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For staff


The 2013 Science Festival opens on 11 March, offering staff, students, city residents and visitors an opportunity to discover and take part in scientific activity at the University.

This year the festival welcomes actor Benedict Cumberbatch as guest director.

A quick glance through the programme reveals some exciting highlights: Professor John Gurdon, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, will discuss his research and the future of cell replacement; Professors Andy Parker and Val Gibson of the Cavendish Laboratory will talk about a new chapter in particle physics following the ground-breaking experiments at the Large Hadron Collider; and science journalist Tim Radford hosts a panel discussion on the future of energy.
This year the festival welcomes actor Benedict Cumberbatch as guest director – someone who, in his own words, has kept an amateur interest in science alive through his work: “As an actor who has researched playing Stephen Hawking, Joseph Hooker, Werner Heisenberg, and both Frankenstein and his creation, I’ve long had a passion for all fields of science,” he said.
Family activities have always been central to the popularity of the Science Festival. This year many of the events for children are on Science on Saturday on 16 March. Listen to BBC Radio 2 Drivetime host and children’s author Simon Mayo talk about his books Itch and Itch Rocks. Get to grips with fascinating experiments at the Department of Zoology in Crash, bang, squelch! Or brace yourself for an exposition on nasal defence in Why snot? at the Department of Pharmacology. There’s also a series of talks aimed at older teens and adults called ThinkCon at the McCrum Lecture Theatre.
Elsewhere, 2012 guest director Robin Ince returns with his follow-up show to Happiness through science with a look at Charles Darwin and the American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman on 17 March, with a second Saturday of science talks and events on 23 March centred around the West Cambridge site.


13 February 2013


Dr Pete Wothers