathclyde research day

From zombie invasions to science on a boat, it was an action packed first day at Glasgow Science Festival 2013!  Photos of the day’s festivities will be up soon on our facebook page. If you have any photos of your own (or more zombie questions!), please send them our way via facebook or tweet @GlasgowSciFest, hashtag #glascifest

Dead Sleazy helped us prepare for a zombie invasion

Dead Sleazy helped us prepare for a zombie invasion

Today your last chance to send in photographs for our Dear Green Places: Parklife Competition and Exhibition.  Email your favourite photos and memories of Glasgow parks to  Full details here.


Send your favourite park photos and memories to

Now, onto day two…

Ticketed events

19:00-21:00 – Tasty Science: Know Your Whisky at Dram!, SOLD OUT

Drop-in events

University of Strathclyde Research Day

Water at the Heart of Science

21st Century Plant Science

The Clipperton Project’s Floating Laboratory

MAKLAB: Design, Build, Create

Cosmic Way

Glasgow Science Centre

Parklife competition: deadline this Friday!

Ice creams: 3

Sunburn: mild

Taps aff count: through the roof


Thank you Glasgow for an absolute stoater of a day yesterday for the launch of Glasgow Science Festival 2013 on the Clipperton Project’s Floating Laboratory.  It was a beautiful day floating down the canal and anticipating what’s shaping up to be a fantastic couple of weeks.

We’ve been absolutely thrilled with your entries to our Dear Green Places Parklife competition. Don’t know what I’m talking about? It’s not too late – read all about the competition here and a tribute to Kelvingrove Park.

The entries will be used to create a special, weegie-made exhibition for ‘Glasgow, Naturally‘ at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.  And if that’s not enough to get you snapping… there’s also the chance to win PRIZES!  Shiny, delicious prizes!

The top over 18s entry will receive a meal for four at the acclaimed Sapporo Teppanyaki Restaurant in Glasgow’s Merchant City, winner of ‘Best Non-European Restaurant’ at last year’s Glasgow Restaurant Awards.


The top over 18s entry will receive a meal for four at Sapporo Teppanyaki Restaurant (photograph from The List).

And for the young folks: the under 18s prize is a full set of camping gear for four people!  A perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy some of Scotland’s dear green places.


The under 18s prize is a full set of camping gear for four people

The deadline for submitting your photos is this Friday 7th June. Send your favourite photies, captions and memories to:

According to a popular weather-reporting website, Glasgow is forecast to remain in the sunshine for the rest of the week, so grab that camera/phone while you can and hit the park!  And if it does rain (EVERYBODY TOUCH WOOD!), have a sift through those old photo albums – images from Glasgow parks past and present are very welcome.

The countdown begins…

OH EM GEE! Glasgow Science Festival 2013 starts in FOUR DAYS!


It’s been a crazy week of bookings, excessive coffee consumption, press… and zombie invasions (no, really).

After months of hard graft, we’re ready to launch!

Many events – including Dead Sleazy,  Science on the Streets, Life Drawing and The Big Pub Quiz – are completely sold out.There are still tickets left for several fantastic events though, so be quick and don’t miss out!  We’ve picked out some festival highlights below:


It’s a busy first day this Thursday 6th with Connecting to Pediatrics – join pediatrician Professor Dimitri Christakis from the University of Washington for an afternoon cup of coffee in Offshore and practical parenting advice. And if that isn’t enough to tempt you, the free ticket includes a FREE cupcake!


Join Dimitri for coffee, a cupcake & the latest research in pediatrics

Later that evening, head along to Glasgow’s beautiful City Chambers for a celebration of women in science.  Raise your glass to ‘Best of the West: Meet the Ladies‘ and sit back for some Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds) by women researching everything from malaria in Tanzania to public perceptions of sexual health. The show will be followed by a drinks reception.  Tickets are free but require booking – see our website.

Also on the 6th, The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is opening its doors for From Corneas to Kidneys: Organ Transplantation, its History, Ethics & Art‘.  Enjoy this fascinating lecture in one of Glasgow’s most historic buildings.

