What’s on at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Dame Evelyn Glennie will present Sounds of Science at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Picture: EISF
Dame Evelyn Glennie will present Sounds of Science at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Picture: EISF
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LIFE on Mars imagined in Lego and an exhibition of tiny homes are among the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival, which runs from March 26 to April 10.

A recreation of the International Space Station is being staged at the City Art Centre, just one of 20 science workshops and drop-in sessions on offer for children of all ages.

There’s also a chance for budding brain surgeons to test their hands for steadiness using real endoscopes in the ER Surgery workshop.

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And those who want to explore beyond real-life flesh and blood can delve into the realms of fantasy at the Science of Star Wars event, with TV presenter Jon Chase and author Mark Brake.

Building Better Worlds is the theme behind the 2016 line-up, which will see a range of performances, exhibitions, interactive events and discussions for adults and children at venues around the Capital.

ESA astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy will also be at the festival. Picture: EISF

ESA astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy will also be at the festival. Picture: EISF

The focus is on how science, technology, engineering and design can benefit the planet and the ways people live.

Internationally acclaimed percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie will be making her debut, performing a new piece by composer Jill Jarman in the world premiere of Sounds of Science. The 21-minute “soundscape” is an interpretation of the ways humans have affected the world in terms of science and engineering over the past 10,000 years.

European Space Agency astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy will be touching down to appear at the Updates from Space event, where he will give an insider’s view on Major Tim Peake’s working conditions on the International Space Station.

If you’ve ever wanted to know about the maths behind football then More Than a Game, with guests including pundit Pat Nevin, can shed some light.

An appearance by Lee Towersley, one of the brains behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens robot R2D2, looks certain to be a crowd-puller.

As do hands-on events Explore Our World in Minecraft and Mars Master Constructors, where children can take inspiration from artist Warren Elsmore’s Lego model of a Martian habitat to create their own vision of extraterrestrial life.

Tried-and-tested favourites include the Big Bang Bash – this year featuring music by David Bowie – as well as futuristic foodie strand Gastrofest and the Mini Maker Faire.

Exhibitions include Tiny Homes Village, a large-scale outdoor installation that explores how small building could offer realistic solutions to modern living.

Festival creative director Amanda Tyndall said: “This year’s festival celebrates with a programme focus on the fertile space where science meets the arts, with something for curious minds of all ages.”

Events run at venues including Summerhall, the National Museum of Scotland, City Art Centre and Botanic Garden from March 26 to April 10.

ilona.amos@jpress.co.uk