Monday, 20 December 2010

Manchester Science Festival 2011 Innovation Boardroom

Join us at this creative session led by Innovation Manchester to generate ideas and connections for the 2011 Manchester Science Festival.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” Mary Lou Cook

Any group can have a brainstorming session, but how do you make it truly productive? Sometimes we all need a little help to think of new ideas that can really work.

On Tuesday 11 January 2011 at the Museum of Science and Industry from 10am to 2pm we will be engaging in a special creative session: the Innovation Boardroom.

The Innovation Boardroom acts as your guide to be productively creative. We combine fast and furious idea generation with collaborative working that builds partnerships to get great results.

Join us at the Manchester Science Festival's Innovation Boardroom to:
- Make new connections with others involved with the Festival
- Generate great ideas that will have life beyond the Innovation Boardroom session
- Get a freshness boost in creativity, helping you tackle the everyday in a different way
- Combine forces to make the Manchester Science Festival 2011 the best it can be

Please note this is not a funding opportunity.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Natalie Ireland, Manchester Science Festival Director: with your name and organisation, detailing your/your organisation's experience of science engagement and why you are interested in the session.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Manchester Science Festival 2010 - reflections and thank you

Manchester is an amazing place for a science festival. There’s so much rich industrial heritage and iconic scientists to draw inspiration from and so much innovation and exciting research happening in the city, it provides a unique backdrop. The fourth Manchester Science Festival has just taken place and since it began in 2007, so many people have got behind the Festival, sharing their ideas, creativity and passion for science. It’s a real thrill to be putting science at the heart of the cultural calendar in Manchester.

A huge thank you goes out to all the funders, partners, organisers, speakers, researchers, community groups and volunteers who made this year’s Festival happen. The Festival is a huge partnership effort and we’re proud to work with so many (over 75!) different partner organisations. This year’s Festival was particularly exciting and so many great projects came together to create an inspiring and innovative programme. In fact there was such an action packed programme of event, it’s hard to pick a particular highlight to shout about. However, there are a few projects we’re particularly chuffed about and thought they were worth a mention.

This year we embarked on an ambitious community programme. As well as science busking, we delivered kitchen science workshops through each of the ten Greater Manchester boroughs. We put young people at the heart of the Festival, inviting them to get involved in the development and delivery of key projects. 18 year olds with no previous interest in science got together to work with scientists, ethicists and artists to explore the topic of human enhancement and develop creative performances for the public. We also added a twist to the Dragon’s Den. As part of the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards scientists pitched their creative event ideas to a panel of ruthless dragons (teenagers), who chose which project to fund and work with to shape and deliver an event. The winning idea, the bacteria party saw students sharing their work, getting hands-on, eating bacteria shaped cake and playing games with the local community. It was such a fantastic event and exactly the kind of programming we want to encourage as part of the Festival.

We really provided some unique experiences for people this year with projects like Super K Sonic Booooum, an immersive experience where you could experience what it’s like to be in neutrino observatory. Unsuspecting members of the public donned their wellies and lab coat and jumped aboard a boat to see what it’s like to be a particle physicist in Japan. The installation explored some really serious and exciting science, as well as being fun and giving you the chance to experience an environment you would never dream of seeing.

We welcomed over 80 volunteers who assisted at events and went to venues throughout Greater Manchester, entertaining the masses with science busking – fun, hands-on science demonstrations that capture the imagination as you’re on the commute or out shopping. They were passionate, enthusiastic and committed. A huge thank you goes to our volunteers who are helping to inspire our future scientists!

This diverse and innovative programme could only be put together by the people in Manchester for the people of Manchester. Manchester is a truly original science city and I hope you enjoyed this exciting, passionate and ambitious Festival. So thank you for coming and getting involved and we'll keep you posted on the blog with plans for next year!

Natalie Ireland,
Manchester Science Festival Director

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter greetings from the Manchester Science Festival team!

Struggling for ideas of how to fill your holidays with science? Fear not - the festival team have been compiling brilliant ideas. Read on!

If you’ve got children to entertain over the break why not discover some fun, wintery science activities you can do in the kitchen? Check out these instructions on how to make jewellery with ice cubes or learn about how ice melts with London Science museum’s activity about coloured ice balloons. Alternatively, you could wait until Christmas dinner and demonstrate the siphoning effect at the dinner table with your napkin.

