Between Dorset and Inverness there are no less than five festivals, as well as a couple of excellent exhibitions, in Science and Nature this month...
Cheltenham Science Festival 2013, various venues, Cheltenham, June 4-9
© NASA. Photo: Neil Armstrong
From a Hormone Fight Club and the rise of resistant bacteria to Dara O’Briain’s cerebrally bewildering School of Hard Sums and a hive of activity in the central square between Cheltenham’s Town Hall and Imperial Gardens, this year’s Times-sponsored festival crams a corner of Gloucestershire with six days of events, activities and talks.
Glasgow Science Festival, various venues, Glasgow, June 6-16
With a theme of Glasgow, Naturally – tied into the Scottish Government’s current campaign concentrating on Scotland’s ecological splendour – this year’s Glasgow fest expects to entertain up to 40,000 people. A vast range of highlights include electric bus trips on a windfarm and the central Science Sunday.
Visions of the Universe, National Maritime Museum, London, from June 7
Galileo might have been the first to glimpse the stars through a telescope, but even he might have been overawed by this incredible ton of images from deepest outer space. NASA and the Russian space programme contribute, but the centrepiece is the Mars Window – a huge curved wall acting as a canvas for the latest images from the famous Mars Curiosity Rover.
Festival of Learning, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, until June 14
A BioBlitz, sun safety on the nearby beaches, a new drama by BAFTA award-winner John Foster and a look at Olympic and Paralympic prosthetics form part of this diverse fortnight, driven by the university’s desire to open its well-informed corridors to the public.
Monsterfest, various venues, Inverness, June 14-23
Inverness’s quirky Science and Technology fest features appearances by psychologist and illusionist Professor Richard Wiseman (who’ll be discussing the paranormal), a geological journey with Professor Iain Stewart (of BBC small screen fame) and an “interactive spoof tutorial” on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, led by a Theoretical Zombiologist.
Bristol Festival of Nature, Harbourside, Bristol, June 15-16
The BBC Natural History Unit is among 150 groups we could mention at the wildlife celebration which is one of the largest of its kind in Britain. But Bristol’s own clutch of ever-imaginative local organisations catch the eye, including Bristol Aquarium, which will take a sandpit to an amphitheatre, and mini-forest making courtesy of Westonbirt Arboretum.
Collecting Trees, Manchester Museum, Manchester, from June 22
The Manchester Museum takes a look at some of the objects it’s collected as part of its campaign, Trees – Collecting to Connect, for the British Ecological Society’s Festival of Ecology.