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Public Events

Science Festival banner March 2019




Here's a selection of language science-related talks and events presented as part of the Festival. For the full programme visit the Festival website.

Booking opens on 11 February 2019.


Saturday 16 March: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Brainwaves, rhythm, and language

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

Have you ever wondered how we learn language? And which brain mechanisms might support this? At the Teaching Laboratory we will showcase our latest research into helping children overcome psychological or neurological barriers to successful learning, with videos and practical activities so you can engage “hands-on” with the research.

Age: All ages, Hands-on, Drop in, Free


Saturday 16 March: 11:45am - 12:45pm 

Filming families in action: can you spot how babies give messages to their families?

Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site Downing Street, CB2 3RS 

This interactive session, for children and their families, will explore the power of film for helping families and researchers think about how babies and toddlers communicate. We'll show how scientists use film to help parents identify how their babies and toddlers give messages about their wants and needs, and talk about how we use these films to improve communication in families.

Age: 8+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free, Pre-booking required - book in advance from 11 February


Sunday 17 March: 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Nature, imagination, technology: merging our left and right brains

Cambridge University Press Bookshop, Cambridge University Press Bookshop, CB2 1SZ

Fancy tapping into your left and right hemispheres to see science creatively? Aimed at young people from 11 to 18 years, this creative writing workshop will draw on science, language and art to explore climate change. The focus will be on pressing and relevant topics within climate change, not only observing the debates around nature and technology, but also the language that we use, lose, and change from both worlds.

Age: 11+, Hands-on, Arrive on time, Free, Pre-booking required - book in advance from 11 February


Saturday 23 March: 11:00am - 12:00pm 

Making Alexa Smarter – AI at scale

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, 20 Clarkson Road, CB3 0EH

Amazon's "Alexa" has continued to expand at a huge rate since launch, and is now on many devices and in many countries. Dr Craig Saunders, Head of Applied Science at Amazon Alexa Knowledge, will speak to some of the challenges of building the original voice assistant and deploying AI and ML at scale, whilst continuing to innovate and push boundaries.

Age: 11+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free, Pre-booking required - book in advance from 11 February


Sunday 24 March: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Health crises, digital media and community voices 

Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology, Robinson Way, CB2 0SZ

This interactive session from the Centre for Governance and Human Rights is for older children and adults to explore how interactive radio can be used as a powerful tool to quickly hear from communities at risk of cholera and plan for future outbreaks.

Age: 11+, Hands-on, Drop in, Free


Sunday 24 March: 2:30pm - 3:15pm 

Artificial Intelligence assisted discovery in the battle against cancer and other diseases

Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre Robinsons Way, CB2 0RE

Current biomedical research is generating vast quantities of data in a global effort to understand and treat a diverse collection of diseases. Consequently, development of computational and mathematical methods to mine these vast data-sets is becoming extremely important. Dr Shamith Samarajiwa, MRC Cancer Unit, will show how Artificial Intelligence methods like Machine learning & Deep Learning are helping develop computational algorithms that mine and analyse biomedical big-data, leading to exciting discoveries and design of new treatments.

Age: 11+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free, Pre-booking required - book in advance from 11 February