The Culture24/7: Festivals and revolutions in Science and Nature for March 2013

By Ben Miller | 01 March 2013 | Updated: 28 February 2013

Female science pioneers are honoured in Edinburgh and Newcastle, while there's sword swallowing and aliens in London, not to mention the enormously diverse Cambridge Science Festival. Here are our March highlights...

An image of a collaged print showing a woman leaning on some sort of rug in the 1970s
Rachel Adams takes sci-fi inspired art to Glasgow this month© Rachel Adams
Scottish Women of Science: Celebrating Trailblazers from our Past, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

What have a botanist with an imprisoned husband, a biologist in cohorts with the Emperor of Japan, a one-time housemaid hiding astronomical discoveries and the Dundee shipyard goddaughter of Queen Victoria got in common? You’ve guessed it. A shortlist of 11 inspirational pioneers.

Alien Revolution, Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

Greenwich’s supernatural season – culminating in a summer of science with film screenings and various raucous activities – ponders the possibilities of other life forms. HG Wells, the Mars Rover and American UFO spotters are among those accompanying them on the voyage. Read our Preview.

Rachel Adams – Space-craft, Tramway, Glasgow, March 2-24

Viewing television’s “alien” environments of the 1970s as symptomatic of a distrust of technological advancements, artist Rachel Adams’ new sculptural works question historical and cultural values, referencing science fiction and intricate decorative craft techniques.

Trailblazers – a Celebration of Remarkable Women in Science, Discovery Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, from March 8

Partly a call to arms in light of some dispiriting statistics pointing to a lack of opportunities for budding scientists, this pantheon of portraits – procured from the National Portrait Gallery – stars Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin and birth control pioneer Marie Stopes. Read our Preview.

Cambridge Science Festival, various venues, Cambridge, March 11-24

Cambridge’s annual science festival features more than 200 events, ranging from astronomy to zoology and talks to experiments. 2012 Nobel Prize winner Professor John Gurdon is part of an impressive list of guests.

Cartographies of Life and Death: John Snow and Disease Mapping, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, from March 13

Based around John Snow’s heroic pinpointing of a deadly cholera strain in 19th century London, this multi-site mini-festival fills Soho with art, exhibits from the archives and performance outbreaks. Read our Preview.

Foreign Bodies, University College London, London, from March 18

The sword responsible for killing an 18th century sword swallower and bits of skin tattooed with butterflies are a couple of the highly curious highlights from this pathological display, curated from the collections of the university’s four museums. The aim, no matter how unfeasible things may appear, is to explain how these objects ended up inside human bodies.
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