Curl up with a few books from MSF 2010’s speakers. Check out Frank Close’s latest publication, Neutrino, which charts the detection and research into the elusive particles that are emitted by the sun and ever-so-difficult to detect. Have a gander at Jim Al-Khalili’s Pathfinders, which reveals the hidden history of the Arabic scientific revolution that took place between the more celebrated Ancient Greeks and Italian Renaissance.

Have an alternative Christmas meal and bring molecular gastronomy to the table. Take a peek at Stefan Gates’ latest book, The Extraordinary Cookbook, for inspiration. This tome is packed with eccentric and fun recipes, from poaching fish in your dishwasher to making gin and tonic jelly that fluoresces under UV light. Photo - Stefan Gates at Gastronuts, Manchester Science Festival 2010.

Don’t forget to check out the Waterside Arts Centre’s current exhibition, Altered States, which explores artist’s responses to biomedical research through media including installation, sculpture, photography, film and printmaking. This exhibition runs until Saturday 8 January. Photo - Hinged Crucifix by Susan Aldworth.

Emily Wiles, Manchester Science Festival Officer  

Saturday, 30 October 2010

BBC Presenter Stefan Gates at Manchester Science Festival on: The Extraordinary Cookbook

Stefan Gates is the award-winning presenter and co-writer of Full On Food for BBC2, Cooking in the Danger Zone for BBC2 and BBC4, Gastronuts, a children’s programme for BBC1 and CBBC, and most recently Feasts for BBC4 and Stefan Gates on E Numbers for BBC2. He will be doing two FREE events at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester) on 30 October as part of this week’s Manchester Science Festival. Gastronuts (at 2pm on 30 October) is with gastronutty chemist Andrea Sella: indulge in harebrained experiments, crazy cooking and eat the world’s weirdest food (family audience). Stefan’s Extraordinary Kitchen (at 7pm on 30 October) is a wild workshop of culinary adventure and food science (adult audience). This month Stefan published The Extraordinary Cookbook (details below), and will demonstrate some of these ‘flights of fancy’ recipes, such as toffee fondue or fluorescent jellies.

Stefan has written four books – Gastronaut, In the Danger Zone, 101 Dishes to Eat Before You Die and Stefan Gates on E Numbers. Stefan appears regularly on UKTV’s Market Kitchen, Five’s The Wright Stuff and BBC2’s Something for the Weekend.

To reserve your free ticket for Gastronuts or Stefan’s Extraordinary Kitchen go to or

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Manchester Science Festival - Nobel prize winners, comedy, craft and more

We're half way through this year's Manchester Science Festival. It's been a cracking week so far, so thanks to everyone who's come along and got involved. There's loads more on offer until the end of October for familes and adults. Here's our top picks!

Meet Manchester’s newest Nobel Prize winner
Join us tonight for an evening of Manchester science, as part of the Royal Society’s 350th Anniversary ‘Local heroes’ programme in the North West. some of our region’s Royal Society Research Fellows Prof Andrew Sharrocks, Prof Barbara Maher, Dr Alexander Oh and recent Nobel Prize winner Dr Konstantin Novoselov, chaired by Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell FRS will discuss their work on the latest developments in biomedicine, climate change and environmental pollution, and particle and condensed matter physics. The event is at 7pm tonight at MOSI. Tickets are free and you can book here.

Laugh your scientific socks off
We've teamed up with Manchester Comedy Festival to see the lighter side of science at some of our comedy gigs. Tomorrow Helen Keene takes a trip to the arctic (well, Islington Mill) to entertain us with stories of an expedition to this cruel environment in The primitive methodist guide to arctic survival.

Rosie Wilby’s will be educating the adults about the Further Science of Sex on Friday night. Do aphrodisiacs work? Why do we kiss? What’s going on in the brain when we fall in love? Spoof experiments and handmade props galore!

We’ve also got comedy for the younger ones! The Punk Scientists have travelled all the way from London, yes, London to entertain us with their mad and explosive world of science tomorrow! You can also catch crazy multi-media show Parannoyance packed with magic and storytelling on Friday. Both at the Comedy Store.

Get creative
Head to Longsight Library tomorrow or Manchester Museum on Saturday to see Wriggling rangoli. As part of the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards, ‘Inspired Sisters’, a group of Asian women from Longsight will be demonstrating the beautiful art of rangoli, looking at the science of infectious disease.

