Manchester Science Festival #msf16

It’s been a busy few weeks, so I am only just getting a chance to write more about the Manchester Science Festival. I saw the fantastic BBC Natural History talk at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), as mentioned in my last post, and made an effort to see a number of other events and exhibitions.

Story Collider was an interesting event, where speakers told stories of their interactions with science in their lives and careers. It was a mixed bag, a few fascinating and funny tales interspersed with one boring story and one talk that was more of a personal statement than a ‘story’ per se.

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I popped in to the Virtual Reality exhibition at MOSI on my lunch break one day. It was teeming with people (well, children mostly), so I only had time to check out one of the VR games. It was a fairly simple roller coaster simulator (headset only, no movement), but it was great. Even without feeling the motion you’d expect from the ride, my brain was half tricked into thinking it was real.

I had a look at the Mesh exhibition of 3D printed fine art sculpture, at the Manchester School of Art. There were some beautiful intricate designs, and all the pieces were made more interesting by their unusual composition but I would have also liked more information about the process.

Extinction or Survival? Was launched during the festival but is on until the 20th of April 2017 at Manchester Museum. The exhibition focuses on examples of human influenced species decline, extinction or survival, and the actions to help those species. There’s some interesting specimens on display but it is definitely an exhibition for children, not highly educated conservation biologists!

I headed upstairs at the museum to see Animal kingdom: Stereoscopic images of natural history. This understated exhibition consisted of wall mounted images, each with a viewer on a shelf underneath. When viewed through these, the side by side double images looked almost 3D. It was a peculiar but interesting exhibit. Even without the photographic trickery, the images of museum specimens were fascinating.

I’ve been a fan of the science festival for years, so it was great to have the time to attend a few events this year. It doesn’t interest me just because I love science, but also from a science communication standpoint; to see how the various events are run, and how different venues and organisers engage with the public.

 

 

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