Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sneak preview: Arty events at the Cambridge Science Festival

University of Cambridge Science Festival, 11 - 26 March 2013

Source:  Festival brochure cover by Tim Parker.

Plan ahead and pre-book!  Choose from hundreds of events at the Cambridge Science Festival whose guest director this year is Benedict Cumberbatch.  I have picked out for you the best of the art-related science events.  So have fun choosing how arty you want your science to be this March!

Visual arts

Map it
Kettle's Yard. Free drop-in.  12-24 March 2013 (but closed on Mondays), 11.30-5 pm. 
Wales-based artist Anne-Mie Melis will a family-friendly photomontage to encourage you to find your own connections between art and science.

Caught on camera:  engineering in action
Michaelhouse Café, Trinity St.  Free exhibition.  11-23 March (closed on 17th).  8 am - 5 pm.
Entries from the photography competition at the Department of Engineering.

Science and the Renaissance printing press: a fruitful encounter
Cambridge University Library, Morison Room. Free talk. Wed, 13 March, 5-6 pm. Pre-book here.
View some of the earliest scientific incunabula from the library's collections.  Medical, astronomical, astrological and mathematical books were illuminated by hand and decorated with woodcut illustrations.

While you're in the Morison Room, use the opportunity to look at the stonecarved letterwork by the Kindersley workshop, displayed on the walls.

The American woodsman: John James Audubon and The Birds of America
Cambridge University Library, Morison Room.  Free talk. Mon, 18 March, 5-6 pm.Pre-book here.
Learn about and view The Birds of America by the French-born naturalist John James Audubon, one of the most lavish plate books ever produced (first published 1827-39).

White Gyrfalcons, by J.J. Audubon.  Source: Wikipedia.

A goodly spring of flowers: early botanical books in Cambridge University Library
Cambridge University Library, Morison Room.  Free talk. Wed, 20 March, 5-6 pm. Pre-book here.
Learn about early botanical books, from 15th-century herbals illustrated with woodcuts to elaborate 18th-century plate books.

Biological design:  the history and future of plant architecture
Sainsbury Laboratory Auditorium, 47 Bateman St.  Free talk. Wed, 13 March, 7.30-8.30 pm.Pre-book here.
A talk about the history of plant architecture but the main arty reason to go is that you'll get the chance to peek into the award-winning Sainsbury Lab (normally closed to the public).  Find out what's great about the Sainsbury Lab in my blog post here.

The science behind conservation:  caring for museum collections
Fitzwilliam Museum.  Free talk and tour. Fri, 15 March, 2-4 pm.Pre-book here.
Peek behind the scenes of the Fitz and find out about conserving artefacts, saving them from the effects of daily life, from sunlight to pests.

Imagination: the door to identity
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Downing Site, Downing Street. Free talk.  Sat, 16 March, 11 am-12 pm.
Behavioural psychologist Nicky Clayton and artist Clive Wilkins explore the nature of imagination.  Read details on a previous version of this talk.

Source:  Festival brochure cover.  Detail.

St John's College and the physical sciences
St John's College, St John's St, Old Library.  Free exhibition. Sat, 16 March, 11 am - 4.30 pm.Pre-book here.
An exhibition of college members to science but the main arty reason for visiting is the chance to wander around the Old Library (opened in 1628), admire its Jacobean Gothic architecture and its Victorian stained-glass windows.

My life as a dinosaur fanatic
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing St.  Free talk. Thurs, 21 March, 6.30-7.30 pm. Private view of artwork from 6 pm. Pre-book here.
The internationally renowned palaeoartist Bob Nicholls talks about his life as a professional dinosaur artist and fanatic.  

Leviathan (Jurassic), © Bob Nicholls.  Source:

Malaria: perspectives from art, science and  history
St John's College, St John's St, Castlereagh Room.  Free talk. Fri, 22 March, 7.30-8.30 pm. Pre-book here.
Artist Deborah Robinson explores the world of malaria research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.  Speakers from the arts, genetics research and medical history discuss their experiences of malaria.

Poetry in the museum

Step inside
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), Downing St.  Free poetry performance. Tues, 19 March, 7.30-8.30 pm. Pre-book here.
Poets-in-residence Daljit Nagra (MAA), Ann Gray (Botanic Garden) and Jo Shapcott (Polar Museum) present highlights of their work, inspired by Cambridge museums and collections.
Click on their names to read a poem by each.

Films beyond the movie theatre

Travelling Salesman
Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Rd. Screening. £5.50. Thurs, 14 March, 6.30-8.15 pm. Pre-book here.
See the award-winning indie film Travelling Salesman about four brilliant mathematicians.

Arctic film week: voices from the north
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse (in partnership with the Cambridge Film Trust and the Polar Museum). Screenings. 17-24 March. Pre-book here.
A series of films by and about the Arctic Inuit of Canada.

The illustrations for the Festival brochure and website are by Tim Parker who graduated from the Cambridge School of Art last year.  Click here to visit Tim's tumblr blog.

Read the entire programme of events at the Science Festival website.
All the info above is from the Science Festival brochure (also available at the website).

Have a lovely arty (and 'sciencey') Sunday!

Source: Festival brochure.  Illustration: Tim Parker. 

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