Celtenham Science Festival

When closing my eyes and thinking about the word ‘festival’, the first thing that appears in my mind is a film theatre. Yes, the first thing that appears in my mind is a film festival.
In June (6th - 11th) I had the chance to attend a different event. It was for the first time in my life to go to a Science Festival.

As the experience was really astonishing, I have to thank Julia Wagner from my Department (CMII, UCL) for posting the news about the festival.  If she would not have sent the event via e-mail, I would have not probably found out about the festival at all. Big thank you, Julia!

Even though I am an artist, I was always passionate about science. Furthermore, between 20th - 21st  of  April 2018 will organise an international interdisciplinary conference along with a public engagement event on comparing and contrasting the use of the moving image as a scientific tool in technology versus its use as an entertainment tool in art.

I thought that my attendance at Cheltenham Science Festival will be really useful for me as well as for my 2018 interdisciplinary conference, and so it was.

Next year, would love to participate as a speaker and share my experience on artscience concept.

                            The Story Of Maths - Cheltenham Science Festival - Amal at Cheltenham Festivals 2017

But why is a Science Festival important and for whom is important for?

When I first stepped into the festival venue, I saw lots of children enjoying the scientific games and tricks – yes, a science festival is a good opportunity for getting children interested in science.
At the workshops and at the presentations I saw many mature people as well as elders taking part at the workshops. The session about The Future of Work, The Brainwash LIVE, Decoding DNA and Healing the   Alzheimer Disease were full of above 50 years old attendees. The science festivals deliver fresh, up to date scientific information and people are very keen to find out more, in order to improve their career path, their life pattern, their health and care.

For instance, I have found out from there that the only mechanism that washes the brain (literally cleaning and healing it) is through lots of good sleep and lots of drinking water! I have learned that keratin is good not only for hair and nails, but for skin too; that eyes and mind can be ‘fooled’ by images shown wisely. For instance, we can ‘see’ moving images, or distorted objects, or imaginary items after our eyes were manipulated in a certain way.

 …That our ears can be also ‘fooled’ through sound, presented in a clever manner. For instance, a sound which changes the rhythm in a specific way may be heard as increasing the volume, even though the sound never changes the volume, but only the rhythm.

At Cheltenham Science Festival I have seen volunteers drinking cerebro-spinal fluid, met the R2D2 robot, tried the worst most expensive jacked potato ever (11 pounds in Cheltenham, when in London, at UCLU is much tastier and 3.50 pounds only).

The festival has many workshops in various areas, from tasting coffee or cheese to a DNA learning session. Each presentation costs between 8 to 15 pounds and lasts between 40 to 80 minutes. As the tickets are most of the time sold out before the event is starting, it is advisable to book your seat earlier, from the Cheltenham Festival website.

The Science Festival Variety  Night was amazing as well, as presenters mixed science with art in a such wonderful manner: bakery with architecture, safety science with acting, maths with comics, physics with music and so on. You must catch this entertaining variety performance at any science festival you attend at!

And hey, the journey from London to Cheltenham and back was amazing too!  Spending so much time in the cosmopolite city of London, I almost forgot how nice is out there in nature, outside the city. I was watching the sheep flocks relaxing on the green fields,  I saw beautiful horses wandering freely on the hills, I saw an immense blue beautiful sky! England is so nice outside the cities!

Most importantly, in Cheltenham, I slept like a baby. There was no noise after 11 PM. Silence and peace is beautiful and so well received!


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