ASCUS at the 2016 Science Festival

26th of March – 10th April

Over the last few years we have been working with the Edinburgh International Science Festival together with Summerhall to bring you a dynamic visual arts programme. That time of year has returned and this year we are pleased to announce Bio and Beyond an exhibition that brings together work from local and international artists, designers and scientists inspired by or challenging science and technology’s potential to improve our world and how we live in it.

This year for Bio and Beyond at the EISF 2016, ASCUS will feature; Menagerie of Microbes, an exhibition that brings together the work of artists, designers and scientists who share a passion for the micro-organisms which exist in and around us, Atopic Art: Expressions of Eczema, showcasing work that explores the personal stories and experiences of individuals “living with eczema” and CO2_Live a new collaborative work that incorporates a Carbon Dioxide sensor, situated next to the street, connected to LED panels displaying real time CO2 levels.


As part of the Science Festival this year we will also be running a programme of art-science workshops and events in ASCUS Lab our new publicly accessible laboratory in Summerhall! Join us on a journey of exploration, from peering down microscopes, delving into the meticulous art of Taxidermy, exploring the sensory worlds of a nematode, to the wild and wonderful science of making your own natural dyes. As partners of the EISF 2016, ASCUS invites you all to come to explore the exhibitions in the galleries across Summerhall and to get hands-on with all things art and science in ASCUS Lab during this years festival! Scroll down to read more about our ASCUS Lab workshops and Events Programme…

ASCUS Lab EISF 2016 workshop programme

Please call EISF box office to book tickets: 0844 5572 686 or book online via the EISF website ticket links below

Science Under the Microscope with Amelia Howarth
When: 30th of March, 2pm – 4pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £5, 14+ (Children to be accompanied by adults) BOOK NOW
Microscopy allows researchers to view the invisible world around us. Come and use your own cells to learn one way researchers regularly stain cells to be viewed under a microscope. Then explore the body and cells of living zebra fish embryos! This is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the microscopic world of human & animal tissues.
Effective Communication for Researchers with Sam Illingworth
When: 31st of March, 2pm – 4pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £10, Researchers BOOK NOW
In this workshop, participants will be taught how to effectively engage a variety of different audiences. A number of hands-on and interactive techniques will be used to allow the participants to better understand how to communicate their research, and to speak so that people want to listen.
Science & Poetry
An Evening of Science & Poetry with Sam Illingworth
When: 31st March, 8.00pm-9pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £5/ £4 if you perform a poem, Adults BOOK NOW
Biology meets balladry, physics encounters pentameter, and chemistry confronts cadence as Dr Sam Illingworth (senior lecturer in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University) presents a celebration of the creative similarities between science and the performing arts. Reading from a collection of his award-winning poetry, Sam will take you on a scientific journey of discovery, with heartache, laughter and some very special guests.
Teaching poetry
Teaching and Poetry with Sam Illingworth
When: 1st April, 10am-11.30am
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £10, Teachers (Primary and Secondary) BOOK NOW
In this workshop, teachers will learn how they can effectively make use of poetry in their lessons to teach a variety of subjects, and to enable both themselves and their students to discover new ways of thinking about the topic.
The Art of Taxidermy
Restoring & Preserving Nature’s Beauty: The Art of Taxidermy with Fiona Dean Workshop
When: 2nd of April, 2pm-3pm or 5pm-6pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £12, 14+ (Children to be accompanied by adults) BOOK NOW
These live demonstrations will show you in detail the several of the processes involved in taxidermy at different stages. Group sizes are being kept small to permit a intimate atmosphere that will let you get up close and personal with the specimens as taxidermy artist Fiona Dean talks you through the process. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to see how a skilled artist can seemingly bring several birds back to life!
Seeing Speech, Hearing Tongues – Jim Scobbie & Janet Beck
When: 5th of April, 6pm-8pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £5, All ages are welcome (Children to be accompanied by adults) BOOK NOW
Everyday we use our vocal tract to create the sounds of language, but most of us don’t understand how it happens. In this workshop Prof Jim Scobbie explains how our vocal tract creates the sounds of language and lets you see your own tongue functioning in real time to generate the sounds of vowels and consonants as you speak!
From Worms to Humans: The Sensory World of a Nematode with Nathalie Vladis
When: 6th of April, 6pm-7.30pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £5, 14+ (Children must to be accompanied by adults) BOOK NOW
Although we look very different, people have a lot in common with little round worms called nematodes. These little worms have been key to many important scientific discoveries; from understanding how our genetic code works to how diseases like Parkinson’s disease affect our nervous system. This interactive workshop explores sensory stimulation in worms and explains how it’s similar to the human senses!
Chemistry of Natural Dyes & Pigments with Ryan Lewis
When: 8th of April, 2pm-4pm, 6pm-8pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £5, 14+ (Children to be accompanied by adults) BOOK NOW
The pigments of a wide variety of plants and fruits have been used as dyes for centuries. But the chemistry behind some natural dyes & pigments might surprise you. Come learn about natural dyes and take a tour through a specturm of colours while dyeing some cotton and wool.
Mini Maker
Mini Maker Faire at ASCUS Lab
When: 10th of April, 10am – 5pm
Where: ASCUS Lab, Summerhall
Tickets: £6 (under 3s free), All ages are welcome BOOK NOW
The ASCUS Lab DIY Bio Zone Come to the ASCUS Lab at Summerhall, the UK’s largest publicly accessible laboratory for experimentation in art and science, and delve into the weird and wonderful world of DIY Bio. The ASCUS Lab is here all year round and for the Mini Maker Faire we’ve invited some exceptional ‘Bio Makers’ to join us. From live Taxidermy to DNA analysis, there will be plenty to excite the bio-curious! Follow us on Facebook & Twitter to find out more about Mini Maker contributors.
ASCUS Lab is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award
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