Look into the future at 2013 Science Festival

One of artist Jason Hackenwert's balloon sculptures
One of artist Jason Hackenwert's balloon sculptures
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A THREE-storey balloon sculpture, food from the future and jungle expeditions are to feature in this year’s Science Festival as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Billed as the biggest and best to date, organisers will mark the milestone by inviting visitors to flash forward beyond their years.

Around 200 of the best and brightest minds in science and technology will gather in the Capital to dissect, debate and celebrate some of the biggest and sometimes controversial 
scientific ideas.

Among the visual spectacles will be a specially commissioned, experiential sculpture from New-York based artist Jason Hackenwerth. When completed, the huge installation – made from balloons – will reach from floor to ceiling in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland.

An outdoor photographic exhibition in St Andrew Square launches today, celebrating the work of some of the world’s leading photographers ahead of the two-week festival 
beginning on March 23. The event – Patterns in Nature – will examine the beauty and complexity of nature, from individual snowflakes to the stripes of an angelfish, with landscape architect Charles Jencks and sculptor Peter Randall-Page revealing how nature has inspired their work.

Deputy director Amanda Tyndall said: “This year’s festival will be the biggest and best yet.”

The Future Challenges series will look at the research and technology shaping the modern world, while Future Worlds will look at life beyond Earth, giving audiences the opportunity to take a pre-flight health check before signing up for a trip to Mars.

Scotland’s first mini-maker fair will feature 50 of the UK’s most exciting innovators showing off their work.

Menus of insects and invasive 
species will be served up as a hint of food from the future, while visitors will also be encouraged to use the city as a playground by combining computer games, music and sport.

Family-friendly events include scientific trails and workshops around National Museum of Scotland and a Malaysian jungle-themed expedition at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the ever-popular science playground at the City Art Centre.

Ms Tyndall said: “It is a real opportunity for people to get hands-on.

“The theme of this year is ‘future-facing’. For two weeks the city becomes a melting pot for ideas and we invite audiences to join our futuristic adventures as we explore the promise, potential, peril or pitfalls of life in the 21st century.”

A voyage of discovery

FOUNDED in 1989, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is an educational charity that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them. The charity is best known for organising Edinburgh’s Science Festival – the world’s first celebration of science and technology – and one of Europe’s largest. Speakers have included Prof Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, pictured, and Prof Sir Ian Wilmut.