Cambridge Science Festival: top 10 picks for this weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 March 2018

Founding artist of the award-winning Australian community engagement project Neural Knitworks Pat Pillai in Cambridge for the Cambridge Science Festival seen here with the sculpture in the Grand Arcade . Picture: Keith Heppell

Founding artist of the award-winning Australian community engagement project Neural Knitworks Pat Pillai in Cambridge for the Cambridge Science Festival seen here with the sculpture in the Grand Arcade . Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Knitting is a part of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival.

The public can join top neuroscience researchers at hands-on knit-ins throughout the Cambridge Science Festival.

Neural Knitworks, an award-winning community engagement project first developed in Australia, returns to the festival in partnership with Cambridge Neuroscience to present yarn craft activities that help to improve brain and mind health.

Neuroscientists have visited local schools, community centres, knitting groups and meet-ups and Pat Pillai has helped participants make more than 500 new neurons for the international brain sculptures.

“Following scientifically informed patterns, you will forge new neural pathways in your brain as you knit, crochet or simply wrap to make woolly neurons. You’ll also learn about the latest brain and mind research from top neuroscientists who will be on hand to explain how the brain works,” said a spokesperson for Neural Knitworks.

Knitting and crochet can activate areas of the brain that generate a sense of calm, contribute to improved emotional processing and higher cognitive functioning.

There are opportunities to meet Pat Pillai, learn to make a woolly neuron and hear more neuroscience throughout the festival, including free after-school family-friendly workshops on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Central Library.

The Neural Knitworks is at the Grand Arcade until Friday (March 16) and the Central Library until Monday, March 26.

You can also join researchers from the Stem Cell Institute at the Big Stem Cell Knit to understand how we learn about OCD using brian imaging at the Cavendish Laboratory open day on Saturday, March 24.

Alternatively, attend one of the knit-ins at the Guildhall (Sunday, March 18) or Addenbrooke’s Biomedical Campus (Sunday, March 25) to meet scientists face-to-face and discover the fascinating inner workings of the brain.

This weekend is the first of the 2018 Cambridge Science Festival and it’s going to be busy. In total, there 125 events this weekend including 88 on Saturday and 37 on Sunday.

Many of the events are free of charge. For more information, visit: sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk.

SENSE SAFARI

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens

Open every day from 10am to 4pm including the weekends

Look, listen, imagine and sniff your way around the Botanic Garden with the new Sense Safari challenges.

Pick up your challenges at the ticket office to start your adventure into a hidden world of amazing plants and animals. Perfect for children and adults alike.

BRILLIANT BRAINS: SEEING SCIENCE THROUGH ART

CB2 Cafe in Norfolk Street

Open 11am to 4pm until Sunday, March 18

An exploration of consciousness – exhibitions, workshops and talks exploring science through contemporary art.

TALKS AT CRASH, BANG, SQUELCH!

Department of Zoology

Open 10am to 5pm on Saturday, March 17

Whole day of talks on Saturday from CHaOS student volunteers at the Department of Zoology. Excellent for children and families.

THE SEDUCTION OF CURVES: THE LINES OF BEAUTY THAT CONNECT MATHEMATICS, ART, AND THE NUDE

Department of Engineering

Talk runs from 3pm to 4pm on Saturday, March 17

Allan McRobie will explain how the key to understanding the language of curves is René Thom’s Catastrophe Theory, and how – remarkably – the best place to learn that language is perhaps in a life drawing class.

ANOTHER EVENING OF UNNECESSARY DETAIL

Babbage Lecture Theatre

Event runs from 7pm to 9pm on Saturday, March 17

The team behind Festival of the Spoken Nerd are back on Saturday! As well as being an event where 80 per cent of the words in the title start with a vowel, this is also an evening where – of the 16 unique letters in that title – 31.25 per cent of them are used more than once.

OPEN DAY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Every possible topic to do with psychology, including: Are you smarter than a bird? Can you control your impulses? Learn about your emotions by opening a window into the brain. How precise is your memory? And loads more besides.

HANDS ON AT THE GUILDHALL

Saturday, March 17, between 10am and 5pm, and Sunday, March 18, between midday and 4pm

Find out more about cells, DNA, diet, exercise and new treatments for disease, join scientists and discover how we make sense of how our bodies work. No need to book, just turn up.

SUNDAY PAPERS LIVE

University Centre, Cambridge Wine Merchants Bar, just off Mill Lane

Sunday, March 18, between midday and 4pm

Imagine the perfect social Sunday – great food, newspapers, Bloody Mary’s and a healthy dose of science.

SCIENCE FESTIVAL EVENSONG

University Church, Great St Mary’s

Sunday, March 18, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm
A service of choral evensong celebrating the festival, sung by the Choir of Great St Mary’s, featuring music by Cambridge composers Herbert Howells and Oliver Rudland, with a festival address by a guest preacher on Sunday.

CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION PRESENTS: ME AND MY BEE

Sunday, March 18, between 11.30am and 12.30pm, and 2.30pm and 3.30pm

Climate change is massive. Bees aren’t. Our fuzzy little friends need our help and so a political party, disguised as a show, is being launched. Award-winning theatre company, ThisEgg, invites you to save the world – one bee at a time. 
A new comedy for children and adults alike.

Tickets: £10/£6. Box office: 01223 511511 or junction.co.uk.

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