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Research the Fringe 2018

by on 2018/08/01

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 in the next few weeks. 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 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.

The Book Festival, based at Charlotte Square in Edinburgh’s New Town from 11th to 27th of August, has too many individual events of interest to mention them all.  We would like to highlight specific themes with a number of research related talks and workshops, including Mind and Body, Scottish Ideas, and Our Planet and Us.  The last of these strands includes a talk from Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) member and Edinburgh palaeontologist, Steve Brusatte, talking about his new book on the Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs. 

On the Fringe, the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CoDI) returns to Edinburgh for another year.  The shows are every day from the 3rd to the 26th of August at Venue 7, New Town Theatre. Research the Headline’s own Alan Gow returns for a second year to ask “What Keeps You Sharp?” on August 7th and 16th. If you want to find out what all those data protection emails earlier this year actually mean for you, you could do worse than attend “Privacy is Dead, Long Live Privacy!” with Nicola Osborne on August 4th and 15th. All of the CoDI shows promise to be provocative but possibly none more so than “Science is F***ed” with Steven Darling on the 9th and 18th of August.  Tickets for the afternoon shows at CoDI are £9 (£7 concession) and £10 (£8) 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 Skeptics on the Fringe shows take place in the Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156, over 18 only) starting at 7.30pm each day between 4th and 26th of 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: 

In the interest of balance, you could also investigate the other side in this particular culture war during the festival with The Snake Oil Art Show, from August 7-11th at 15.00 at Venue 290, the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre.  This interactive event promises to use art to discuss the “science” of homeopathy.  Tickets are a non-homeopathic £8 (£5 conc.) with 2for1 tickets on the 7th.

Astronomy Victorious!” is the topic of an exhibition at the University of Edinburgh’s Main Library in George Square (Venue 126) for the whole of August, open from 10.00-17.00 each day, free entry.  This includes Copernicus’ 1543 book “On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres”, and charts humanity’s fascination with outer space.

Scientific discoveries (and impending biological threats) may not sound like the most promising subject for musical theatre but the “The Mould That Changed the World” explores the discovery of Penicillin and Alexander Fleming’s prediction of antimicrobial resistance.  The chorus includes eight members of the University of Edinburgh who work in this area and was co-written by Dr Megan Perry, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the Western General Hospital. The show is on at Venue 53, theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, at 17.30 each day between the 3rd and 25th of August (not Sundays), tickets are £10 full price, £8 conc. with child and family tickets also available.

There are a couple of shows this year exploring the (hopefully) funny side of women’s health.  In “Gusset Grippers”, Elaine Miller, physiotherapist, mother and recovered incontinent shares the wonders of the pelvic floor (Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, Venue 76, Aug 1-26, 16.45, £10 (£9))  Then in “Adventures in Menstruating”, Chella Quint talks about “breaking taboos and ending period poverty with ad-busting, craftivism and a bleeding ridiculous conga line.” (Banshee Labyrinth, Venue 156, August 8, Free. 

Magic Circle member and physics fan, Kevin Quantum, “explores the exotic space where science and magic meet” in his new show “Vanishing Point”.  The show is on at Venue 302, Underbelly Bristo Square, August 1st-26th (not 21st) at 18.45, full price tickets are £12.50 (£11 conc.) with cheaper previews and some 2for1 tickets.

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 10th, 17th and 24th of August. The events run from 7.30-10.30pm and cost £18 (£16 concession or for NMS members). Tickets usually sell fast for these events so be quick.  The theme this year is based on the current exhibition on Scottish pop music “Rip It Up” and the ticket price includes entry to the exhibition.

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

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!

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