With a week to go until it opens, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is reminding people that there's a range of late-night events for adults with a science theme.
Grouped together under the banner "sociable science", the Science Festival Lates start on Saturday 3rd April with the Festival's Opening Party at its flagship children's venue, the City Art Centre. Guests will be able to try all the activities, across four floors, that are usually reserved for the under-12s including a Jungle Safari, trying your hand at keyhole surgery in A&E, and "doing the robot". As well as a blood bar, booze will also be served.
Sci-creative salon series LateLab, a collaboration between the Science Festival and New Media Scotland, also returns this year. Guest curator Amanda McDonald Crowley explores the intersection between art, tech and food with three special GastroLabs, including the RGB Cocktail party (Sun 6 April) – an exploration of the effect of colour on taste perception, with artist Emilie Baltz, DJ Steve Gibson and a backdrop of multi-coloured light.
Also of note, are The Taste of Blue (Sat 12 April) examining the curious cross-sensory world of synaesthesia; Soylent Green (Sat 5 April) – an enhanced cinema screening of the 1973, wonderfully dated scifi starring Charlton Heston; and Casino Scienza (Sat 19 April) – an investigation into the science behind probability and risk, which will be set up casino style.
The old medical building at Summerhall is a key venue of the Science Festival this year. It includes a series of exhibitions and installations looking at cross-overs between art and science. Summerhall's Dissection Room hosts potentially the most glam event, the Techno Threads and Future Fashion (16 April). Anna Freemantle of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival co-ordinates the fashion show exploring wearable technologies and future-looking design. The evening features a catwalk show from Brit designers CuteCircuit - Katy Perry’s costumier of choice – with the first UK glimpse of their recent New York Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 14/15 collection. There will also be exhibits from Heriot Watt University’s School of Textile and Design, presentations from CuteCircuit Creative Directors Francesca Rosella and Ryan Gent.
Also at Summerhall is Sin Academy (Thu 10 April) – a look into the science behind hedonism, as author and ‘expert’ Zoe Cromier of Guerilla Science leads an interactive exploration of sex, attraction, mind-altering substances. Participants are invited to play with DNA, mix the perfect aphrodisiac, and discover the electricity in a kiss, alongside taking part in a special ‘Sensory Speed-Dating' experiment.
Made Up? (Sat 12 April) is busting the beauty myth in an exploration of aesthetics looking at the science behind cosmetics, the psychology of beauty and what makes a face attractive, with Psychologist Dr Martin Tovee from Newcastle University. The audience are invited to make their own make-up and beauty products with experts from blog Beauty by the Geeks, whilst historians of art and ethno-medicine will show some of the applications of cosmetics through the ages, with one lucky participant receiving a full renaissance make-over.
On the music side, there is DNA vs Hip Hop (Mon 7 April), where BBC broadcaster Adam Rutherford journeys back to 1973, to look at two things that already existed but were about to be remixed, repackaged and world changing: genetic engineering... and hip hop.
Meanwhile, the Science Ceilidh (Tue 15 April) – with neuroscientist Lewis Hou – investigates the psychology of movement, the feel-good factor of dance and what makes a partner dance special.
There’s even a bit of Science Comedy as mathematician and stand-up Simon Pampena returns to the Festival with Mathmania (Wed 9 April) and LOLgarithms (Thu 10 April) – his routines bring out the beauty, symmetry and sheer hilarity present in the most serious of science.
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