Edinburgh Enlightenment Exchange – Communicating Science

I was delighted to have a press ticket to the inspiring Edinburgh Enlightenment Exchange at Edinburgh International Science Festival on Saturday. I blogged about the whole event over on my Crafty Green Poet blog, but now I just want to share some of the brilliant ideas about science communication and collaboration that came out of the event:

Subathra Subramanium talked about Cape Farewell which offers a vital cultural response to climate change by organising voyages to the arctic for artists, scientists and young people to work and learn together. The scientists carry out real science researching the effects of climate change, the artists make pieces of work responding to the landscape, the science and their experiences which they then share with audiences across the world, the young people take part in the science, create their own works of art and when they return home they communicate their experiences to their schools and to other local schools.

Polly Arnold in her talk about improving nuclear waste disposal, came up with some wonderfully memorable metaphors such as comparing the electrons in the atom of a highly radioactive element to the pips in a pomegranate.

Richard Wiseman demonstrated some magic tricks and showed how much can be communicated about psychology by watching a magician carefully!

Angus Farquhar of NVA demonstrated how to alter people’s perceptions of well known landmarks by organising large scale arts events. His project Speed of Light has people wearing suits covered in LED lights running round Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh in the dark.

Sabrina Mariscalco talked about how Quantum Circus use circus performance to communicate the ideas of quantum mechanics.


(these are my rewordings of statements from the named participants in the event)

For citizen science to be effective, people need to be given the tools to take part (Chris Lintock, Zooniverse)

To produce really creative work we have to play more and accept more grazed knees in the playground (Suzy Glass, Trigger)

I was also very impressed and interested in the AMEE project (which embedding environmental intelligence into everything!) but I think that deserves a blog post to itself in the next week or so. So make sure to check back!

Bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


About julietwilson

This is my professional blogging account. My personal blog is Crafty Green Poet (http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com)

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