On our first Festival Weekend there’s a whole host of activities, from the University of Strathclyde’s Research Day on Friday 7th to the hugely popular Science Sunday at the University of Glasgow on the 9th, coinciding with other events as part of the West End Festival.  Enjoy the parade on Byres Road then mosey on down to the university where you can programme your own robot, meet birds-of-prey and try your hand at life drawing, among other things!  All completely free.

Hands-on fun & activities for all ages at Science Sunday

Hands-on activities for all ages at Science Sunday


Laugh and learn: on Monday 10th June, the popular Bright Club comedy night is teaming up with Glasgow Skeptics to bring a night of science-themed banter and hilarity to The Admiral Bar. Six scientists will take to the stage to talk about their research via the medium of stand-up, with support from Channel 4’s Simon Watt and comedy songstress Helen Arney.  We’re expecting a sell-out, so grab your ticket here.

On Tuesday 11th, head on down to Blackfriars in the Merchant City for a double bill of science, music and comedy.  At 7 pm, Simon Watt is asking the big question: ‘Why We Die‘ – join him for a look at immortal jellyfish, Darwin’s visit to a séance and the world’s slowest bacteria.  Tickets online.

Simon Watt

Later in Blackfriars at 9 pm, Queen of Geek Chic Helen Arney (star of Uncaged Monkeys’, ‘Festival of the Spoken Nerd’) will be bringing her award-winning “Scientifically verifiable songs and statistically significant laughter” (The Skinny) to Glasgow for the first time, after a fantastic reception at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Tickets for ‘Voice of an Angle‘ are still available here.


One week into the festival and us staff will certainly be in need of a coffee!  On Wednesday 12th, there’s a special late opening of Artisan Roast on Gibson Street for ‘Tasty Science: The Art of Coffee‘. Pop in at 6.30 pm for a delicious cup of your favourite roast, served with a tasty helping of science.


In Blackfriars basement, noone can hear you scream. Wednesday is mid-week movie night with a screening of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, ‘Alien’ for Celebrate Scinema. Before the film, test your knowledge of sci-fi beasties with a special alien-themed quiz hosted by astronomer Professor Martin Hendry.  There’s also the chance to meet real astronomers at a non-sci-fi Q&A.  Tickets are £3 and available online.

blackfriars alienwithdate

If you’re more into birds than extra-terrestrial beasties then there are still some tickets left for Life Among Feathers, also on 12th June. Pop on some 3D glasses and take a look at some of the amazing creatures living on or among bird feathers, hosted by Professor Edward Burt at the University of Glasgow – tickets are FREE but require booking.

To round off the week, on Thursday 13th there’s a free lecture sponsored by the Royal Philosphical Society about the past, present and future of isotopes. Friday 14th is the first of three days of workshops, talks and activities to celebrate the Higgs Boson discovery at Elementary: CERN and Scotland – let’s get physical!

Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) was a Scottish-American poet, artist and naturalist whose legacy will be celebrated by experts in literature, art history and ornithology at the Hunterian Zoology Museum on Friday 14th June at Alexander Wilson: Local Hero.  The evening will conclude with a drinks reception and the opening of a new exhibition in the museum. All free but ticketed.


An example of Alexander Wilson’s art


The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Glasgow, Naturally’ and this will culminate in a celebration of the natural world at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June.

The museum will play host to ‘Parklife‘, an exhibition featuring memories and photographs taken by the public of Glasgow’s best loved dear green places, from the Botanic Gardens to Pollok Park. The deadline for submitting photographs is 7th June so there’s still time to send yours to: Prizes are a meal for four at Sapporo Teppanyaki Restaurant (over 18s) and a four-person camping kit (under 18s).


Send us your favourite park memories and photos:

Also at Kelvingrove on the 16th is The Big Science Bake Off. From astrophysics to zoology, anything goes!  Bake your best science-themed cake and bring it along to the museum at 11am to be in with the chance of winning a full set of quality silicone bakeware.  And for the kids: design your own science-themed cake and the lucky winner will have it baked into a real one by Greggs!

This is just a taste of what’s in store over the next couple of weeks.  For more information, visit

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

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

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….



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 @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!


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!