Get those knitting needles out and join us for a spot of knitting with your science. Bee knitting will run on Saturday at Manchester Museum. Learn about bees and biodiversity, and pick up a new skill.

Science Junkies
One of our headline shows, Science Junkies is action packed, adrenaline fuelled fun for the whole family! Find out about the physics and physiology of extreme sports and see some extreme sports in action! This Sunday at the Zion Arts Centre.

Please do put any pictures and feedback up on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Dragon's den bacteria party

A Dragon’s Den-style teenage panel has selected a ‘Bacteria Party’ as its winning idea presented by scientists as part of the Manchester Science Festival’s community awards. The ‘Bacteria Party’, which will be held on 25 October, was an idea presented by the ‘B team’ from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester, and includes cake and goodie bags alongside games, interactive exhibits and poster displays to celebrate the good and bad sides of bugs, germs and bacteria.

A panel of three young Dragons (17-19) judged four pitches made by academics in the fields of biology, medicine, technology, chemistry and physics. Each had to present a fun idea about science which will be created into a community-focused event during the Manchester Science Festival.

The winning team includes two academics and a team of eight masters students of pharmacy. The young Dragons from the Den have planned and prepared the event with the winning group and invite visitors to come and join in the fun. At the event there will be five stations to teach the public about antibodies, as well as different germs good and bad. Each participant gets a passport and a stamp at the station.

Sarah Evans of the Dragons Den Decides said: “The Bacteria Party is a great idea to help promote understanding of science and have some fun at the same time. The team at the School of Pharmacy did a great presentation and convinced the Dragons that this was the event that was most likely to inspire the local community to learn about science. Do come along and party with us on 25 October, and learn about the good as well as the bad sides of bacteria and how it affects our lives.”

Other contestants included a scientist form University of Salford, who wanted to run an event to show young people how to make ice cream the old fashioned way. Another team from University of Manchester wanted to demonstrate the dangers of a bad diet to our brains and the effect of lifestyle choices to having a stroke. A scientist from University of Manchester wanted to run an event to demonstrate the different senses and how they could be used to document scientific research.

The Dragons Den Decides is a youth participatory project as part of the Manchester Beacon Science Festival Community Awards. Manchester Science Festival is now in its triumphant fourth year and has quickly become the most popular science festival in the UK! As well as exploring all aspects of science, this year the Festival celebrates the International Year of Biodiversity. The Festival brings together universities, museums, unusual venues and community spaces to inspire people from across the region and learn more about why science is amazing, great fun and an essential, accessible part of everyday life.

The Bacteria Party is supported by the Manchester Beacon. The Manchester Beacon combines the complementary strengths of The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Salford with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and Manchester:Knowledge Capital. The Manchester Beacon engages staff, students, community groups and local businesses in the design and delivery of activities that use engagement to break down the barriers between universities and local people.

The event runs this afternoon from 3pm at the Zion Arts Centre.

Salford Science

It's the third day of Manchester Science Festival and Salford have an explosion of science today.
First up, get your helmet at the ready and climb the wall as families find out about the physics and physiology of climbing. RockOver Climbing Centre are running a day of Climbing Science from 10.30am - 3pm.

Next up, something for Families 11+, teenagers and adults... find out about devices that researchers make to improve people's lives and the work that goes on at the University of Salford.

This evening there's a play at the Lowry about the only British Nobel Prize winner in science, Dorothy Hodgkin. Hidden Glory: Dorthy Hodgkin in her own words shows how her personal and scientific life were fully intertwined.

We'll be dropping into all three events today so we hope to see you there!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Change to today's programme to Science, the Universe and everything at MMU

Please note there is a last minute change today's programme. Science, the universe and everything at MMU is not running at it's full capacity. Please note the following activities only will run on Sunday 24 October (as different from previously advertised):

Super K Sonic Booooum (11am - 4pm)
Magic Science busking (10am - 4pm)
Laptop orchestra (afternoon only)
The robot dog will also make an appearance.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Manchester Science Festival launches with a boom!

Manchester Science Festival is here!
Manchester Science Festival starts today and we're very excited about what we've got in store for you! Forget about the cold October days and warm up over the next 9 days as we bring you the best science Manchester has to offer, as well as fun, creative, innovative and hands-on events. We have events for adults, families, young people and community groups. Here's our top pick for the launch day and a few tasters of the rest of the week.

