Science Festival, 9-22 March 2015
The theme of this year’s festival is “light”. Here's a selection of events relating to language. For the full programme, or to download the festival app, visit www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk
Pre-book* via the website, or tel: 01223 766766
Tuesday 10 March
What your Facebook says about you
Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Room 3, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RW
Discover from Dr Alex Kogan the insights that can be gleaned about people’s beliefs, values, and personalities from small bits of their Facebook data. Learn how these insights are beginning to transform the fundamental approach social scientists take to understanding human nature and societies.
Event: 28, Map: 30, Talk, Age 12+, Pre-book*
Wednesday 11 March
Science based approaches to early education: the case of rhythm and literacy
Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1 1PT
Teaching programmes based on scientific research are gaining popularity in primary school classrooms. Tune Time is one example. In this Year 1 resource, children learn either a series of rhythmic rhymes or the same rhymes as songs. Our early indications are that children learning the spoken rhymes make the most progress in their early literacy skills. They are significantly above comparison children who receive no supplement to their normal classroom routine. In this talk the experimental evidence underpinning the Tune Time programme will be outlined. Wider implications in regards to the teaching of early literacy will also be discussed.
Event: 32, Map: 1, Adults, Talk, Pre-book tel: 0845 196 5060,
email: email@example.com or visit: anglia.ac.uk/community
Thursday 12 March
The naked apes
CB2 Café, The Basement, 5-7 Norfolk Street, CB1 2LD
Two hairless comedians expose the naked truth of what it really means to be human (no nudity...promise). A comedy show that addresses the weighty themes of language, bipedalism, evolution and the future of our species with low, middle and high-brow jokes. Plus some dodgy props and a slide...
Pre-book, £5.50, Performance, Ages: Adults
Saturday 14 March
Enigma and the secret world of code breaking
Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Room 3, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RW
For as long as we have had secrets we have had secret messages. Dr James Grime looks at the fascinating history and mathematics of codes and code breaking – from ancient Greece to the present day – including a demonstration of an original WWII Enigma machine!
Event: 57, Age 8+
Ideas and languages: six more languages that changed the world
Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RW
Languages shape human culture and human thought. Some languages have shaped our world more than others, some of them not as obvious as you might think. Professor Ian Roberts continues his tour of some of those languages after last year's successful talk.
Event: 130, Map: 27, Talk, Age 8+, Pre-book*
The language of light!
Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, Room 9, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RW
Come and find out why words that have to do with light are special in English and other languages! In this interactive session, we will explore what makes words like “glitter” and “blink” different from “chair” and “table”.
You'll find out how these words get their meaning, why “glow”, “gleam” and “glitter” all refer to light in English, but not other languages, and what this has to do with the way your dog barks.
We will have examples for words relating to light from English, German, Hungarian, and many other languages, so you'll have a great chance to learn some nice words from across the world and fun facts about the way languages work!
Event: 133, Map: 27, Workshop, Age 8+, Pre-book*
Tuesday 17 March
Dementia research in Cambridge: from bench to bedside
Sanger Building, Biochemistry Lecture Theatre, Dept. of Biochemistry, 80 Tennis Court Road, CB2 1GA
Sponsored by Alzheimer’s Research UK
Dementia affects over 8,000 people in Cambridgeshire, but the region is also home to some of the world’s leading dementia researchers. Come along and hear short talks from a range of researchers using different techniques from stem cells to brain scans to understand what happens in the brain in dementia and find out what progress is being made to help those affected. Tea and coffee will be available from 5.30pm and the session will end with a Q&A discussion between the audience and the speakers on the panel.
Organisers: Dr Michael Coleman, Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Network Coordinator and Dr Laura Phipps, Science Communications Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, on behalf of the wider ARUK Network of researchers at the University.
What is dementia? - Dr Laura Phipps, Alzheimer’s Research UK
Using stem cells to recreate Alzheimer’s in the laboratory - Dr Tatyana Dias, Gurdon Institute
Understanding molecular highways to reveal clues to why nerve cells die in dementia -
Dr Michael Coleman, Babraham Institute
What brain scans can reveal about how memories are formed and lost - Dr Michael Hornberger, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Clinical dementia research in Cambridge and how you can get involved
Q&A with the audience.
Event 169, Map 14, Talk, Age 15+, Pre-book*
Wednesday 18 March
Exploring mind and brain
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, CB2 7EF
For the first hour, from 6pm, there will be practical demonstrations of experiments for you to try out, and lots of hands-on activities with many of our scientists on hand to explain their work. Then at 7pm our three varied talks begin. Each talk will be 20-25 minutes followed by questions and they will cover our wide range of work on mind and brain which includes research on hearing, speech and language. The event will finish at 8.30pm.
Event: 182, Map: 31, Hands-on, Talk, Age 12+
Thursday 19 March
Jess Thom: laughter as a catalyst for change
Palmerston Room, St John’s College, St John’s Street, CB2 1TP
Writer, artist and part-time super-hero Jess Thom is ‘changing the world one tic at a time’. She will talk about the often misunderstood neurological condition Tourette’s, which causes her to say ‘biscuit’ up to 16,000 times a day. Performing and writing are transforming her experience of Tourette’s, as well as challenging the perceptions of audiences. She will discuss the power of humour and art to create change, her experience at University and the importance of the Access to Work and Disabled Students’ Allowances schemes.
The event is wheelchair accessible and will be BSL signed.
Event: 191, Map: 38, Talk, All ages, Pre-book*
Festival of Ideas, 20 October - 2 November 2014
These are just two of the language-related talks at last year's Festival of Ideas.
Professor Usha Goswami (Centre for Neuroscience in Education) presents her latest research findings on dyslexia (starts 26 minutes in).
Dr Claire Dembry of Cambridge University Press and Robbie Love (Lancaster University) present fascinating insights from a new project to compile a publicly-accessible database of spoken British English. How has British English changed since the last time a similar project was carried out in the 1990s? Find out how you can get involved by contributing recordings to the project.
For more audio recordings from this year's Festival, visit http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/media/audio
Now Hear This!
Cambridge Science Centre, March 2014