05 February 2010
Starting on 12th February, the Brighton Science Festival is a fortnight devoted to the incredible discoveries that followed the founding of the Royal Society.
Celebrating 350 years of the Society and its motto ('Nullius in verba', roughly translated as 'Take nobody's word for it'), Festival organizer Richard Robinson tells us more and invites you to take part:
“The founding of the Royal Society marked the end of the old superstitions and the beginning of the new science. What a revelation it was when Newton proved that the laws of physics which applied on Earth also worked throughout the heavens. The whole Universe was a great, big, incredible machine.
Some of the incredible machines (scientific models) that Newton made will be on display at our Family Fun weekend, recreated and demonstrated by Jonathan Hare. And your whole family can have a go at making things, from bees homes to wind turbines to cars to spaghetti towers. Two incredible days to kick off your half term at the start of the Festival, Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 February.
The Big Science Weekend, ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’, (Saturday 27 - Sunday 28 February), will reveal that all the complexities of life, from the snapdragon’s flower to the chanting of a football crowd, is due to a few simple biological processes. Even evolution is an incredible machine.
The Royal Society’s motto (‘Take nobody’s word for it’) was a challenge to make us all sit up and think. At the Festival we find a healthy skepticism all over town. Robert Winston wonders whether many of the inventions we celebrate were all that clever really; Polly Toynbee addresses the government’s inability to be advised by its own science advisers. In a pub near you people will be 'taking nobody's word for it' through the fortnight: Skeptics-in-the-Pub, Philosophy-in-Pubs, the Catalyst Club, Café Scientifique, all encourage debate about what is right and what is wrong. Incredible indeed!”