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Norwich Science Festival: Events not to be missed

PUBLISHED: 06:00 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:54 17 October 2017

Norwich Science festival 2017 launch at The Forum. Photo: Simon Finlay

Norwich Science festival 2017 launch at The Forum. Photo: Simon Finlay

Simon Finlay

A special celebration of science is taking place in Norwich this month.

Astronaut Helen Sharman.  Picture: Matthew Horwood Astronaut Helen Sharman. Picture: Matthew Horwood

With nine fully-packed days of events and activities for people of all ages - the Norwich Science Festival returns for a second year from October 21 to 29.

With an array of talks, shows and hands-on science fun across the city, budding scientists will be able to learn more on the weird and wonderful aspects of science.

Events range from children’s workshops to After Hours events, for adults only to delve into the science behind some of their favourite tipples and comedy performances.

There is still time to get tickets, so here are some of the events not to be missed.

Helen Sharman will share her out of this word experience. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Helen Sharman will share her out of this word experience. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Here we feature some of the highlights of the festival.

Norwich Science Festival is co-ordinated by The Forum, with headline sponsorship from Anglian Water. For more about festival events, and tickets, visit www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk or pick up the festival brochure at The Forum and other venues around Norfolk.

Helen Sharman: Britain’s First Astronaut

The wonders of space and the universe have fascinated many of the best minds on the planet - but only a select few with ever have the opportunity to venture out into the cosmos.

Mark Thompson explores the wonders of science. Picture: Steve Ullathorne Mark Thompson explores the wonders of science. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

One of those who has left our atmosphere is Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman OBE. She will be coming to the fine city as part of the Norwich Science Festival, giving a talk on how she became an astronaut and what it is like to look down at the earth.

At the time she was a chemist for a chocolate company but, driving home from work one day, she heard an advertisement on her car radio: “Astronaut wanted: no experience necessary.”

As 13,000 people applied for the job, Ms Sharman didn’t think she stood a chance of being chosen.

But she was exactly the right person – calm, practical, friendly, professional and a team player, with a background in science and an aptitude for languages.

Nick Crane investigates how the British landscape was created. Picture: Peter Eason Nick Crane investigates how the British landscape was created. Picture: Peter Eason

She became the first British person in space in May 1991, when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and spent eight days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station.

Discover her journey into space as she describes the meticulous training and preparation, learning Russian, the launch and landing, how weightlessness feels, her science experiments, and adjusting to life back on Earth.

Awarded the OBE in 1993, Helen Sharman is a full-time scientist, pioneer, and STEM ambassador.

The first 20 people to book the Early Bird ticket enjoy a special meet and greet with Helen after the show, including the opportunity to get a signed photograph.

Ben Garrod looks at what really makes humans stand out. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Ben Garrod looks at what really makes humans stand out. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Thursday, October 26, 2pm to 4pm, Norwich Cathedral, Tickets £18, £12 concessions.

Spectacular Science Show With Mark Thompson

Prepare to experience science like you have never seen it before as Mark Thompson shows you the wonders of the strange and magical properties of matter, with exploding elephant’s toothpaste, vortex generating dustbins, dancing paste, vanishing beakers and even exploding Pringle tubes.

The TV astronomer and author has been enthralling audiences for over 20 years with his fascinating journeys around the universe.

See through the eyes of different animals with Lizzie Daly. Picture: Bethan Knapper See through the eyes of different animals with Lizzie Daly. Picture: Bethan Knapper

Now he is turning his infectious enthusiasm to things a little closer to home with this spectacular show.

Mark has inspired millions of viewers to get out and enjoy the night sky through programmes such as BBC Stargazing Live, The One Show, This Morning and Good Morning Britain.

Spectacular Science Show With Mark Thompson, Wednesday, October 25, 2pm-3pm, Norwich Cathedral, tickets £12, £8.

The Making of the British Landscape by Nicholas Crane

Ben Garrod is hosting a talk about dinosaurs. Picture: Norwich Science Festival Ben Garrod is hosting a talk about dinosaurs. Picture: Norwich Science Festival

Norfolk has some of the best landscapes in the country. But how much is known about how the winding rivers were made and what affect people have had on the countryside?

The British landscape has sustained human life for more than 12,000 years - being transformed from a European peninsula of ice to an island full of cities and life.

Writer and presenter Nicholas Crane will be talking about how the landscape has changed through time and what will happen as the country moves to a more sustainable future.

The talk will feature a mix of photography, maps and videos including drone flights above the British landscape.

Mr Crane is known for his work with the BBC including Coat, Map Man, and Great British Journeys.

The Making of the British Landscape by Nicholas Crane, Sunday, October 22, 7pm-8pm, Norwich School Blake Studio, tickets £12, £8 concessions.

What Defines Humans? With Ben Garrod

It has long been known that humans are closely related to apes and our monkey cousins. The use of tools and complex thinking has allowed humans to develop.

But how much have humans changed since their monkey counter-parts? What Defines Humans? With Ben Garrod takes a light-hearted look at this in his talk at the Norwich Science Festival.

Looking at the similarities between how humans and apes use tools in both war and play, how different really are humans?

The evolutionary biologist and great ape conservationist has presented a number of radio and TV programmes including Hyper Evolution: Rise of the Robots, The Day the Dinosaurs Died, and Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur.

Wednesday, October 25, 4pm-5pm, Norwich School Blake Studio, tickets £10, £6 concessions.

What Is It Like To Be A...With Lizzie Daly

Have you ever wished that you could see the world through the eyes of an animal?

Now you can at What Is It Like To Be A...With Lizzie Daly. The wildlife and children’s presenter will put audiences in the paws of different animals as they see the world through from their point of view.

Experience some of the animal world’s most interesting signals, discovering how prey is able to sense that a predator is near and many more.

She will need the help of the audience to understand how a species really lives and get behind what drives animals to behave how they do.

Lizzie Daly has presented for The Lets Go Club on CBeebies and currently presents for BBC Earth Unplugged.

What Is It Like To Be A...With Lizzie Daly, Thursday, October 26, 5.30pm-6.30pm. The Forum’s Auditorium. Tickets £5.

X-Rated Science

Explore the adult side of science as TV scientists Dallas Campbell, Lizzie Daly, Adam Rutherford and Ben Garrod explore the world of animal reproduction.

Grab your favourite pint or tremendous tipple and explore the fascinating and weird world of animal sex.

This adult only event will have you gasping, giggling and possibly squirming, as the panel presents the science of the ins and outs of how animals reproduce.

Get all those questions that have plagued your mind for years answered, like do honey bees’ testicles really explode? Is mouse sperm really bigger than elephant sperm? And why do insects eat their partners?

Do not believe everything you hear though. As the panel will be throwing curveballs to try to catch you out. Can you decipher the fact from the fiction?

X-Rated Science, Thursday, October 26, 8.30pm-10.30pm in The Forum’s Atrium. Tickets £7, 16+ only.

So you Think you Know about Dinosaurs?! With Ben Garrod

Dinosaurs are some of the most incredible animals to walk the Earth. With more fossils found every year we are learning more and more about these ancient creatures. But how much do you really know?

Families will get chance to put their dino-knowledge to TV scientist Ben Garrod. With the help of TV film footage and photos of his own dinosaur digs. What he does not know about dinosaurs is not worth knowing.

The interactive show will give children the chance to ask questions and show off their dinosaur knowledge to the audience. Mr Garrod’s assistant will roam the auditorium with a microphone and take questions from as many children as possible, talking about the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet that, 65 million years ago, would have been walking around our fine city.

Monday, October 23, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm,Norwich Playhouse. Tickets £10, £8 concessions.

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