By Laurence Townsend
The Brighton Science Festival ended yesterday, after a weekend packed with activity and talks by big names, such as Ben Goldacre of Bad Science fame, brought the over three-and-a-half week series of events to a close.
The festival, which started on the 6th of February with a talk by the Guardian science correspondent Ian Sample on the story behind the search for the Higgs boson, went on to include numerous workshops, planned activities and talks from leading scientific thinkers.
Of the nearly 40 scheduled events over the 26 days, the range of topics was incredibly wide. Members of the public could attend shows on theoretical zombie outbreaks, the science of sex, the discovery of DNA, forensic techniques and the science behind supposed supernatural phenomena.
The festival’s director, Richard Robinson, has likened each of the topics that a non-scientific audience will at least initially easily be engaged by to “a worm on a hook and the hook is the science that goes behind it”.
Although Saturday and Sunday saw talks from Ben Goldacre and Richard Wiseman respectively, the end of the festival was not all about the big names either. Even shoppers wandering in Brighton’s Churchill Square were treated to a flash mob of A-level chemistry students showing off their most visual varieties of experiments (pictured above).
Sandra Clinton, the teacher who organised the flash mob, said that she was really pleased with the public response and that the students who took part enjoyed the opportunity to share the enthusiasm for their chosen subject. 13-year-old Oliver Lifford from Worthing thought the flash mob’s bubble experiment in particular was a “complete surprise” that was “funny to see”.