Space, sex and other stories discussed at Cambridge Science Festival 2015

Cambridge Science Festival runs from March 9-22 at venues across the city.

Cambridge Science Festival runs from March 9-22 at venues across the city. - Credit: Archant

What would it be like if the human mission to Mars disappeared without a trace?

This is the scenario envisaged by multimedia sci-fi thriller ‘Pioneer’ at this year’s Cambridge Science Festival – one of nearly 300 varied events put on at venues right across the city from March 9-22.

If you’re concerned you won’t make the shortlist of Mars One, you can live it all here at the festival, as theatre company in residence, curious directive ensemble, shuttles you to the ‘red planet’ in their 2029 exploration.

And space travel is not the only mind-bending possibility on offer over the fortnight. ‘Engineering our climate’ will offer a possible solution to the challenges posed by climate change, with a talk delivered by Dr Hugh Grant on solar radiation management.

“If particles can be delivered into the stratosphere at an altitude of 20km, emulating the effects of a large volcanic eruption, then global cooling of about two degrees Celsius could be achieved,” said Dr Hunt, who will speak about the novel engineering challenges the solution poses.


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Fitting in well with UNESCO Year of Light, there will also be events recreating famous experiments leading to our understanding of light and colour, showing how light technologies are changing our understanding of biological processes and looking in depth at LEDs and the science behind the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics.

One of these will consider the emerging technologies that help generate power to meet our increasing demand for energy, with a prototype solar hub to be unveiled in the first week of the festival at the Botanic Garden.

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And in case that doesn’t sound stimulating enough, festival favourite Professor David Spiegelhalter will be entertaining his audience with ‘Sex by Numbers: Statistics of our Intimate Lives’. The renowned statistician explores the findings of the latest survey on British sexual behaviour, as well as looking back to old parish registers going back to 1580, when the proportion of brides who were pregnant when they got married was somewhat higher than you might imagine.

Some events are free; others vary. To take your pick of the great events on offer and book tickets, go to sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk.

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