Launch day
To kick off the Festival in style we have teamed up with the Manchester Literature Festival to bring you Carbon Diaries author Saci Lloyd. Saci will be at MOSI talking about a world affected by climate change and rationing our carbon usage. This event is suitable for teenagers.

Our headline event Super K Sonic Boooum is an amazing design installation exploring particle physics. Head down to MMU and don your wellies and safety suit and experience a journey through the awe-inspiring neutrino observatory.

Join us for an adventure in light and sound this Saturday evening at Rutherford's Lights - a physics inspired musical performance with pianist Richard Casey.

Manchester Science walks
Take your journey at a more leisurely pace and explore the science of the city by foot. There are walks covering a whole range of interesting science, looking back at Manchester's industrial heritage and delving into the lives of Manchester's most mad inventors.

Science Junkies
Do not miss the adrenaline fuelled Science Junkies live show at the Zion Arts Centre on Sunday 31 October. Packed with stunts and science, the show will be a real treat for the whole family.

There are over 200 events to choose from across Greater Manchester throughout the Manchester Science Festival. Check the MSF website for the full listings and up to date information:

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Thursday, 21 October 2010

Comic communicator wins science award

A science communicator with a comic touch has won this year’s Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement (Josh Award). The award will be presented to Steve Cross at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) on 28 October as part of the upcoming Manchester Science Festival (23– 31 October 2010).

Steve, who was born in Stockport and is now based in London, is the Head of Public Engagement at UCL (University College London) and helps to develop the skills of scientists to share their work in an accessible and lively way. Steve runs the monthly Bright Club in London – where researchers (including himself) perform comedy routines about science to the club’s mainly non-scientist audience. Topics range from chemistry and climate change, to sex, to astronomy in the style of Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. A Manchester Bright Club based on the same ideas has also opened recently.

Steve’s work, which is part of the national Beacons for Public Engagement project, helps to break down barriers between scientists and members of the public and to inspire people to learn about the everyday relevance of science. He regularly puts out podcasts (with 1500-2000 downloads per week). He also brought together scientists, a writer and bands to create music about the life of a scientist. Science communicators traditionally focus on work with young people, but Steve has also helped researchers to reach out to parents through ‘science soirees,’ held at parents’ evenings to help encourage sceptical parents about the variety and fun of a science career for their child.

Steve said: “I’m really surprised and overjoyed to win the Josh Award. When I was starting out in my career Josh was always pushing the envelope making science enjoyable and interesting in unexpected ways. Putting enjoyment into public engagement is very much at the centre of my ethos and I’m glad that is recognised in this award. With Bright Club we wanted to test the idea that anyone can make their work funny and engaging for a few minutes. We work with researchers to help them develop their own style of humour to deliver their work. So we end up with scientists with a delivery style that can be dry, witty, camp or fun, depending on the individual. It’s all about how to connect with your audience.”

Manchester Science Festival director Natalie Ireland said: “I’m delighted to announce Steve as this year’s Josh Award winner. He has used some fantastically innovative methods to engage people with science who may not normally be interested, and has helped to develop the skills of hundreds of scientists to present their work in an accessible and fun way. This is really the spirit of the Manchester Science Festival and we are already discussing ideas about what to do with next year’s festival.”

From chemical explosions to the science of circus acts, the Josh Award is open to anyone in Britain involved in using creative ideas to make science inspiring and relevant to a mainstream audience. Previous winners for 2007, 2008 and 2009 include Naked Scientist radio presenter doctor Chris Smith, science communicator Karen Bultitude and science communicator David Price of science made simple. The award is now in its fourth year.

The Josh Award is named after Josh Phillips, who was MOSI’s first science communication officer, and died in a road accident in November 2006. Josh was renowned for his innovative and fun approach to getting people of all ages interested in science. The Award includes a cash prize of £1000 and a trophy and the role of science communication officer in residence for the Manchester Science Festival 2011.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Seeking perfection - still opportunities to be involved

There's still chance to get involved in our Seeking Perfection project - a project for young people exploring the topic of human enhancement and creating performances, music and drama in response. We're working with Contact Theatre, the University of Manchester and Nowgen to bring this exciting project together. Sessions have gone brilliantly so far with loads of discussion about science, technology, the future and ethics, and loads of ideas about the performance and what it might look like. There's a session this Saturday for all who want to move forward on the project - so be there at 4pm to have your say and get creative!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Interview with Brian Cox

