Monday, 20 July 2009

MSF moon and nature trailablazers coming up

We're continuing our series of summer trailblazers and we have two coming up in the next month...

Moon @ Conrnerhouse

We're taking part in the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landings. Francis French, author of In the shadow of the moon, will be giving a talk at the Museum of Science and Industry on Sunday. Later that evening, as a Manchester Science Festival trailblazer, Francis will be introducing a screening of the new film Moon, starting Sam Rockwell, at the Cornerhouse.

Venue: Cornerhouse
Sunday 26 July, 6.25pm

Tickets are available from the Cornerhouse for £7.00. Concessionary rates are available. The film is certificate 15.

Next up we're celebrating everything nature and Darwin related...

Big Saturday - Nature discovery day

A day of exploration and adventure! Visit the new Nature Discovery exploration area for younger children and their families; explore and create a giant cave and discover the many animals and plants that live there; recreate Charles Darwin's voyage to the Galapagos islands and encounter some of the animals, sealife and birds Darwin saw; learn about the local ecology outside the Museum; meet experts from the Museum and The University of Manchester; listen to storytelling or watch a family friendly film screening. Part of The Evolutionist Darwin extravaganza at The Manchester Museum.

You will also be able to go on a Darwin related walk brought to you by the Manchester Science Festival and Manchester Tourguides.

Venue: Manchester Museum
Saturday 8 August, 11am-4pm

Most activities are free and drop-in. Some activities may need to be booked on the day and may cost up to £1.50. All ages

This event is sponsored by the
British Ecological Society and is part of Manchester Science Festival series of trailblazers.

Moon landing anniversary celebrations

This week, unless you've had your head buried under the sand, you will probably know that today is the 40th anniversary of the first moon landings. To celebrate this loads of events and projects have been popping up all over the place... Jodrell Bank have been running a really interesting Moon Bounce competition - what would you have said if you had been the first person ever to land on the moon? They sent messages through their Lovell space telescope to the moon, so they would bounce of the surface and return again to Earth. Just brilliant. I would have probably said... "oh, it's not made of cheese then".

The Museum of Science and Industry have and are running a week of activities with talks Moon 40: History or Hoax running tomorrow, looking at the evidence behind the moon landings and some of the conspiracy theories behind this huge achievement. Author Francis French will be giving a talk and book signing about his book In the Shadow of the Moon on Sunday, detailing his first hand account of interviewing the first men on the moon.

Moon celebrations - Festival trailblazer

After this talk at MOSI, Francis French will be heading to the Cornerhouse to introduce a screening of the new film Moon, staring Sam Rockwell. This sci-fi film follows Sam, who is alone, working, on the moon. Strange things start to happen after an accident and the story unfolds. Film critic Mark Kermode is excited about this new film. In this clip he takes a look at the film and other moon based movies. Why not get yourself down to the screening at the Cornerhouse on Sunday 26 July at 6.25pm and benefit from a warm Manchester Science Festival introduction by Francis French. Tickets are £7.00 and can be booked online through the Cornerhouse.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Call for nominations for 2009 Josh Award

Karen Bultitude, 2008 Josh Award Winner Nominations for the 2009 Josh Award are now open. The Josh Award recognises excellent and innovation in science engagement and is open to anyone to anyone involved in science engagement.

Previous winners include Chris Smith from the Naked Scientists and Karen Bultitude from the science communication unit at the University of West England.

The award is named in memory of Josh Philips, Science Communication Officer at the Museum of Science and Industry, who died in November 2006. Josh was an excellent and much respected science communicator, whose outstanding career is recognised with this award.

If you know a scientist, practitioner or presenter who excells in science communication and you would like to consider nominating them for this award, more information and the nomination form can be found here:

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Sign up for the MSF schools programme...

The Manchester Science Festival schools programme is back for a third year this October and we have an exciting scientific treat in store…

Our secondary schools programme will run on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October. Each day will include entertaining, engaging and educational workshops, shows and activities exploring science, engineering, technology and maths. Students will have the chance to meet and question enthusiastic scientists, enjoy hands-on activities and develop their problem solving skills.

Specifically for year 8 students, the schools programme will be FREE and will take place in a Manchester city centre location that will be easily accessible by public transport. Bookings will soon be open, so register your interest by emailing quoting ‘Science Festival’ in the subject line. Don’t miss this chance to reserve a place on the guest list.

Manchester Science Festival 2009 will take place across Greater Manchester Saturday 24 October – Sunday 1 November

From astronauts to physicists...

It's a busy week for the Manchester Science Festival!

Last night we were rubbing shoulders with astronauts from the STS-119 space shuttle that flew to the international space station in March. They gave various talks to school students and an evening event at the Museum of Science and Industry and got interviewed by students at the BBC 21st Century Classroom in Salford who made podcasts and videos about space. They were really inspiring and gave a great insight into their experiences in space. My favourite bit of the evening event was a video clip of one of the crew sucking some floating water into his mouth. There were lots of great questions about careers as astronauts and what it's like to go into space. The astronauts were here as part of a mission to enthuse young people about science and to take up careers in science, engineering, technology and maths.

And tonight we have our second MSF trailablazer. Physicists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw take to the stage to talk about their new book Why does e=mc2? (and why should we care?). Why Does E=mc2? (and why should we care?) is a groundbreaking journey into the real meaning of Einstein’s iconic equation, E=mc2. Raising lots of questions along the way – what is energy? what is mass? – the enthusiastic scientists take us to the site of the infamous ‘big bang machine’, the 27km Large Hadron Collider.

QI host and professional genius Stephen Fry praised Brian Cox. He said: “I can think of no one, Stephen Hawking included, who more perfectly combines authority, knowledge, passion, clarity and powers of elucidation than Brian Cox.

“If you really want to know how Big Science works and why it matters to each of us in the smallest way, then be entertained by this dazzlingly enthusiastic man.”

The launch is on Tuesday July 7th 7.15 – 9.15pm in the Cardwell Auditorium at the Museum of Science and Industry (Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester M3 4FP).

Tickets are £1, redeemable against one copy of the book on the night, and are available from Blackwell University Bookshop, Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester (telephone 0161 274 3331).

Image credits: Astronauts: Chris Foster/MOSI, Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw