4 weird and wonderful talks at the Science in the City Festival


With the European City of Science in full-swing in Manchester, the free week-long festival celebrating the wonders of science, Science in the City, begins on Friday 22 July with plenty of family-friendly events to dive into at the start of the summer holidays.

At the Science in the City festival base at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Number 70 Oxford Street, there will be free informal talks, discussions, debates and workshops with scientists and technologists from different disciplines. The Science in the City festival runs alongside the EuroScience Open Forum  and is designed to engage everyone and inspire the next generation of scientists with plenty of events for all ages.

Here are some of the events to look out for:


Exploding Women
Comedy duo LipService explode the myth of women scientists, exploring the lives of five of Manchester’s finest female boffins – Kathleen Drew, queen of seaweed; Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, Rubix cube expert; Caroline Birley, fossil hunter; Marie Stopes, palaeobotanist; and Dame Margaret Beckett, metallurgist. Goggles on and pipettes prepared for a bumper Bunsen burner of an afternoon, which will make you explode with laughter. This performance is BSL interpreted. 23 July  at 1.30

Dramatic Improbable Research Readings
Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel prize, will be joined by special guests to read weird and wonderful prose from Ig Nobel prize winning research papers. Laughs guaranteed.  Among Marc’s special guests will be Brian Schmidt, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, and Elisabeth Oberzaucher, winner of the 2015 Mathematics Ig Nobel Prize! 24 July 1.30pm

Dr Emily Grossman Pic Enna Bartlett
Dr Emily Grossman Pic Enna Bartlett

Dr Emily’s Weird and Wonderful Science Facts
Did you know that you can block a tickle? Or that we share 50% of our DNA with a banana? Would it surprise you to know that pigeons can recognise humans by face? Or that happy cows produce more milk? This family friendly show is jam-packed with fun, educational and surprising facts – along with their explanations – adults, families and children alike are guaranteed to leave amused and amazed. 24 July 3.30 pm

Life as a Superorganism with Jon Turney
Your body hosts as many bacterial cells as human cells. Where do they live, how do they get there, and what do they all do for you? The answers amount to a new view of how we co-exist with microbial life and of each of us as a superorganism.  Learn to love your inner ecosystem! 25 July 5.30pm

As well as the talks and events at Number 70 Oxford Street, over 40 other events will take place at locations across the city during the festival, including Manchester Arndale, Museum of Science and Industry, John Rylands Library, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester Museum, Royal Exchange, Portico Library, Manchester Cathedral, HOME and Central Library.

Other notable events include the Allotment of the Future, showcasing how we might use urban spaces to grow food in the future; Tiny Science, a world of discovery for young ones; and the Human Sensor, the ground-breaking artwork work from Kasia Molga, featuring wearable technology which displays air pollution data,  reflecting the diversity of the programme which aims to make science accessible to all.



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