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Research the Fringe 2017

by on 2017/08/04

Dear readers, as it’s August again we would like to welcome you to another roundup of research related shows on at the various festivals hosted in Edinburgh this month. These include the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, its more prestigious elder, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the Edinburgh International TV Festival. As we have done in previous years (2014, 2015) we would like to provide suggestions for research-related shows and events for any Research the Headlines readers who may be visiting Edinburgh this month.

First off, the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CoDI) returns to Edinburgh for another year. The shows are every day from the 4-27 August at Venue 7, New Town Theatre. Highlights include: our own Alan Gow who asks “What Keeps You Sharp?” on 15 and 19 August; Rachel Hosker discusses “Alternative Facts: Is the Truth in the Archives?” on 7 and 22 August; Adam Stevens explores the question “Are Aliens Coming to Eat Your Face?” on 13 August; and returning for the third time, Clare Taylor, Pam Cameron and Frances M Lynch, say that “Women, Science Is Not For You: III” on 11 and 25 August. Tickets for the afternoon shows at CoDI are £8 (£6 concession) and £9 (£7) for evening shows.

The Edinburgh Skeptics Society are again running a series of talks and events during the Festival as part of PBH’s Free Fringe. All the shows take place in the Banshee Labyrinth (over 18 only) starting at 7.50pm each day between 5 and 27 August. Talks are unticketed and free but as with all free fringe events, donations are welcome to help cover costs. The topics are very wide ranging as usual including:

Clinical psychologist Neil Frude explores “The Future of Desire” on 4-5 and 7-12 August, at Venue 236, Greenside @ Infirmary Street. This promises: “A hilarious romp through the past and (robotic?) future of love, lust and gluttony, by the award-winning psychologist who stimulated the Sun headline ‘Boffin says we will bonk with robots.’” Tickets are £5 (£3 concession) for previews on 4-5 August, £8 (£5) with 2-for-1 on 7-8, and £8 (£5) otherwise.

If you like your festival with a touch of C2H5-OH then you can study gin or beer at this year’s fringe. Edinburgh Gin are exploring the Art and Science of Gin each day of the festival except Mondays, in Venue 509, 99 Hanover St. They promise an interactive sensory experience including sampling of Edinburgh’s favourite spirit (don’t tell the Whisky people!). There are three sessions each day at 1.30pm, 3.00pm and 4.30pm, and tickets are £20. If beer is more your thing then you can visit Barney’s Beer at Summerhall (Venue 26) for a Brewery tour, Thursday-Sunday during the festival. The tour starts at 5pm each day and costs £8 (£6.50 concession).

If musical theatre is more your thing you can learn about the “Scottish Superwomen of Science” with 2016 Fringe award-winner Frances M Lynch, celebrating breakthroughs by Scottish women scientists in genetics, geology, computing, engineering, astronomy, marine biology, mobile phones, and other fields. This takes place at Venue 67 (Valvona & Crolla), at various times and dates throughout the Festival. There is an audio described show on the 17th including a Touch Tour of the costumes and props, as well as a BSL signed show on the 11th. Tickets £10 or £8 for concessions.

In a similar vein, “Alice and the Black Hole Blues” is a theatre piece imagining that Lewis Carrol’s Alice falls through a black hole and meets five visionaries (Hypatia, Marie Curie, Vera Rubin, Rosalind Franklin and Lise Meitner) who challenge societal assumptions about women and science. The show is at Venue 295, Central Hall, on 14 and 16-18 August, at various times and tickets are £5.

The War of the Currents between Nikola Tesla (yay!) and Thomas Edison (boo!) is explored in the play “Edison” by the Static Assembly group. This runs every day from 4-27 of August at Venue 82, ZOO Southside, at 5.45pm and tickets are £10 (£8 concessions) with cheaper previews and 2-for-1 offers on some dates.

Science and magic collide in the show “Anti-Gravity” by Magic Circle member Kevin Quantum: “Enter a space where the rules of gravity are bent and broken…” The show is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14), 4-27 August (not 14th) at 4.30pm, ticket prices vary but there are family discounted tickets available.

In “Seriously Funny”, comedians are joined on stage by Edinburgh’s researchers to explore local and global issues of healthcare, gender identity and current politics. This will be on at the Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) on 11, 18 and 25 August, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5.

As usual during the Festival, the National Museum of Scotland (Venue 179) will be running their “Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover” events on the 11, 18 and 25 August. The events run from 7.30-10.30pm each evening and cost £18 (£16 concession or for NMS members). Tickets usually sell fast for these events so be quick.

The University of Edinburgh has recently re-opened their museum of historic musical instruments at St Cecilia’s Hall (Venue 77). This fascinating exhibition is open Tuesday-Saturday during the festival from 10.00am and is free entry.

If you want something to entertain and educate the kids, there are a number of science related shows for children during the fringe:

In addition, the BBC have a number of different free events and activities for younger visitors in the Pagoda Tent on their site in the grounds of George Heriot’s School. These include a look at Volcanoes with the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geoscience, Ancient Egyptian Tombs with the National Museum of Scotland, Extreme Environments with Our Dynamic Earth, and many more.

UPDATE: The BBC are hosting a show by the Edinburgh Bright Club (comedy by researchers) on August 12th at 18.30. Tickets available free from the BBC Info Point.

As we did in previous years, we would ask any readers who would like to suggest events we’ve missed to tell us in the comments below. If you’re in Edinburgh in August please enjoy yourselves and we hope it doesn’t rain too much!

With huge thanks to Stewart Smith for a great job in compiling our Research the Fringe post for 2017!

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