What to see at Norwich Science Festival 2017

PUBLISHED: 12:28 10 October 2017

Mark Thompson with Spectacular Science (photo: Steve Ullathorne)

Mark Thompson with Spectacular Science (photo: Steve Ullathorne)

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With science fever sweeping Norwich, Rowan Mantell picks some science must-sees from more than 125 events over nine days of astronauts, astronomy, artificial intelligence, antibiotics, agriculture and activities (and that is just the science beginning with A...)

Ben Garrod DinosaursBen Garrod Dinosaurs

The funny thing about science is … many people don’t realise how many laughs lurk beyond the test tubes. Comedians and science performers will be looking at the lighter side of science. Fancy a pint of science? Pint of Science will be bringing talks, quizzes and demos to Norwich including an open mike evening hosted by improv comedy troupe The Intellectual Hooligans on Thursday, October 19, at Gonzo’s Tea Room (£4). Then there is Science Showoff with comedians and entertaining experts at The Forum on Tuesday, October 24 (£5),

Dr Who might be fictional, but he (she) has time travelled through a gazillion galaxies of science. Explore the facts behind the plots of the cult television show including black holes and artificial intelligence in The Scientific Secrets of Dr Who at The Forum, on Sunday, October 22. Tickets £6 and £4.

Astronaut Helen Sharman (photo: National Waterfront Museum, Swansea)Astronaut Helen Sharman (photo: National Waterfront Museum, Swansea)

Blizzards, heatwaves, storms – we all love to talk about the weather – so why not try presenting a weather forecast? Free, drop-in, have-a-go forecasting is part of a Science of Weather day at The Forum’s Explorium, on Sunday, October 22.

Television astronomer, author, Norwich man, and science festival patron Mark Thompson will be back in his home city with exploding elephant toothpaste, vortex-generating dustbins and vanishing beakers.

Spectacular Science Show, with Mark Thompson, is at Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday, October 25. Tickets £18 and £12

Norwich Science festival 2017 launch at The Forum (photo: Simon Finlay Photography)Norwich Science festival 2017 launch at The Forum (photo: Simon Finlay Photography)

Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, will be talking about her journey from chemist in a chocolate factory to soaring through space, on Thursday, October 26. Find out about the tough training, the launch and landing, weightlessness, and adjusting to life back on Earth. Norwich Cathedral. Tickets £18 and £12.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is the ambitious title of a talk by Adam Rutherford at Norwich Cathedral on Thursday, October 26. He promises sex, death, disease, warfare, invasion, migration and famine during his tour of some of the secrets hidden in our DNA. Tickets £18 and £12.

Science in action at the first Norwich Science FestivalScience in action at the first Norwich Science Festival

Why do we eat 35% more food when we’re dining with someone else and 75% more when there are four or more around the table? Why are 27% of all drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? The man with all the answers is Professor Charles Spence, winner of an Ig Nobel Prize for Nutrition, and collaborator with Heston Blumenthal.

Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating is at the Forum on Sunday, October 29. Tickets £8 and £6.

And there’s more. Step inside an inflatable pop-up planetarium and let the projections help you feel like you are in space at The Forum Explorium from October 21 to 28 (£4). Or travel to other planets, solar systems and galaxies via a mobile planetarium at Norwich Cathedral on October 25 and 26 (£5.)

Plus …

Hear Professor Alice Roberts talk about how we tamed dogs, cows, horses and even wheat, potatoes and apples; find out all you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs at a children’s show with Ben Garrod; introduce your toddler to the wonders of science with the Mini Professors; bamboozle your brain with illusions and experiments in a talk called Can You Believe Your Brain; have a go at programming robots and building aircraft and theme park rides, and hear the remarkable story of Norwich scientist James Piercy who turned a devastating family tragedy into an exploration of how the human brain works.

The second Norwich Science Festival runs from Saturday, October 21 to Sunday, October 29.

Tickets are available from norwichsciencefestival.co.uk

For the complete programme pick up a brochure from The Forum and venues around Norfolk or visit norwichsciencefestival.co.uk

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