We got the chance to interview Professor Brian Cox when he was in Manchester recently in advance of Manchester Science Festival. Brian is a particle physicist from the University of Manchester and TV presenter of the show Wonders of the solar system. We chatted to Brian about science, the future and social media. We'll upload clips from the interview this week. In this video Brian talks to us about social media:

Last week, scientists rallied at the HM treasury against funding cuts to science. You can get behind the Science is Vital campaign and sign the petition.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Mad Science joins the celebrations at the Manchester Science Festival

Mad Science are extremely proud to be part of the Manchester Science Festival 2010, having been invited to deliver fun science workshops at community venues in each of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. For the past few months we have been working closely with community groups in each borough to find suitable venues and get word out to the local community that the Festival is ‘coming soon to a venue near you!’ These events are for everyone and we really want people to have as much fun with science as we do every day!

So what will you see at the Mad Science events? Well, we are currently working hard putting the final touches to our show ‘Up, up and Away’ which looks at the amazing properties of air as with air pressure stunts, hoverboard rides and even the odd explosion thrown in for good measure! We love this show and are sure it will be a real crowd-pleaser! Everyone who comes along will be able to watch the show (venue capacity permitting) but the first 60 people (grown ups and kids) to arrive at each event will also be given a ticket to take part in hands-on science activities following the show. We have a range of activities in the pipeline with kitchen chemistry and cool chemical reactions being a theme. One thing we know people love is carrying out their own chemical reactions, so workshop participants will all get the chance to make and take home their own ‘ickey, gooey Mad Science Slime’ a great eerie concoction as we approach Halloween!
Check out the Manchester Science Festival website for full event listings.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

IOP engagement grant scheme

IOP engagement grant scheme provides up to £1000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. Apply by 8 November 2010 for a grant for public engagement activities.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Boat busking a sailing success!

This weekend we went busking on a boat! We wanted to bring some science to the Manchester Weekender, so we took David Price from Science Made Simple along the River Erwell for some science busking on a boat. It was lovely weather and the passengers loved it!

Listen to a podcast of David talking about his science busking here.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Busking on the boat at The Manchester Weekender

The science busking continues tomorrow at the Manchester Weekender!

David Price, winner of the Josh Award in 2009, will be representing Manchester Science Festival on the Manchester by Boat trip. Manchester Food and Drink Festival are running this event and it sounds brilliant – a boat party along the river Erwell, complete with snippets of history and food!

Have a look at the Food and Drink Festival website for full details of this event and the Creative Tourist website for the rest of the Weekender's shenanigans.

Photo: David Price busking at Bury Market

Thursday, 23 September 2010

MSF shortlisted for a How Do Public Services Award

Manchester Science Festival has been shortlisted for a 2010 How Do Public Services Communications Award. MSF submitted a nomination in the best low budget campaign category, for the successful 2009 PR campain led by the University of Manchester in partnership with the Festival team. The Festival team are excited to be nominated and looking forward to the awards and seminar on 9 November.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

MSF 2010 online event programme live!

Manchester Science Festival is back!

Last year was our most successful Festival ever, welcoming over 100,000 people to events around Greater Manchester. We’re back with a programme that promises to be even more exciting and packed with scientific treats.

The online events programme is now live! Head to our What's on pages to view the programme by theme, date, audience or venue to see what’s on offer at Manchester Science Festival 2010.

Alternatively, check out these highlights...

We’ve got half term sorted to keep the whole family entertained. It’s the international year of biodiversity, so release your inner explorer at one of our many wildlife workshops, expand your mind with the magic of maths or check out our Chemistry show in British Sign Language. For a real treat take the whole family to one of exciting headline shows brought to you by Gastronuts’ Stefan Gates or the amazing Science Junkies. And don’t forget to look out for our famous science buskers out and about at a town near you!

Check out our programme for teenagers and young people. You could be the next Kate Moss and design gorgeous accessories from recycled materials. For the more adventurous, feel the full force of the physics of adrenaline-fuelled sports like rock climbing and free falling. Discuss black scientists and the space programme or the issues surrounding Facebook and social media. And remember that girls can be geeks too – check out the Girl Geek Tea Party and Hidden Glory, a performance about Britain’s only female Nobel prize-winner in science, Dorothy Hodgkin.

