Manchester Science Festival: Nine days of big bangs, quantum physics, comedy, kids' stuff...

By Amelia Charman | 26 October 2012
a photo of a bmx biker sillhouetted against an urban skyline
Science Junkie LIVE.© Manchester Science Festival
Festival: Manchester Science Festival, various venues, Manchester, October 27 - November 4 2012.

Manchester is a city with its finger on the pulse of science; John Dalton, James Joule, Ernest Rutherford and Bernard Lovell are all proudly owned as the city’s scientific sons and the Manchester Science Festival celebrates this rich legacy with nine days of events taking place across Greater Manchester.

An incredible range of exhibitions, activities and events is on offer this year; from talks, such as The Battle for the Internet, to night-time events like The City Dark, which tells the story of light pollution and disappearing stars.
Many blend the beauty of art and science - such as Think, Feel, Move: The Science of Movement, which combines the elegance of dance and quantifying movement.

Children are spoilt for choice this half-term with loads of events aimed at engaging and inspiring younger minds. Among them author Mark Griffiths will be reading from his latest book Space Lizards ate my Sister – there is also an opportunity to meet some real-life lizards.

One exhibition aimed at kids that will not be akin to pulling teeth is Gina Czarnecki’s Palaces. The four-foot sculpture constructed out of baby teeth explains the use of waste body parts in stem cell regeneration. Children are encouraged to donate their baby teeth to the palace, and to leave a letter for the tooth fairy.

The festival also offers the chance to celebrate Alan Turing, the man credited with inventing the first modern computer and decoding German ciphers during the Second World War.

Commissioned by GCHQ, the event marks the 100th birthday of this father of computer science.

There is even the opportunity to unite history and modern technology as festival goers are invited to encrypt a message on one of the original GCHQ wartime Enigma machines, have it decrypted using the Turing Bombe Rebuild machine at Bletchley Park, and then see the message ‘tweeted’ back.

a photo of crystal like stem cells
Palaces invites kids to donate milk teeth and discover more about stem cell science.© Manchester Science Festival
Our five of the best:

Bright Club Manchester
Watch Manchester blend science with comedy at this cutting edge event, compeered by local comic Conor Aylward.

Breed: The British and their dogs
The British love their dogs - learn why at this innovative exhibition explaining the everlasting affection between canines and their owners.

Science and Religion: Debate, discord and dialogue 
Uncover what faith leaders, local personalities and academics really think about evolution and creationism, at this event chaired by Martin Hall.

When I get older 
Have you always wanted to know what you will look like in fifty years’ time? Find out with the use of ageing suits and photography.

Sex and Lies: The lie detector as a love detector in disguise
Geoff Bunn reveals the truth about the kiss-o-meter and love detector, and if brunettes really are more violent than blondes.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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