Cambridge academics to speak at the Cheltenham Science Festival
A number of Cambridge academics will be participating in this year’s
Cheltenham Science Festival. Please see below for a list of the events
CANCER STEM CELLS
Current cancer treatments are not always effective. In some cases
they only give a few extra months of life and in others seemingly
successful therapies result in the cancer eventually coming back. Brian
Huntly and Matthew Smalley believe that rogue stem cells could be the
root cause. Join them and Kat Arney from Cancer Research UK to explore
cancer stem cells and to find out how understanding them could
revolutionise the way we think about cancer care.
Town Hall Unreserved Tuesday, June 7, 2011 - 16:00 £7
INSIDE YOUR PET
Veterinary pathologist Alun Williams - as seen on Inside Nature's
Giants - joins us to discuss the health of our pets. With plenty of
specimens he explains how we can diagnose and treat a variety of
diseases and conditions that affect our furry friends. From hip
replacements in dogs to dietary diseases in cats, he draws parallels
with ailments found in humans.
Town Hall Unreserved Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 18:00 £8
Animals undertake extraordinary feats of migration to ensure their
survival. The Arctic tern, the world's long distance champion, covers an
astonishing 36,000km a year. But how do they know when to move and,
without a Sat Nav or map, how do they find their way? Russell Foster and
Peter McNaughton explore what science can, and cannot, explain about
the seemingly miraculous phenomenon of animal migration.
Town Hall Unreserved Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 18:00 £8
X-MEN VS BIONIC WOMEN
When we talk about doctors making us better we usually mean they give
us back our health. But what if engineers and scientists could really
make us better, better than we've ever been before? Faster, smarter,
stronger than nature could manage. Hear from biomedical engineer John
Fisher and neuroscientist Barbara Sahakian about how much could soon be
possible, and from ethicist Andy Miah about the new dilemmas such
technologies could bring.
Town Hall Unreserved Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 14:30 £7
What drives some people to check their windows are closed ten times
before they leave the house? Why do others find it impossible not to bet
on the next race, turn down a drink or walk past a shop without buying
something? Musician and former drug addict Mehmet Husseyin joins
psychiatrist Naomi Fineberg and neuroscientist Jeff Dalley to discuss
compulsive and addictive behaviour.
Town Hall Unreserved Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 16:00 £7
WAS THE UNIVERSE CREATED?
Did the Universe have a creator? Will it be around forever? Debates
around these age-old questions have been raging since Aristotle's time.
Medieval physics and modern cosmology collide as Mark Lewney battles
Andrew Pontzen, exploring the history and future of the Universe and
asking whether there was ever a time when nothing existed.
Town Hall Unreserved Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 20:30 £9
GENDER: MORE THAN X VS Y
What makes males male and females female? Our chromosomes tell us
what sex we are genetically, but hormones play an important role in
translating this to our physical and emotional gender identity. What
happens if this process goes wrong? Psychologist Melissa Hines,
clinician Ieuan Hughes and geneticist Robin Lovell-Badge explore the
development of gender.
Town Hall Unreserved Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 20:30 £8
ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF THINKING: EXPLORING THE AUTISTIC MIND
One of two linked events curated by The Arts Catalyst and Shape
focusing on Alternative Ways of Thinking. Funded by Wellcome Trust
The media frequently feature stories about screening for or even
'curing' autism, presenting it as an affliction or disease. But people
with autism can lead full lives, often excelling at science, art or
music. Simon Baron- Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre, is
joined by artist and geologist Jon Adams, who has Asperger's Syndrome,
and Gabriel Hardistry- Miller, a non-verbal autistic man who, with
artist Ben Connors, runs a music, performance and poetry club. They all
discuss the special minds of autistic people and consider whether their
so-called 'impairments' should be thought of in a different way.
This event will be British Sign Language interpreted. Please call box office 01242 505444 to discuss access issues.
Town Hall Unreserved Friday, June 10, 2011 - 16:30 £7
ECHO OF CREATION
Billions of years after the birth of the Universe, scientists
realised they could tune into an echo of creation itself using nothing
more sophisticated than a de-tuned television set. Andrew Pontzen
explains the cosmos' 'background noise' with hula hoops, beach balls and
amazing telescopic pictures. But hold onto your hats: all is not as it
seems with space and time…
Town Hall Unreserved Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 10:00 £5 Age 8 upwards
RISK IN THE MEDIA
Whether it's using mobile phones, drinking alcohol or eating bacon,
we are bombarded with stories of the dangers of everyday activities.
Sensational headlines may sell papers but how much do they reflect
reality? How do we know what to believe, especially as life has never
been safer? Using recent examples Professor of Risk David Spiegelhalter
takes us behind the front page and helps us to interpret the real risks.
Town Hall Unreserved Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 16:15 £8
LIFE IN THE COSMOS: FROM BIG BANGS TO BIOSPHERES
We can trace cosmic history from some mysterious 'beginning' nearly
14 billion years ago. We understand in outline the emergence of atoms,
galaxies, stars and planets and how life appeared on Earth, but these
answers pose new questions which Astronomer Royal Martin Rees attempts
to address. What are the prospects for post-human evolution, here on
Earth or far beyond? Is life already widespread in our cosmos? Is
physical reality even more extensive than the domain that our telescopes
can probe - are we in a multiverse?
Town Hall Unreserved Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 10:00 £10
BOOMERANGS, BOUNCING BALLS AND OTHER SPINNING THINGS
Spinning things are very strange. How do ice-skaters spin so fast?
Why does a boomerang bounce back? What happens when you bounce a
spinning ball? And how do things turn around in space when there's
nothing to push against? Get in a spin with Hugh Hunt as he looks at
what links all spinning objects with a dizzying amount of live
Town Hall Unreserved Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 16:00 £5
THE DAMBUSTERS NOW
May 1943 was the last time a bouncing bomb blew up a dam. That was
true until Hugh Hunt and Hilary Costello stepped onto the scene. For a
TV documentary, they recreated the spinning bombs used by the Dambusters
and demolished a 10m-high dam! With video clips they explore the many
challenges the team faced and the incredible achievements of wartime
engineers and airmen.
Town Hall Unreserved Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 18:45 £7
Cheltenham Science Festival runs from Tuesday till Sunday, June 7-12.
The Festival boasts over 160 ticketed events as well as loads of free
activities. For adults, there's gadget zone Area 42 where you can play a
video game using just your breath or read a newspaper with moving
images, just like in Harry Potter. Children have their own LEGO®
Education and Discover Zones where they can play with dry water (feels
like sand, but if you squeeze it, water will come out), experience the
feeling of driving the fastest car on earth, and even see a pig
For the full programme visit cheltenhamfestivals.com or call 01242 505 444.