Acclaimed scientists Professor Brian Cox and Liz Bonnin, UV Yoga, and a crash course into the teenage psyche are some of the hot tickets at this year’s NI Science Festival.

With almost 200 events across 11 days and spanning over 50 venues throughout Northern Ireland, NI Science Festival 2019 has created a programme packed with dynamic exhibitions for people of all ages.

Some of this year’s biggest events include: An audience with Professor Brian Cox at the SSE Arena (February 15); Sarah Jayne Blakemore presents her award-winning book on ‘The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain’ (17 February), and biological scientist Liz Bonnin’s lecture addressing the environmental crisis ‘Drowning in Plastic’ at the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast (February 24).

NI Science Festival 2019 now in its fifth-year, acknowledges significant milestones in science – 150 years of the periodic table, 50 years of the first moon landing and 30 years of the internet, which are all celebrated in the abundant programme of Northern Ireland events.

The Festival will also be addressing science’s hot topics – climate change, space travel, neuroscience, democracy and the internet, autism, and many more

The festival will host a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools, coupled with an assortment of debates, talks, theatre, comedy, music and film to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for older audiences. Hearing Your Genes Evolve (14 February), at SARC, Queen’s University, Belfast, tells the story of genetics performed by a string arrangement composed by Deirdre Gribben and narrated Dr Sarah Teichmann. Geoff Maskell and Helen Czerski’s will be telling audiences how to save the world in 12 years with the thought provoking talk Wild Weather, Physics and Climate Change (or 12 years to save the world) on 24 February.

Other intriguing events for all ages include The Science of Roald Dahl at the Ulster Museum (16 February), Nick Arnold author of the hugely popular Horrible Science series (23 February) and Dr Faye Skelton presenting her research on the psychology of false confessions at the Crumlin Road Gaol (22 February).

The future of AI will be addressed at this year’s Turing Lecture with Krishna Gummandi’s Engineering a Fair Future (21 February) as he discusses how humans and AI can live together without the surrounding bias that may arise.

The Festival will also host a range of world class exhibitions – from 20 February visitors at the Ulster Transport Museum can view the Soyuz space capsule that brought British astronaut Tim Peake into space and at W5 see the Earth closeup in 3D with Gaia, a 7m wide artwork of planet earth.

Adults will get to experience the joys and a drink at some of NI’s coolest venues with adults-only, after-hours events at W5 Late (16 February), The Armagh Planetarium After-Dark (22 February) and LateLab where the Ulster Transport Museum (22 February).

NI Science Festival Director, Chris McCreery commented: “Over the 11-days people can take part in a range of events for all ages and interests; find out about the anatomy of singing with NI Opera, witness a heart dissection at the Black Box or discover when dinosaurs were sick.

“We are tremendously proud of this year’s programme due to the variety of events and the calibre of our special guest speakers from a range of industries.”

Chris concluded: “It is a privilege to invite renowned household names in science such as Professor Brian Cox and broadcasters Liz Bonnin, Maddie Moate, and Greg Foot, as well as local creative talent – harpist Ursula Burns, comedians Robbie McShane & Mary Flanigan and musician Colin Reid to name a few.

NI Science Festival is supported by the Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Innovate UK, British Council Northern Ireland, Matrix, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and STEM recruitment specialists MCS Group.

NI Science Festival kicks off across Northern Ireland in various venues from 14 – 24 February 2019. Find event highlights for kids and parents detailed in the January issue of Ni4kids and for more information about NI Science Festival events and to purchase tickets, visit nisciencefestival.com or keep up to date with the festival on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

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