Bright sparks as N. Ireland Science Festival launches programme

16 January 2015

The programme for Northern Ireland’s first ever Science Festival was recently launched in Belfast at W5.

IOPI’s Dr Liz Conlon, Chair of the Northern Ireland Festival with director, Chris McCreery and Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Maire Hendron
IOPI’s Dr Liz Conlon, Chair of the Northern Ireland Festival with director, Chris McCreery and Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Maire Hendron

 
The Festival will run from 19 Feb to 1 March, with 100 events over 11 days. It includes an eclectic mix of events, including scientific debates, talks, theatre, comedy, music and film. The Festival is catering for a wide range of ages and interests, with plenty for schools, families and adults throughout the programme.

2015 has been designated by UNESCO as the International Year of Light and this is reflected in the themes of many of the physics-based events. The Incredible Power of Light exhibition at the Ulster Museum explores lasers through animation, interactive exhibits, hardware and displays to tell the story of how lasers impact on our everyday lives, while the beauty of the colours of light is explored through photography and ‘painting with light’.

Festival Director, Chris McCreery with Minister Stephen Farry

Special events include Making it Digital with the BBC, Astronaut Training at Armagh Planetarium, the finals of Famelab, building a fuzz guitar pedal workshop and comedy nights at the Black Box exploring why men apparently are better at reading maps than women – who in turn are better at reading emotions.

Speaking at the event, the Festival’s chair and IOP Ireland’s education and outreach advisor, Dr Liz Conlon, commented that as in any festival there would be art, music, poetry and comedy but all of these would be infused with science.

Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry, noted that the STEM agenda is a high priority for the Northern Ireland Executive and that the Festival was an exciting way to highlight the opportunities in science careers for young people. Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Maire Hendron, emphasized the strong science and engineering heritage of Northern Ireland while Festival director, Chris McCreery expressed his appreciation for the way in which the science and arts community had come together to create some unique events and experiences.

The festival programme is available at:
www.nisciencefestival.com