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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Cambridge Science Festival 2020 programme cover

The 2020 Cambridge Science Festival takes place from 9 – 22 March 2020. The Festival, now in its 26th year, examines our past and suggests a vision for the future. Some of the world’s greatest scientists, alongside the stars of the future, examine how science is changing our world. Read on for a selection of Language Sciences related talks at this year's festival. 

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Monday 9 March

AI and society: the thinking machines

7:30PM - 8:30PM: MON 9 MAR

Drones, driverless cars, films portraying robots that look and think like humans… Today, intelligent machines are present in almost all walks of life. So it is not surprising that people are wondering about our future and asking questions like: will artificial intelligence be superior to the human brain? Dr Mateja Jamnik, Computer Laboratory, answers this question from a scientific perspective and talks about building AI systems that capture some of our informal and intuitive human thinking.

Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RX


Wednesday 11 March

AI mythbusting: separating science fact from fiction

6PM – 7PM: WED 11 MAR

Hype around Artificial Intelligence, big data, and machine learning has reached a fever pitch. Yet for all of their promise, there remains a lot of confusion about what these things mean and what they can actually do. Join Dr Jennifer Cobbe, Department of Computer Science and Technology, and Dr Christopher Markou, Faculty of Law, as they debunk some of the biggest myths around AI today

Mill Lane Lecture Rooms, 8 Mill Lane, CB2 1RX

CBU vision night: looking at the brain

6PM - 8:30PM: WED 11 MAR

An evening at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC CBU) exploring research in psychology and neuroscience through practical hands-on activities and experiments followed by some short talks.

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, CB2 7EF


Saturday 14 March

How is tech changing how we work, think and feel?

7:30PM - 9PM: SAT 14 MAR

Tyler Shores, Faculty of Education, Anu Hautalampi, Head of Social Media, and colleagues discuss the impact of online technology in our everyday habits and behaviours. They take a look at current and near-present mainstream technology to better understand how we think about data and communication.

Jesus College, Frankopan Hall , Jesus Lane, CB5 8BQ

Looking, learning and language

10AM - 2PM: SAT 14 MAR

Make things happen with your eye movements and brainwaves! Join us at the Centre for Neuroscience in Education and find out how we use this technology to study how babies learn language.

Department of Psychology, Teaching Laboratory, Downing Street, CB2 3EB

Mobile teaching kitchens: a community-led food revolution in India

11AM - 1PM: SAT 14 MAR

India faces many challenges in improving food security. Obvious issues like drought are intertwined with a complex socio-economic landscape. Community-led education is one way to overcome these challenges. Visit the TIGR2ESS Mobile Teaching Kitchen and taste one possible vision of India’s food future.

Barnwell Baptist Church, Howard Road, CB5 8QS


Monday 16 March

The adolescent brain

7:30PM - 8:30PM: MON 16 MAR

Adolescence is often characterised by behaviours that seem irrational, such as excessive risk-taking and impulsivity. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Department of Psychology, suggests these behaviours can be interpreted as adaptive and rational given that a key developmental goal is to mature into an independent adult, while navigating a social world that is unstable and changing.

Babbage Lecture Theatre, (Through the Pembroke Archway), New Museums Site Downing Street, CB2 3RS


Saturday 21 March


3PM - 6PM: SAT 21 MAR

Join Dr Melanie Bell, Dr Michelle Sheehan and colleagues for some linguistically themed fun and games for all the family. Play your favourite gameshows - Blockbusters, Family Fortunes and Who Wants to be a Milllionaire - and learn a little about human language in the process!

Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1 1PT

What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.