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Celebrating science

Published: 3 Sep 2015 09:24

Festivals across Scotland share £239,000.

Experiments and scientific demonstrations will be hosted at 16 festivals thanks to Scottish Government funding, the Science Minister announced today.

Minister for Science Alasdair Allan announced £239,000 to fund a programme of activities for all ages at events across the country.

Popular themes explored in this year's science festivals include events marking the achievements of renowned Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell's and using our food and drink industry to look at issues around sustainability and climate change.

The United Nations has named 2015 as the International Year of Light with the date being chosen as it is the 150th anniversary of Clerk Maxwell's pioneering theory of classical electromagnetism

The festivals taking place this year include:

  • Orkney International Science Festival
  • Caithness International Science Festival
  • Inverness Science Festival
  • Moray Science Festival
  • Oban Festival of the Sea
  • TechFest (Aberdeen/NE Scotland)
  • Dundee Science Festival
  • Fife Science Festival
  • Strathearn Science Festival
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • Midlothian Science Festival
  • Dunbar Science Festival
  • Glasgow Science Festival
  • Dumfries and Galloway Science Festival
  • Ayrshire Engineering and Science Festival
  • Middle of Scotland Science Festival

Dr Allan said:

"Our science festivals' programme is really exciting, with something on offer for everyone. We are the only country in the UK to support science festivals nationally, and each year these events reach more than 200,000 people, demonstrating a real appetite for seeing science in action in our communities.

"Scotland is a leading science nation with research making a significant contribution to our economy. Our legacy of revolutionary discoveries and globally celebrated scientists are an inspiration to the next generation and festival events are a vital addition to the way we promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) studies in school.

"As we celebrate both the Year of Food and Drink and the UN's Year of Light our £239,000 investment will support 16 festivals over the next 12 months. These activities are making science more accessible to a broader public audience all across the country and we want to see even more people have the chance to have the opportunity to enjoy events near them."

Notes to editors

On Tuesday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated the Scottish Government's commitment to continue to support Scotland's science centres and science festivals as she laid out the Programme for Government.

The Year of Food and Drink 2015 is a Scottish Government initiative to spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland's natural larder and quality produce to our people and our visitors. #tasteScotland

The International Year of Light 2015 is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness on how optical technologies are crucial to solving challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. Part of the reason for the celebration's being held in 2015 is that it is the 150th anniversary of Clerk Maxwell's theory of classical electromagnetism. #YearOfLight

The £239,000 funding will be shared between the following festivals:

Orkney International Science Festival www.oisf.org September 03-09. £10,000
Caithness International Science Festival www.science03.org March 17-21. £10,000
Inverness Science Festival www.uhi.ac.uk/en/inverness-science-festival April 29-May 07. £10,000
Moray Science Festival www.moray.uhi.ac.uk/moray-science-festival March 06-11 £10,000
Oban Festival of the Sea www.obanseafestival.org May 22-31 £4,000
TechFest (Aberdeen/NE Scotland) www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk/tis September 11- October 02 £25,000
Dundee Science Festival www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk October 31- November 15. £15,000
Fife Science Festival www.fifesciencefestival.org.uk £10,000
Strathearn Science Festival www.strathearnsciencefestival.org February 20-28. £5,000
Edinburgh International Science Festival www.sciencefestival.co.uk April 04-19. £65,000
Midlothian Science Festival www.midlothiansciencefestival.com October 02-17. £10,000
Dunbar Science Festival www.dunbarscifest.org.uk March 07-15. £10,000
Glasgow Science Festival www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk £35,000
Dumfries and Galloway Science Festival www.dgsciencefestival.org.uk May 04-09. £10,000
Ayrshire Engineering and Science Festival www.ayrshiresciengfest.tumblr.com/ March 01-15. £5,000