Manchester Science Festival

Air-purifying jeans to sculptures of teeth: Manchester Science Festival is back.

By Matthew Tyas | Last updated 7 November 2012

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Jeans that purify the air we breathe, and an exhibition of sculptures created from discarded body parts are part of a cutting-edge blend of art, science and family events for this year’s Manchester Science Festival 2012 (27 October – 4 November), which is produced by MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester).

Manchester science festival boy looking at frog image

The Festival programme, which is live at, features over 100 varied events across Greater Manchester, from comedy, to dance, to art, to hands-on activities that everyone can enjoy. MOSI is at the heart of the Festival with around a third of events held at the museum. The rest of the programme is in cultural and educational venues, and in unusual spaces in the city, with extensive programmes in Bolton and Salford. This year’s Festival profiles results and workshops for an exciting mass participation project, Turing’s Sunflowers, which continued the work of Alan Turing’s study of mathematical patterns in nature with the help of over 12,000 sunflowers grown by people around the world.

Art Meets Science is a key strand of the Festival this year. Helen Storey of London College of Fashion and Tony Ryan of the University of Sheffield present Catalytic Clothing: Field of Jeans at MOSI and The Soap Box in the NQ Launderette, which shows how clothing could be treated to purify the air we breathe. In Gina Czarnecki’s The Wasted Works exhibition we are encouraged to consider the potential value of stem cells in discarded body parts. Her haunting creations explore the issues of wasted stem cells in bones from joint replacements, fat from liposuction and milk teeth. There is a dance production inspired by scientific studies of movement and a photography exhibition of striking images which sum up some of the most important scientific advances in Manchester.

This year’s Festival emphasises the fun and playful side of science.

The Science Junkies are back with their gravity-defying feats to demonstrate the science of adrenalin sports and there will be a giant computer driven, incredibly, by dominoes. From the Higgs Boson particle to the miracle material graphene, to climate change or the science of truth and love, scientists and authors from across the UK will talk about the hottest topics and the most cutting-edge science taking place in Britain and beyond. Local scientists and engineers will be on hand in Science Spectacular at the University of Manchester, and at the Science Platform at MOSI to demonstrate their work, and there will be fun activities, challenges and a chance for informal discussion.

Manchester Science Festival Director Natalie Ireland said: “This year’s Manchester Science Festival promises to challenge and amaze, with some fantastic treats to attract science and arts lovers alike. There are also lots of hands-on activities for families, a chance to meet and talk with scientists and engineers, or to relax and enjoy films, comedy or performances themed on science. Please book your tickets early as most events sold out last year.”

MOSI Director Jean Franczyk said: “MOSI is the proud producer of the Manchester Science Festival and we welcome you to events at the museum, throughout our city and across the region.”

This year’s Festival emphasises the fun and playful side of science. Punk Science and Festival of the Spoken Nerd blend humour, music, science and maths as part of the Science After Dark series, while Fans of sci-fi and other science-themed films can soak up a special Festival film programme in a beautiful warehouse setting. Step into Lionel the Campervan cinema as he travels around the city for a short, quirky cinematic experience or watch footage of the fragile Polar regions set to classical music in the atmospheric surroundings of Manchester Museum. Join a debate on the price of organ donation, take tea with the Girl Geeks, or learn about the science of fish and chips.

Manchester Science Festival is proudly produced by MOSI in partnership with cultural, educational and business organisations across Greater Manchester. To find out more look up
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