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Brace Yourself For Science Fever

Manchester Science Festival Returns to MOSI

Written by . Published on October 28th 2013.

Brace Yourself For Science Fever

OCTOBER 24 marked the return of the Manchester Science Festival, hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in partnership with Siemens. The event hopes to discard the stereotype of science being a boring, stuffy subject reserved for slightly manic chemistry teachers. This annual festival, now in its seventh year, is a celebration of the sciences with the help of resident experts, innovative artists and the everyday people of Greater Manchester. 

This year’s standout exhibition is an intriguing concoction of art and science aptly named Synthesis which is being held at Victoria Warehouse. 

Produced in partnership with over 50 organisations, the festival will contain around 150 events all over Greater Manchester, spanning the festivals eleven day stretch (October 24 - November 3).    

SpatterSpatterThis year’s standout exhibition is an intriguing concoction of art and science aptly named Synthesis which is being held at Victoria Warehouse. Combining three-dimensional sculptures and interactive installations with more traditional art forms supplied by sixteen internationally recognised artists, as well as three up and coming graduates, Synthesis champions the relatively unknown field of hybrid arts.

Amongst the work on display, is colour blind installation specialist Luke Jerram’s striking glass microbiology pieces, Ivan Smith’s intriguingly macabre series Spatter that plays on the human fascination with forensics and murder scenes as well as Gina Czarnecki's giant human spine projection, compiled entirely of images of dancers, that will grace both MOSI and Victoria Warehouses' red brick exteriors. Oh, and a bloke who has made the world's most effective nut crackers out of Newton's Cradle and some sledgehammers. 

E-coli in glass


E-coli in glass

As well as Synthesis, there will be variety of special events that cater to all ages and interests. For adults it’s a chance to learn about Manchester’s scientific past, as well as its future, through discussions with real lifewhite coat-wearing experts, whilst for children, there is a host of hands-on fun that will keep them for asking the eternally unanswerable question “Why?” upon seeing every new atom. 

Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan will be explaining the brilliance of the University of Manchester-harnessed material graphene- impressively strong, flexible, light, two-dimensional, a great conductor and not to mention a dead ringer for chicken wire. As well as preaching the merits of graphene, Dr Vijayaraghavan will be, with the help of the public, attempting to build the largest ever model of the revolutionary material before placing it on MOSI's gusty gantry. Hopefully, wind resistance is also one of its many attributes. 

 Manchester Science Festival 1Manchester Science FestivalAlso taking place in MOSI will be the construction of a Rube Goldberg machine with science communicator Nick Harrigan and a host of volunteers. What is a Rube Goldberg machine I hear you cry? Essentially, the end of the board game Mouse Trap or that overly complicated contraption from Wallace and Gromit that serves up your breakfast. In other words, great fun. 

Amongst a host of other events taking place in MOSI is #Hooked, the science behind those dastardly catchy songs, and Ice Lab: New Architecture and Science in Antarctica, a glimpse into life in the near inhabitable arctic tundra.  

MOSI director Jean M. Franczyk is confident this year’s festival will be the best yet: “The festival programme just feels me with joy, because it’s just so good, it’s energetic, entrepreneurial, it’s got amazing content and substance. This year’s event has an increasing level of sophistication.” 

A comprehensive guide to what’s on at the festival can be found here

Photo credits (main photo) to Liz West

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