Explosions, bongo boots and stand-up comedy, Aberdeen Techfest’s public programme is our annual reminder that science isn’t restricted to stuffy chemistry classrooms. This year’s line-up promises to provide the answers to the questions you never thought to ask, from how the balloon house in Up would work to what happens behind the scenes at a firework display.
Foxdog Studios: Tomorrow’s Office
Fresh off a successful Edinburgh Fringe run, Foxdog Studios – IT consultants by day; comedians by night – return to Aberdeen. The pair take you through their weird and wonderful inventions, from bongo boots to sausage cannons. Make sure to charge up your phone in advance so you can participate to the max.
Monday 16th September at 7.30pm. Tickets available on Eventbrite. £4 / £3 concession.
From Charles Piazzi Smyth to Scottish Spaceport: 200 years of reaching for the stars
With the 50-year anniversary of the moon landings upon us, we’ve been inundated with events/radio shows/lego toys focused on space exploration. Yet this one has a Scottish twist. It links the history of Scottish astronomy to current day developments such as the proposals for the first Scottish spaceports and plans to mine asteroids.
Saturday 21st September at 6pm. Tickets available on Eventbrite. £4 / £3 concession.
Ever wondered whether the science in your favourite movies would actually work? Dr Jonathan Hare of the BBC show Hollywood Science investigates the science and stunts in films such as Waterworld and the Jason Bourne series. And by the end of the night you’ll know for certain whether your dream of floating away in a balloon house like in Up really could come true.
Tuesday 24th September at 6pm. Tickets available on Eventbrite. £4 / £3 concession.
What if after every stand-up show you left feeling that little bit more informed about the world? That’s the aim behind Bright Club, a comedy night with a difference, as university researchers perform sets about their work. But don’t worry – this isn’t some way of forcing you to listen to a PhD student drone on about their research. As their website states, “If the audience don’t feel like they’ve come to a proper comedy night, you’re not doing it right.”
Thursday 26th September at 8.30pm. Free.
Fireworks: Real Science or Just Bangs?
We’ve all seen fireworks before – but do you know how they actually work? Um…there’s dynamite and…that’s all I got. Learn how fireworks can be made colourful or go off at exactly the right time with experienced pyrotechnic Matthew Tosh, whose expertise is such that he was invited to speak at the International Symposium on Fireworks in Japan.
Saturday 28th September ay 2.30pm. Tickets available on Eventbrite. £4 / £3 concession.
And finally - Scot Free Tours
Don’t forget – we are also participating in this year’s Techfest. Our walking tour Science and the City is on Saturday 21st September at 3.30pm. Featuring human stories of scientific innovation, with a whole lot of backstabbing, unethical experiments and Margaret Thatcher’s ex-boyfriend.
Meet outside the entrance to Marischal College. Tour is free. Donations welcomed.
What have you booked to see at Techfest? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below.