And for adults, relax and soak up the science at one of our evening or weekend events… experience the paranormal with the Alpha Project, listen to sweet music at Brian Eno’s Apollo and Rutherford’s Lights, or debate the future of human enhancement. Be a film buff and discuss the science behind some classic horror and sci-fi films, laugh your socks off at our science stand-ups, find out more about Islamic science or get a dose of adrenaline exploring the universe at Super K Sonic Boooum.

We look forward to welcoming you back to what is now the UK’s most popular science festival, so delve into the programme, choose your events and we hope you enjoy your journey of discovery. Don’t forget most events are free! Sit back, hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Trailblazing across August

We've had a busy month making monsters and lava lamps, and knitting microbes. We're also very excited to announce that the programme is almost ready to be released into the wild. To be the first to hear when it's out, sign up to our newsletter.

Our monster-making activity at the Night at the Victoria Baths was enjoyed by dozens of families. Kids learnt about how animals have evolved and adapter to their environments, and then imagined their own environments and created a monster that was perfectly adapted to this world. Here's a selection of some of their creations.

The Mad Scientists' Tea Party was also tons of fun - a whole day of radioactive cupcakes, giant bubbles and herbal tea. We had a team of STEM Ambassadors on hand to deliver kitchen science activities and about 300 people dropped by during the day. Smashing. Photos by Kinopablo.

We also joined the hundreds that made it on Jamaica Day for microbe knitting and science busking. Photos on left by JayDay.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Science busking and microbe knitting at Jamaica Day

On Saturday 21 August Manchester Science Festival is heading to Jamaica Day at Longford Park and Stadium. Jamaica Day is a community Festival with loads of activities for the whole family. We'll be there science busking to the masses and knitting microorganisms! So come along and try a fizzy rocket, hear the secret sounds of the oven shelf, learn about the germs on your body and knit your very own virus.

11am - 3pm Saturday 21 August, Jamaica Day, Longford Park and Stadium

This event is free and there’s no need to book – just turn up!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Mad Scientists' Tea Party - this Saturday!

Manchester Science Festival are gearing up for the Mad Scientists' Tea Party. Here's a sneak preview of some of the activities we'll be running this weekend...

Make a monster!
Last week at the Family Friendly Film Festival's Night at Victoria Baths we ran an exciting monster-making activity and loads of kids learnt about amazing animal adaptations. Everone had so much fun that we want to run it again on Saturday! Photos from this event are now on our Flickr page.

High Peak Community Arts are bringing their Camera Obscura! This exciting installation, which is housed in a yurt, will enable you to see the world outside from inside the tent. Have a look at their website for more information.

Marbella Cupcakes, of Manchester Creative Collective, will also be there on Saturday. Come along to sample their new range of herbal teas, made from herbs from local allotments (the peppermint infusion is being made as I write this!).

Flissycakes are providing us with hundreds of delicious science-themed cupcakes, with flavours ranging from 'exploding' (containing compressed carbon dioxide for an explosive sensation!) to 'radioactive' (with brazil nuts, which contain low levels of radium). If you like the sound of these, have a look at their website.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Night at the Victoria Baths - Monster House

Manchester Science Festival will be at the “Night at Victoria Baths” on the evening of 5th August, as part of the Family Friendly Film Festival. The night will be filled with monster-related activities before a screening of Monster House at sunset. We’ll be there running fun science activities in the basement, where kids can find out about amazing animal adaptations and create their own monsters to take home!
Unfortunately, this event is now fully booked, but go to for more Family Friendly Film Festival events and watch this space for programme information for Manchester Science Festival for similar events in October!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Mad Scientists Tea Party - Saturday 14th August 2010

On Saturday 14th August 2010 Manchest Science Festival are holding a tea party in Cathedral Gardens (ouside Urbis!).

Have some chemistry with a cuppa! Come down and nibble a radioactive teacake, watch lemons levitate and learn about the science behind tea and coffee. There will be plenty of fun science experiments and arty activities for all ages. Come dressed as a Mad Scientist - the best dressed wins a prize!

