My top picks of the Edinburgh Science Festival

I’m heading back home tonight for the Easter break and luckily, while I’m there, the Edinburgh International Science Festival kicks off! Between the 4th-19th April, our museums, galleries, theatres and even gardens are transformed, putting on workshops, shows, discussions and film screenings all with a scientific twist for kids and adults to enjoy. 

I’ve been involved in the festival as a volunteer for the last five years, teaching children about the wacky goings-on in the lab, so this year it’ll be nice to take a step back and see what’s on offer. 
For the coffee lovers, gin connoisseurs and budding beer brewers among you, check out Crumbs and Petals recommendations for the best drinks-based events at this year’s festival. I’m looking forward to watching Pioneer at the Traverse Theatre on Saturday evening, a show presented by curious directive that won a First Fringe award at the Edinburgh Festival last year and is now on its Spring tour (Londoners can check it out at Shoreditch Town Hall, 9th-22nd April). Nige and I are also going along to one of the LateLab events at Summerhall to try out a new app developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with NHS 24 and New Media Scotland. Ginsberg is a new online tool that helps users understand their emotional and physical wellbeing by tracking their mood and activity, and I can’t wait to give it a go.

The range of activities put on by the festival is vast but their website is great, so go have a scroll of the What’s On listings and see what takes your fancy. If you can’t decide, here’s my top picks, for everyone and anyone. Enjoy!

*One for the geeky gamers*
Meet the people with one of the coolest job ever, videogame designers, and learn how your favourite games, from Pac-Man to Mario Kart, have been brought to life.
Game Masters 4th-20th April, National Museum of Scotland. All ages.

*Get clued up on your lunch break*
At 1pm in the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, join experts to explore topics including particle physics, forensic psychology and coral reefs. The ‘A very short introduction to…’ talks are an hour long, perfect to nip into on your lunch break, and you’ll come out a lot wiser than you went in!
A Very Short Introduction to… Genes kicks off the event, with a different theme every day. Ages 14+.

*Take a break from the city*
Smell the country air while exploring Gorgie City Farm and foraging for your own food to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Forage on the Farm 4th-19th April. All ages.

*Try a food market with a difference*
Everyone loves a good farmers market, but ever wanted to know the science behind your favourite food? On Sunday, Summerhall will be be holding its own market with stalls, demonstrations and even a mini restaurant, all given a scientific twist. SciMart, 5th April. All ages.

*If you’re addicted to GoT*
If you know what I just said, go to this event. If like me though, you’re slightly behind with the current Game of Thrones obsession, maybe this might persuade you to give it a watch? Join comedian Helen Keen and science communicator Ian Simmons as they explore some of the (apparently) burning issues raised by this adventure through live demonstrations and experiments. You can even go in costume!
The Science of Game of Thrones Summerhall, Friday 10th April, 8pm. Ages 14+.

*Have a laugh with other science weirdos*
The Stand is my favourite comedy club to go to for an evening of laughs and on Tuesday 14th it’s going to be packed to the rafters with fellow dweebs for a night of comedy storytelling, with a heavy dose of science on the side. It strictly states you cannot base your PhD on any jokes that may or may not be told on the night. Electric Tales: The Science Years. Tuesday 14th April, 8.30pm. Ages 18+.

Do any of my highlights take your fancy? Let me know what you’re going to see!

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