Get Connected with the Science Festival this April

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A look at the history and future of Scottish science, a selection science-based plays, and tips on how to cope with a zombie apocalypse all feature in Edinburgh International Science Festival's huge new programme for 2017, which promises to help audiences Get Connected.

With 270 events taking place in 29 Edinburgh venues, the Festival (1-16 April) will celebrate the Scottish capital's traditions of cultural, creative and scientific excellence, as part of the wider 70th anniversary celebrations of Edinburgh's Festivals.

The Festival lineup features science both serious and silly, with attractions for all ages, including:

  • hands-on exhibitions and interactive artworks
  • a greatly expanded theatre and art programme
  • cutting-edge discussions and debates on modern society's hottest issues
  • workshops and drop in days for families and teenagers
  • explorations of food, space, health and the environment
  • night time events to mix the scientific and the sociable

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The Get Connected theme of this year's festival is reflected in the likes of Play On, a family-friendly exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, offering four immersive zones to explore how technology influences our leisure time; and in Moments in Time, a festival highlight featuring four police call boxes at Edinburgh's Mound Precinct celebrating the enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the information age and 101 Scottish Inventions.

Creative Director Amanda Tyndall said:

Conflict, cultural divisions, demographic shifts and environmental degradation are not new, but what is new is the degree to which we are all connected – both in real time and virtually in a wired world – to these issues and to each other. 
These virtual, digital connections offer exciting opportunities for creativity, society and the economy. Science is at the heart of the technology, tools and techniques that have fuelled digital innovation, and Edinburgh is home to many established heavyweights, and innovative start-ups, that are driving global connectivity.
We are interested in what it means to live in this Information Age through mind-expanding talks, interactive experiments, theatre shows, interactive exhibitions such as Play On, sociable science activities and artistic installations for all ages.

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The festival features a strong educational element, with opportunities for families to learn about medicine, engineering, digital arts, as well as enjoying six different science-based theatrical productions (with a further five for grown-up audiences). And as always, the City Art Centre will feature five floors of scientific exploration and fun for the little Curies and Einsteins of the future.

Teenagers are well catered for too, with opportunities to learn about game design, the music industry, robotics, 3D models and even advice on how best to deal with an epidemic of zombies.

And a new partnership with EDF Energy sees the Festival continue to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in education, both during April and with its schools education programme, Generation Science.

EDF Energy’s Scottish Business Director, Paul Winkle, said:

EDF Energy is delighted to be the headline sponsor of this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival.  It is exciting to see such a packed programme of events.
This new three-year partnership is part of our wider commitment to education; each year we welcome thousands of people through the doors of our visitor centres at Hunterston B and Torness and our Pretty Curious campaign encourages girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
EDF Energy is proud to be working with an organisation that shares our commitment to inspiring and educating the next generation and we hope that everyone who comes along leaves feeling excited about science.

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For the grown-ups, top scientists taking part in debate and discussion at this year's Festival include Dr Aleks Krotoski, Dame Anne Glover, Prof Mark Maslin and Dr Paul Patras, looking at technology, communications, sustainability and society. And there will be explorations of food science, space, the environment and health featuring Dr Adam Rutherford, Steve Jones and Prof Derek Bell.

And for those wishing to let their hair down, there's also the Science Festivals series of social events, including the very popular Science Festival Lates programme, Party On, an exclusive adults-only access to the new Play On exhibition, and London-based outfit Public Service Broadcasting performing their hit album The Race for Space from start to finish at the Usher Hall.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Festivals Champion, Councillor Richard Lewis, said:

Every spring the Edinburgh International Science Festival transforms the city into a marvel of science and technology. 
I’m delighted the Council remains a proud partner of the two-week programme, which sees the five floors of the City Art Centre celebrate hands-on science with amazing educational exhibits and experiments.
This year, the Festival promises to showcase more events, talks and activities than ever before. In a move which celebrates the Capital’s 70 year status as The Festival City, the addition of Moments in Time will see visitors ‘time travel’ in tardis-like boxes through key moments in Edinburgh’s history. 
With hundreds of events on offer, it looks set to be one of the most spectacular Edinburgh International Science Festivals yet.

Edinburgh International Science Festival takes place from 1-16 April 2017. Find out more about the Festival, including links to programme and ticketing details.

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