Seeing is believing at Science Week

Tuesday 4 March 2008

A telescope at the University observatory.

Cn txt spk tell u nething about dyslexia?  What would you have looked like if you were born a member of the opposite sex?  Why are we fooled by visual illusions and can I really believe my eyes?

These questions – and many more – will be explored when National Science and Engineering Week is celebrated with an interactive festival in St Andrews from 8th to 15th March.

University students and staff will welcome visitors to the worlds of psychology, science and technology with a series of scientific displays and demonstrations.  All events are free, fun, hands-on and suitable for all the family.

The week will kick-off with a Science Discovery Day on Saturday 8th March, held in the School of Physics and Astronomy on the North Haugh.  Activities will include observing the night sky in the middle of the day, examining the way that apes communicate, getting up close to bugs in river mud, stepping inside a giant bubble, listening to a talking plant cells and exploring everyday psychological effects.

All events demonstrate how widely science influences the world we live in and will run from 10 am to 3 pm.National Science and Engineering Week 2008 logo

Dean of Science, Dr Alyson Tobin, said, “Scientists at the University of St Andrews have made a number of exciting breakthroughs, from the identification of potential targets for Alzheimer’s treatments, to the discovery of new planets.

“At a time when global issues, such as climate change and the spread of human diseases, are of particular concern, it is especially important for scientists to share their knowledge with a wider audience. The British Association’s National Science and Engineering Week is an ideal opportunity for us to do so.”

On Saturday night, the University’s Astronomical Observatory will be open for ‘Star Gazing’ from 7 pm to 9 pm.  Visitors will have the opportunity to see two teaching telescopes including the largest working telescope in the UK and interact with professional astronomers to see simulations of stars forming.

On March 15th, The Bell Pettigrew Museum will be open from 12 noon to 5 pm.  Visitors can come and find out about exhibitions and specimens from throughout the world including extinct species such as the Tasmanian Wolf and other rare birds and mammals.

Other activities during the week include a special Geoscience seminar on the theme of “Climate, energy and actions: one vision of a Scottish future”, and a training event for secondary school pupils on using GPS systems to monitor environment change, marking the start of a year long programme linking the School of Geography and Geoscience with local schools.  Limited spaces are still available.  For booking, contact Dr Ruth Robinson on 01334 463940 or [email protected]

Full details are listed on the University website or via


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, mobile 07730 415 015, or email [email protected]
Ref:  NSW 040308
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