In praise of… Kelvingrove Park

As part of Glasgow Science Festival this year, we’re inviting you to submit your favourite photographs and memories of Glasgow’s parks for our ‘Parklife’ competition and exhibition. In today’s blog, festival staff Dr Zara Gladman discusses her favourite spot in the West End: Kelvingrove Park.


When I was six I fed the ducks in Victoria Park; fifteen years later I saw Karen O headline a music festival on the same patch.  In 2004 the sun was blazing (and so was I) at Belle & Sebastian’s much-talked-about Botanic Gardens gig. And I’ll never forget that giant teapot in Festival Park in ’88.

As a weegie I’ve had my fair share of Glasgow park memories. But without descending too far into sentimental drivel, there’s one Dear Green Place for which I will always retain a fondness: that is, The Notorious K-G, Kelvingrove Park.

For students in Glasgow, there are a few certainties:

1) Over the course of your university career, you’ll snog an idiot in a crap indie band; the probability of bumping into him on the subway the next day approaches 1.

2) Buckfast will pass your lips at least once.

3) As soon as exam leave begins, Glasgow will miraculously interrupt its perpetual winter to deliver a scorching heatwave, heralded by the cheers of guilt-riddled, caffeinated students across the city: ‘TAPS AFF!

In times such as the latter, there’s only one place worth visiting: the library The Hill. Kelvingrove’s grassy oasis offers some respite from the neglected scraps of lecture notes littering your desk and a chance to expose your translucent skin to those precious rays. It’s a place where students, skater kids, neds, goths, hippies, hipsters, jakeys and those geeks with the diabolos live harmoniously, albeit for a few hours.

By winter, KG takes on a more romantic hue, especially after a decent bit of snow. The Hill is christened with IKEA bags, baking trays and other household items pioneered as sledges.


It took several hours to regain feeling in my bahookey

Of course, Kelvingrove offers more than a place to skid down hills or bask in the sun clouds or perv on those lads doing capoeira.

My background is in ecology, so it would be improper of me not to pay lip-service to the park’s resident fauna: an important corridor for West end wildlife, the ‘grove is home to an array of species, including the grey heron, great spotted woodpecker, goosander, chaffinch, blue tit, red fox and otter. The river itself supports brown trout and salmon.

Finding salmon in the luggie - part of the Clyde River Foundation's Kids in the Kelvin project

Finding salmon in the Luggie, one of the tributaries of the Kelvin – part of the Clyde River Foundation‘s ‘Kids in the Kelvin’ project

The landscape of Kelvingrove Park was laid out between 1852 and 1867 by architect Sir Joseph Paxton – the same chap who designed the Botanic Gardens and London’s Crystal Palace. The ‘West End Park’ (as it was then known) was intended as a haven for Victorians to escape the rapidly expanding slums of the city.  Over 160 years later, the park continues to foster happy memories for many a weegie. Me ‘n’ aw.

To finish, here are some lovely images of KG from The Glasgow Story.  Can we start a petition to bring back the water chute?!

Sir Joseph Paxton's original design for the park. More info here.

Sir Joseph Paxton’s original design for the park.

Kelvingrove House was built in 1783. It was demolished in 1899 and replaced with the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

Kelvingrove House was built in 1783 and became the city’s first municipal museum in 1872.  In 1899 it was demolished and replaced with the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.


‘Exhibition’ by Harry Spence (1860-1928). In 1888 and 1901, Kelvingrove Park was the site of an International Exhibition to celebrate Glasgow’s position as Second City of the Empire.

The miniature railway as part of the International Exhibition in 1901 was a big hit with park visitors

The miniature railway as part of the International Exhibition in 1901 was a big hit with park visitors

The water chute on the Kelvin, another popular attraction in 1901

The water chute on the Kelvin, another popular attraction in 1901

Children playing in the Stewart Memorial Fountain on a hot day in 1955

Children playing in the Stewart Memorial Fountain on a hot day in 1955

To learn more about the history of Kelvingrove and Glasgow’s legacy of Victorian parks, check out these websites.

Share your favourite Glasgow park memories and photos by entering our ‘Parklife’ competition. Images will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on 15th and 16th June. Details of how to enter are here.