Submitted by Lucinda Spokes on Fri, 31/03/2017 - 14:47
After a wonderful two weeks of science, 301 events and over 60,000 visits, the Cambridge Science Festival is finished for another year.
The theme of this year’s Festival was ‘Getting personal’. This gave our scientists lots of scope to talk in length about health and disease, our current understanding of antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, cancer, diet and exercise.
In one of the Festival's most popular events Professor Mark Caulfield and Dr David Bentley outlined the 100,000 genome project, which aims to revolutionise our ability to treat very rare diseases, to a packed lecture theatre.
“Really good to see and hear two high profile genetic experts talk so enthusiastically about their work and the exciting potential future of genetics and gene based medicine. Much more satisfying for me to be there, seeing it live rather than watching online or in writing. Thank you”
'Odd behaviours, strange ideas and the immune system' with Professor Alasdair Coles and Professor Belinda Lennox, was a fascinating discussion between a neurologist and a psychiatrist on a new treatment for some forms of psychosis which has already improved the lives of many people.
With a live ‘dead’ body on stage, Dr Suzy Lishman presented the stages of an autopsy and the signs pathologists look for to determine the cause of death.
"This was by far the best lecture I have attended for many years. It was interesting, informative and brilliantly presented. If I had attended such a lecture in my youth I would probably have opted to study medicine and pathology."
The Festival theme also allowed us to cover the science of climate change, and also our roles, responsibilities and how we can live sustainably. We were particularly delighted to welcome Cambridge Science Festival Patron and Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees to the Festival as a panellist on the Cambridge Climate Series lecture ‘From COP21 to zero global emissions’.
Looking much further afield, Dr Amaury Triaud discussed exoplanets and our search for potentially habitable planets linking this to his recent discovery of a system of seven potentially habitable planets orbiting a star 39 light years away from us.
The Science Festival also provided many wonderful opportunities for children to engage with science and get hands-on! From testing fake urine to discovering how stars go supernova, from a teddy bear hospital to the science of earthquakes, from whales and brains to fractals, we had it all!
Science Festival Coordinator, Dr Lucinda Spokes concluded “The Festival was a fantastic opportunity to share some of the best science Cambridge has to offer. Around 1000 Cambridge scientists – from research students to our most senior academics took part over the two weeks, presenting hundreds of events which were open to everyone and almost all free. We’re all a little exhausted but planning for the 2018 Festival starts after Easter and we’re excited about this already!”