Linda Gillard’s Celebrate Science Residency is approaching it’s finale at the same time that Durham University scientists are breaking out of the lab and sharing their ideas and their enthusiasm for all things scientific with the general public.
Today was the first day of Celebrate Science: 3 fun-packed and fascinating days of FREE events, activities, workshops, experiments and lectures celebrating science. Children of all ages are invited to join us in a marquee on Palace Green, the heart of Durham’s World Heritage Site.
At one end of the marquee Glassblower Malcolm Richardson wowed the crowds with his amazing craftsmanship and beautiful, delicate glasswork; at the other end PhD student Kirsty McCarrison captivated the crowd with her explanation of how to mummify a banana (or a Barbie doll, depending on your own personal preference).
For me, this is the busiest and most exciting time of year: there is a new cohort of undergraduate students in Durham full of questions and new ideas, and we are taking the plunge and opening ourselves up to explore science with anyone and everyone who wants to join us. It’s exhausting, but exhilarating!
In the midst of all the excitement of the event, I managed to take a well-earned break and catch-up with a group of friends I made through Bookcrossing, the online community of booklovers which first introduced me to Linda Gillard’s work. Although we didn’t have much time to talk about books today, we did cover a wide range of scientific ideas. We discussed everything from kitchen chemistry, natural pigments and dyeing to liquid nitrogen, stargazing and the origins of the Universe.
We had over 200 people visit the marquee in the first hour of Celebrate Science this morning, and saw more than 1,000 visitors over the course of the day. There was an amazing buzz in the air, with families and friends exploring together, making discoveries, and sharing experiences; building happy memories for the future. We all had an amazing time, and can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow!
Paula Martin is Science Outreach Co-ordinator for Durham University.