Manchester Science Festival

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Manchester Science Festival is an annual science festival held in October in Manchester, England, and produced by the Museum of Science and Industry. It runs for eleven days, incorporating over 100 events across Greater Manchester for families and adults.[1] Siemens has been the Festival’s headline sponsor since 2014, as part of its Curiosity Project.[2]

Introduction[edit]

The festival launched at the Museum of Science and Industry in 2007. With over 100,000 visits to the festival in 2015, Manchester Science Festival is England's largest science festival.[3] The Manchester Evening News describe the festival as “one of the most fun things to happen to the region in recent years, taking practical science into places you never imagined possible all over the city”.[4]

Manchester Science Festival Programme[edit]

Each year, the programme features hands-on activities, immersive experiences, exhibitions, talks and tours. Events reflect the festival ethos of ‘part laboratory, part playground’,[5] and aim to bring science to audiences at the Museum and at venues across Greater Manchester.

The programme for Manchester Science Festival is created and produced collaboratively with partners across the North West. Over the years, this has included University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, Chester Zoo, Cancer Research UK, HackManchester, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Manchester Cathedral, John Rylands Library and Manchester Central Library.

The programme encourages audiences to actively participate in science. This includes science busking activities and since 2014 has included the Museum of Science and Industry’s Platform for Investigation (Pi). The Pi is sponsored by Siemens and is part of the museum’s monthly live event programme. Pi gives audiences the opportunity to meet scientists and hear about their research whilst getting involved with experiments and activities.[6]

Exhibitions are a feature of the festival programme, including contemporary science exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Industry. Since 2014, Cape Farewell, UK have partnered with the festival to commission an exhibition inspired by James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory. Notable exhibitions include Marcus Coates’ The Sounds of Others and Tania Kovats’ Evaporation.

Manchester Science Festival 2015[edit]

The ninth annual science festival highlights included an adult only ball pool,[7] artist Tania Kovats premiering Evaporation,[8] Brian Cox, Robin Ince and Jon Culshaw recording The Infinite Monkey Cage,[9] exhibition Kinetic Flux by Paul Miller and Griet Beyart[10] and a two-day drone expo with the University of Salford’s Andy Miah. Manchester Evening News wrote that “The Manchester Science Festival – supported by Siemens – gives people the chance to get up close and hands-on with all things loud, lively, explosive and experimental”.[11] The ball pool won Manchester Evening News’ City Life Awards Special Events Category 2015.[12]

Festival Director: Marieke Navin

Manchester Science Festival 2014[edit]

The eighth Manchester Science Festival showcased Marcus Coates’ exhibition The Sounds of Others,[13] a 3D printing exhibition, a debate over the future of fracking with Bez from Happy Mondays, and the building of a Mega Menger. The website Creative Tourist wrote about Manchester Science Festival’s programme, saying that, “The delight in such a diversity of diversions is being able to wander according to one’s own fancy; being cartographer to your own map. The book of Manchester is open: choose your own adventure”.[14]

Festival Director: Marieke Navin

Manchester Science Festival 2013[edit]

In its seventh year, Manchester Science Festival brought the exhibition Brains: the Mind as Matter and a supporting events programme,[15] launched its second citizen science project, Hooked On Music[16] and built a giant Rube Goldberg Machine.[17] The Festival also won the Manchester Tourism Award for Large Tourism Event of the Year.[18]

Festival Director: Marieke Navin

Citizen Science Projects[edit]

Manchester Science Festival has been involved with two citizen science projects since 2007. The first was Turing’s Sunflowers in 2012[19] and #HookedOnMusic, part of the festival programme since 2013.[20]

Turing's Sunflowers[edit]

The experiment was conceived by Jonathan Swinton[21] and led by Erinma Ochu at the Museum of Science and Industry, who said that “we hope to provide the missing evidence to test Turing's little-known theories about Fibonacci numbers in sunflowers. It would be a fitting celebration of the work of Alan Turing”.[22]

Citizen scientists from seven countries participated, growing over 500 sunflowers, over 450 of which conformed to the Fibonacci sequence, thereby proving Alan Turing’s theory.

HookedOnMusic[edit]

Launched at the 2013 Manchester Science Festival with Ashley Burgoyne from the University of Amsterdam, audiences were encouraged to play a free, online game that produced results for scientific research. Researchers were looking for the hooks in music to help future research on Alzheimer’s disease.[23] By using catchy music, researchers hope to find ways to trigger therapeutic benefits for patients.[24]

Results presented at the 2014 Manchester Science Festival revealed the UK’s top ten catchiest tunes, looking at just how memorable parts of songs can be.[25] The number one catchiest song was the Spice Girls’ 'Wannabe'.

Sponsorship[edit]

Since 2014, Siemens has been the headline sponsor for the festival. Other major sponsors include the University of Salford, Electricity North West and the Waters Corporation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brains of the Future at Manchester Science Festival". Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Siemens to inspire five million young people through the promotion of science and engineering". Siemens. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Manchester Science Festival". Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Manchester festival diary: the events you should be going to and where to buy tickets". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Manchester Science Festival supported by Siemens". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Queen Heralds Glorious Future" (PDF). Science Museum Group. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "10 must sees at Manchester Science Festival 2015". Manchester Evening News. 
  8. ^ "Evaporation by Tania Kovats". Cape Farewell. 
  9. ^ "Manchester Science Festival Explores the Funny Side of Dark Matter". The Mancunion. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Manchester Science Festival 2015: Our highlights". Creative Tourist. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Leave your kids behind - this ball pool's for the grown ups". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Jump In: The Ball Pool wins the CityLife Awards 2015 Special Event category". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Bears on stairs, Bez stares on: Manchester Science Festival". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Manchester Science Festival 2014: Mapping the future". Creative Tourist. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "Brains: The mind as matter". Wellcome Collection. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "#HookedOnMusic – Manchester Science Festival 2014". The Mancunion. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Leading lights of science put on show for Festival". The University of Manchester. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Manchester Tourism Awards 2013 Winners" (PDF). Manchester Tourism Awards. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "Greater Manchester sunflowers to test Alan Turing theory". BBC. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "#Hooked: a citizen science experiment into what makes music memorable". Wellcome Trust. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Why Turing's Sunflowers?". Museum of Science and Industry. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Grow a sunflower to solve unfinished Alan Turing experiment". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "#Hooked: a citizen science experiment into what makes music memorable". Wellcome Trust. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  24. ^ "Play game that tests if you're hooked on music - and help research into Alzheimer's disease". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  25. ^ "Spice Girls' Wannabe 'is catchiest hit single'". BBC. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 

External links[edit]