Bollington Festival science events

As part of the Bollington Festival the last two weeks in May, there will be plenty of science events including:

* a four-day, free Fab Lab with hands-on activities including workshops from Hands on Science every day, and science shows from Science Made Simple (Sat 24 and Sun 25 May) and Mad Science (Mon 26 and Tues 27 May)
* A night with the stars (with Macclesfield Astronomical Society)
* Vibrations and vegetables: the science of sound (with the London Vegetable Orchestra and science busker David Price)
* A talk by Professor Lord Winston
* A talk on interactive gaming by Professor Robert Stone from Birmingham University
* Seeing the skies with other eyes, a talk by Dr Dave Clements from Imperial College
* A talk on dinosaurs from Dr Phil Manning, Manchester University
* Happy 5th Birthday SciBar (note this is at the Civic Hall, not the Vale Inn)
* an engineering challenge on the recreation ground
* a scientific scarecrow trail.

You can download the full listing of science events at the Bollington Festival BollFestScience_Brochure

Buy tickets online at (note that some events, like Happy 5th Birthday Scibar, the Fab Lab, the engineering challenge and the scientific scarecrow trail are free).

The Festival is run entirely by volunteers. If anyone would like to volunteer to help at any of the science events during the Bollington Festival, please email Could be stewarding / ticket collectors, or if you want to help presenters at the Fab Lab – all welcome – no complicated science to explain, just a willingness to get involved.

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Biomedical discoveries: Your input to Bollington Festival

As part of the Bollington Festival, Claire de Ruiter, a local artist, will be in Bollington library on Saturday 26 April, 3 May and 10 May from 10-12.30pm making a new art installation representing 50 years of biomedical discoveries and she would like stories from people whose lives have been positively affected by these discoveries. For example: laser surgery, hip replacement, beta blockers, statins, heart transplant, taxol, gene therapy, IVF, PET scans. Claire would like to know what procedure/medication and how it has been life-changing. Year/dates of the procedures would also be useful. You can contact Claire at and all information given will be confidential.

Come along and see Claire at work, make your contribution, or to see the finished piece which will remain in the library until 1 June 2014.

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Another founding member of Bollington SciBar stands down

We’re very sorry to say that Angela Davies, one of the founders of Bollington SciBar after the last Bollington Festival in 2009, has decided to stand down as a volunteer for SciBar.

With a full-time job in science communication, three children and a key role in this year’s Bollington Festival, she’s had plenty on her plate since SciBar started and we owe her a huge vote of thanks for her energy, ideas and bringing so many speakers to Bollington SciBar.

Thank you Ang – from all of us.

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Bolllington Festival tickets now on sale!

In this 50th year of the Bollington Festival there are a series of science events over 17 days from 16 May to 1 June 2014.

The big event is an evening with Lord Robert Winston (28 May). There is also a 4-day Fab Lab – a free mini science festival with plenty of hands-on activities with a biomedical theme (Sat 24, Sun 25, Mon 26 and Tues 27 May). Other highlights are evening talks on subjects from dinosaurs and interactive gaming, to “the skies with other eyes” and a unique vegetable orchestra workshop/performance (31 May). See for full details and tickets for all events.

The Bollington Festival is run completely by volunteers. We would love volunteers to distribute leaflets or to come and be stewards at the science events – could be checking tickets, helping set up, and maybe even answering a science query from the public! Get in touch at at and let us know what you are offering to do. or speak to someone after SciBar – there’s a large overlap between the SciBar and Festival volunteers.

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Disley WEA March 22: Elementary particle physics by Fred Loebinger

The Disley and Marple branch of the WEA (Workers Educational Association) have asked us to publicise a Day School on Saturday March 22 on ‘The Inner Secrets of the the Universe: the story of elementary particle physics’ by Fred Loebinger. Professor Loebinger gave a talk on a similar theme at Macclesfield SciBar last year, which went down very well.

Time: 11am-3pm
Fee £15-00 including lunch, tea and coffee
Ring O’ Bells Quaker Meeting House
Ring O’ Bells Lane, Disley, Cheshire. SK12 2AG

For details of how to book please contact Rosemary Broadhurst Hon. Sec. Disley and Marple branch, e-mail: –, tel 01625 877 255

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Healing the body with materials – free talk at Shrigley Hall 11 December

The Biochemical Society Annual Symposium will this year be held at Shrigley Hall, Macclesfield, and they have invited all of us to attend a public lecture and panel discussion they are hosting on 11 December. It’s free to attend. The co-chair says “I was hoping your group would be interested in coming along – it should be a lively and festive event and we would very much like to have you join the discussion.”

Biochemical Determinants of Tissue Regeneration
18:45 – 19:45 Keynote speaker – Molly Stevens

• tissue engineering
• designing materials to repair the body and detect early cancer and infectious disease

19:45 – 21:00 Panel Discussion – The present and future of tissue regeneration

Molly Stevens (Imperial College London) is currently Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College. In 2010 she was recognised by The Times as one of the top ten scientists under the age of 40 and recently appeared on the BBC’s Science Club

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Science Spectacular 2 Nov at Manchester Museum

On Saturday 2 November the University of Manchester and the Manchester Museum are opening their doors to create a day of Spectacular Science as part of the Manchester Science Festival. The science challenges will include finding out why lotus leaves don’t get wet, a journey through the heart, wrestling with plants that bite back, and getting curious with some creepy crawlies.
There is also a free FLASH BANG CHEMISTRY! Show taking place on campus. For more information please see the Science Spectacular website.
The event is part of Manchester Science Festival.

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Penny Lewis: New book on sleep

Penny Lewis, who spoke at July SciBar so eloquently about sleep and its link to memory, has just had a book published. The title is The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest.

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Another founding member of SciBar stands down

David Whalley, one of the founding members of Bollington SciBar following the success of the inaugural SciBar at the Bollington Festival in 2009, is stepping down from direct involvement in the SciBar planning group. David found speakers for and chaired nearly all SciBars for the first few years, and also helped set up Macclesfield SciBar.

Please join us in thanking David for all his contributions, from coming up with the immortal SciBar rules (there are only two rules, remember) to sourcing speakers, liaising with the British Science Association, setting up the venue with The Vale Inn (thank you Lee!), sorting out a projector, designing the logo and many more behind the scenes actions.

We look forward to seeing you occasionally in the audience, and hope that you enjoy watching your legacy continue.

Meanwhile, any new volunteers for the planning group are extremely welcome – just make yourself known to someone who looks like they need a hand on the night …

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Brain imaging volunteers needed!

Dr Rishma Vidyasagar mentioned this at the end of her talk at the March SciBar, on behalf of one of her colleagues. Participants have to be 40-70, normally healthy with no neurological illnesses, no history of fits or depression, and have to travel to Manchester University. Anyone interested should contact SciBar and we’ll put them in touch.

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