UWE Scientists take Einstein to Glastonbury

Issue date: 16 June 2005


UWE scientists take Einstein to Glastonbury

The Graphic Science Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol will take physics to the Glastonbury Music Festival in June 2005.

The team of enthusiastic young scientists will bring ‘Einstein to Glastonbury’ by performing compelling science tricks and demonstrations designed to be thought provoking and fun.

Dr Karen Bultitude, who is leading the project, said, “There will be a strong musical element to the performances to reflect the nature of the Festival, with engaging music-related tricks - such as a simple music amplifier or a didgeridoo made of plastic tubing - to demonstrate that you don’t need a lab coat or a PhD to enjoy the fun of physics.”

The audience will be encouraged to participate by recording their personal opinions and experiences of physics at Glastonbury and contributing to a visual display.

The team was awarded a grant from the Institute of Physics and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) to set up camp at the Festival. ‘Einstein at Glastonbury’ is a project intended to make festival-goers as passionate about physics as they are about music.

The project is part of Einstein Year - a celebration of the centenary of Einstein publishing his three major papers. It will contribute to the Institute of Physics’ aim of raising the profile of physics with young people and those who influence them.

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Editor’s Notes:

The Graphic Science Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol is an internationally acclaimed science communication consultancy. They spend their time devising projects to raise the public awareness of science in novel and entertaining ways. This project builds on the Unit’s extensive experience of drawing on the ambience of familiar venues such as motorways, pubs and supermarkets to engage the public with science. Einstein at Glastonbury will extend the successes of their previous events to include a music festival environment.

Einstein Year is a year-long celebration of physics and its relevance to all our lives. Marking the centenary of Einstein’s three ground-breaking ideas it communicates the vital role physics plays in developing new technologies like cancer screening equipment and mobile phones, whilst addressing big questions such as how the Universe was created and how climate change can be tackled.

Einstein Year is here - be inspired by physics in 2005. www.einsteinyear.org

The Institute of Physics is a leading international professional body and learned society with over 37,000 members, which promotes the advancement and dissemination of a knowledge of and education in the science of physics, pure and applied. It has a world-wide membership and is a major international player in:
• scientific publishing and electronic dissemination of physics;
• setting professional standards for physicists and awarding professional qualifications;
• promoting physics through scientific conferences, education and science policy advice
The Institute is a member of the Science Council, and a nominated body of the Engineering Council. The Institute works in collaboration with national physical societies and plays an important role in transnational societies such as the European Physical Society and represents British and Irish physicists in international organizations. In Great Britain and Ireland the Institute is active in providing support for physicists in all professions and careers, encouraging physics research and its applications, providing support for physics in schools, colleges and universities, influencing government and informing public debate.

NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) investing in innovators and working to improve the climate for creativity in the UK.

Established in 1998 and set up with an endowment from the National Lottery (£200 million, raised in 2003 to £250 million), NESTA invests the interest to support UK innovation. Since May 2000, when the programmes first opened, NESTA has spent over £58m on programmes supporting 624 awards. Visit www.nesta.org.uk to find out more.

NESTA has a dedicated Media Room on its web site where news releases like this are easily available and where journalists can subscribe to receive any future releases. Other information, including high-resolution images to download and Communications contact details, are also available at www.nesta.org.uk/mediaroom

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