Today is the first day of National Science and Engineering Week 2012, an annual event organised by the British Science Association. Last year 1.7m people attended an event and over £1m was generated in press coverage, so it is a major undertaking and this year looks set to be no different with hundreds of events going on all over the country as well as affiliated science festivals. Perhaps surprisingly, London is not one of the six cities with a science festival this week, most likely because of the London Science Festival held in the autumn, but with over a hundred events listed in the region, that doesn’t mean there will be nothing for Londoners to do!
The set-up of the official events calendar is a little difficult to navigate, and when you look more closely at it, you realise the vast majority of the events are actually not specially put on for NSEW, but are short events that happen every week, for example at the Natural History Museum which have merely been collated into one place, or events at London schools, many of which are surely invitation only.
However, when you dig down, there are some gems to be found, and, as always, you can follow the Nature London calendar for the best of the week’s listings. A couple of early highlights:
Scientists and journalists need different things from science. Discuss. A special event at the Royal Institution curated by the Guardian’s Alok Jha. Nature London will be attending and blogging about it, but you can get involved too, by attending on Tuesday 13th at 7pm or by joining the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #riscimedia
Science Question Time: The Nuclear Debate. It’s 2012: can the UK finally have a mature debate on nuclear policy? That’s what Geoff Brumfiel and his panel of guests including representatives from the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Greenpeace want to know. Hosted by the Institute of Physics, 6:30pm on Thursday 15th.
If leaving the house isn’t your thing for next week, you can still be involved in the other side of National Science and Engineering Week: the competition! Each NESW has a theme which this year is “Our World in Motion” and organisers are running a video competition for the best video on that topic. There are different categories, including school children and adults, but all have the same rules: you have 30s of video or animation to explain a scientific idea on that theme. There are some suggestions on the website as well as some videos already uploaded to YouTube, so if you fancy yourself as the next Patrick Moore – get filming!