Islands' Dimension for this year's Orkney Science Festival
18 August 2011
The islands are to the fore in this
year's Orkney International Science Festival, which gets under way
in two weeks' time. Six islands have packages of events featuring
speakers and activities.
island dimension has come about through Scotland's Islands, which
has provided support for the Festival programme to expand from the
mainland in the Year of Scotland's Islands.
is a weekend of activities in North Ronaldsay, where three expert
astronomers will introduce the sights of dark island skies, and in
Stronsay where a new theory of sea serpents will be revealed by an
expert on the Loch Ness Monster.
Eday, there will be an evening on the story of Eday peat and Scotch
whisky, and an evening on the latest developments in marine
Westray will feature an evening on Arctic exploration
and a presentation of the latest news on the genetics of Orcadians,
together with a heritage tour.
Gable End Theatre in Lyness will feature a triple bill of speakers,
with topics ranging from Svalbard to island geology. An evening in
the Hoy Kirk on underwater archaeology is timed to enable mainland
visitors to travel there and back by ferry.
Sanday, the final one of the highly successful Soulkas will join
the Festival with a theme of wildlife and
unable to travel will be able to enjoy various island topics
amongst the mainland events.
Island food and drink will be featured at a variety of
events, in the islands themselves and at mainland
Topics in the overall Festival programme vary from
archaeology - with new information on the first Orcadians 10,000
years ago - to the Arctic, with stories of early explorers and
modern developments in shipping.
will be reports on the progress of wave and tide power, on efforts
to conserve skate, and on research with stem cells for medical
treatment. There will be insights into superconductivity, and the
story of the world's oldest musical instrument - with a replica
scale will vary from comets in the Solar System to the billions of
tiny yeast cells and bacteria who hold the key to making alcohol
and its associated flavours.
Speakers will include an astronomer from the Royal
Observatory in Greenwich, one of the world's leading
oceanographers, and one of Britain's leading science fiction
writers, who will open the Festival on Thursday 1
Venues will include St Magnus Cathedral and Skaill
House, as well as the Earl's and Bishop's Palaces. The Pier Arts
Centre in Stromness is the setting for two sessions on art and
science in the work of Margaret Tait, with a showing of several
short films including some rare footage.
Year of Scotland's Islands aims to raise the profile of the islands
across the UK and internationally, attract more visitors, bolster
economic development and strengthen links between the islands and
mainland cultural organisations. The programme, which includes over
140 events across 42 isles, showcases the music, arts, food, sport,
history and heritage of the islands, as well as highlighting their
unique beauty as visitor destinations.
details of the Orkney Science Festival events are given in the
printed programme and on the Festival website www.oisf.org,
with tickets bookable online through the website and from the
Tourist Offices in Kirkwall and Stromness.