I arrived at the Celebrate Science marquee bright and early for the start of Day 2, giving myself time to soak up the atmosphere of excitement and nervous anticipation amongst the exhibitors before we opened the doors again to the public at 10am. We had had a great start to the event on Day 1, and were hoping that we would enjoy more of the same boundless curiosity, inspiring imagination and thought-provoking discussions today. We were not disappointed!
By 10am the public were knocking on the door, eager to come inside, explore new ideas and share their experiences. Following on from the great crowd of visitors we had on Day 1, we had more than 1,000 visitors again on Day 2, and a very busy lunchtime with more than 300 people visiting between noon and 1pm.
In addition to all the activities taking place in the marquee, we are running a series of Keynote events over the 3 days, all of which are supported by exhibits within the marquee. On Day 1 we hosted a virtual autopsy, conducted by pathologist Dr. Mitul Sharma from University Hospital North Durham, which was very popular with the local school students who attended; they kept Dr. Sharma very busy with probing questions!
This evening, Dr. Karen Johnson from Durham University’s School of Engineering and Computer Sciences will be discussing Dirty Stuff: What rocks and soils have done for us! And finally, tomorrow, Dr. Steve Robertson, also from Durham University’s School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, will be discussing Bikes in Bits: Why your bike does what it does. The Keynote events provide an alternative way of exploring subjects with the wider public, expanding on ideas that have been introduced in the marquee, and challenging our Keynote scientists to consider new ways of thinking about and discussing their own passions.
We have all had a very stimulating couple of days; our exhibitors are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of new ideas and looking forward to finding out what tomorrow may bring!
Paula Martin is Science Outreach Co-ordinator for Durham University.