The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Preview: Manchester Science Festival

The Manchester Science Festival returns for its 10th year, running from 20-30th October, in collaboration with the Museum of Science and Industry

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Manchester Science Festival is the biggest science festival in England, with a huge variety of events, performances and workshops to get involved with. The festival, produced by the Museum of Science of Industry, will return with its unique combination of science, art, music, literature, food, and more. This year the festival has chosen to focus on “surprising, meaningful science”, with a goal of inspiring and encouraging future generations of scientists and inventors.

The Mancunion was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of the festival, held at MSI, where guests were given the opportunity to try ‘tasters’ of upcoming events such as the Chronarium sleep lab, virtual reality, and Manchester megapixel. The latter is an event that is running throughout the weeks festivities, where participants can “help build and colour in a giant megapixel display”, that will be a staggering 15 feet tall, and will be unveiled on the closing Sunday of the festival at MSI.

Speaking at the event, Sally McDonald, Director of MSI, spoke of the 120,000 visits MSF had last year, making it “by far” the largest science festival in the country. However, she continued to say that, “it isnt just about being the biggest, it’s about being the boldest, and the most creative and the most innovative”. Acting as the flagship event of Manchester’s reign as European City of Science 2016, this year’s MSF has inspired them to “make the city become alive with science not just in the period of October but throughout the year”.

The festival aims to be appealing to all. There are events that cater specifically to different age groups, as well as inclusive events for all ages to enjoy. Adults can enjoy delving into the science behind casinos, learning about sustainable eating or taking a whiskyology class. There is also an event performed by Rachel McCarthy called ‘Elements: Poetry in molecular motion’, which will be exploring the science behind poetry. This event promises to combine visual, smell and audio stimuli alongside some of McCarthy’s acclaimed poetry collection.

If you fancy something active, there are plenty of tours run by the festival, such as the cycling solar system tour around Fallowfield. You can also literally walk a mile in the shoes of inspiring scientists; the ‘John Dalton: Father of Science’ tour walks through places important to the life of Dalton, who is regarded by some as Manchester’s first great scientist.

Now in its 10th year, MSF will also be throwing a ‘birthday party’ to commemorate the festival’s run, because as Antonio Benitez, Director of MSF, correctly pointed out, “if Manchester knows how to do anything, it’s to party”. The event will still appeal to everyone’s inner-geek as you can find out the psychology of hating clowns, the secrets behind magic tricks, and the mathematics in cutting the perfect slice of cake.

Whilst the majority of events are free, some do require pre-booking or a fee, so it is worth checking on the website for additional information and a full timetable of activities.