This event is free and there's no need to book - just turn up!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Wellcome Trust grant for human enhancement project

The Wellcome Trust has awarded a grant to Manchester Science Festival, Contact Theatre, Nowgen and The University of Manchester to produce a creative human enhancement project for the 2010 Manchester Science Festival. This project brings together a vibrant team of young people, scientists, ethicists and artists to explore human enhancement (i.e. physical, genetic and cognitive improvements). The team will explore the latest biomedical research and the young people will develop performances (such as street dancing and science busking) that will get people thinking about the ways in which they might potentially improve their brains and bodies in the future. The project will culminate with public shows and events during October's Manchester Science Festival this year.

For more information please contact Kate Dack at Nowgen ( or look at the Manchester Science Festival website in the Autumn.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Josh Award 2010 - Call for nominations

Nominations for the 2010 Joshua Phillips Award for Innovation in Science Engagement are now open. The Josh Award is an annual award that recognises excellence and innovation in science engagement. The winner will be announced and presented with the award at the Manchester Science Festival in October.

The award is open to anyone involved in science engagement, who is recognised as an up and coming talent, with innovative and new ideas.

Previous winners include Chris Smith from the Naked Scientists, Karen Bultitude from the University of the West of England and David Price from Science Made Simple.

Download the Call for Nominations and Nomitation Form on the Festival website, to find out more about nominating someone.

Nominations must be received by close of play, 10 September 2010.

Picture: David Price winning the Josh Award in 2009

We need you! Volunteer for Manchester Science Festival...

Manchester Science Festival takes place from 23 – 31 October, with the schools programme taking place on the 19 and 20 October. Over 200 events will take place in venues across Greater Manchester.

We are now seeking volunteers to help at events and get out and about science busking. Volunteering for the Festival is a great opportunity to meet new people, get some science engagement experience and develop some great skills for your CV. More info about what opportunities are available, what to expect and how to register can be found on our volunteer pages.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

We're hiring!

Festival Officer
Fixed Term (maximum of five months)
Full-time, 36.25 hours per week, Mon - Fri
Salary £18,500 per annum

Manchester Science Festival is seeking a Festival Officer to work within the Learning Department at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry).

Reporting to the Festival Director, you will support the development and delivery of the 2010 Manchester Science Festival. You will liaise with Festival partners, co-ordinate administration for the Festival and assist with marketing, communication activities and the event programme.

To succeed in this role you will be educated to A-level standard or equivalent in a science subject. You will hold a clean UK driving licence and have a good general knowledge of science. Previous experience of working with a variety of organisations coupled with some experience of planning and running events is desirable. You will possess good interpersonal, organisational and team working skills. You will be computer literate with knowledge of Microsoft Office and other relevant computer applications and editing websites.

To download an application pack and full job description, please visit the MOSI website:, e-mail or alternatively call 0161 606 0105 to request an application pack.

Closing Date: Wednesday 26 May 2010, 4:00pm.

Monday, 10 May 2010

MSF goes east!

On the 24 May Manchester Science Festival is heading east to the Shanghai Science and Art exhibition. We'll be busking and running activities about the science of sound at this popular event. This opportunity follows a visit from the Association for Science and Technology in Shanghai to the Manchester Science Festival last year, where doctors from Shanghai contributed to our Biomedical Exhibition. Stay tuned to the blog, facebook, twitter and flickr as we keep you posted whilst we're there!

The event is also part of the 2010 World Expo which we also hope to visit and bring some ideas home for the 2010 Manchester Science Festival.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Debating matters competition - NW Final

Debating matters competition - North West and North Wales 09/10 Final
Debate is crucial in addressing issues that face society today. Debate is crucial in science. By debating issues in science, you can explore a topic from all angles, how it could affect society and find out how people really feel about a particular issue. At school I found it hard to debate issues (and sometimes still do!), often being the person who could see an argument from all sides and did not have one particular standpoint. This meant I was good at playing devil's advocate, but sometimes found it difficult to display the passion that other pupils did.
The NW regional Final of the Debating Matters competition is an opportunity for schools in the region to sit in on the final, watch lives debates and input from the audience. If I had had the chance to go to something like this at school, I think it really would have given me more confidence in debating issues and therefore feel more confident standing up and having a viewpoint.
The regional final is open to all schools, to join the audience and join the debate. The competition is keen to engage new schools, who have not previously been involved. The regional final is taking place at the Bridgewater Hall this year. To find out more about attending, check out the regional page on Debating Matters website. There are also some really great guides to the topics up for debate.
Hopefully see you there!
Natalie, MSF Director.