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NI Science Festival launches out of this world programme for 2018

11 Jan 2018
An acclaimed astronaut, an esteemed wildlife cameraman, two celebrated bakers and a prehistoric feast with a renowned Professor top the bill as the fourth annual NI Science Festival announces its largest-ever programme.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister helped to reveal the complete schedule of events today, Thursday, January 11, at Belfast Central Library.

With over 180 events across 11 days and spanning over 50 venues throughout Northern Ireland, NI Science Festival 2018 is the science extravaganza’s most ambitious programme to date.

Revealed today alongside the festival’s flagship events was a stimulating programme suitable for all ages. The festival will host a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools, coupled with an assortment of debates, talks, theatre, comedy, music and film to open the mind to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for older audiences.

Some of this year’s biggest events include: An Evening with Colonel Chris Hadfield at the SSE Arena on February 15; A Taste of Prehistory at the Ulster Museum on February 23; Doug Allan - An Eye Below Zero at the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast on February 25; and Bakineering in Space at the Ulster Museum on February 25.

Other intriguing events include The Science of Harry Potter which will explore the science behind the hit franchise’s fantastic feats, while Carla Valentine, curator of the world-famous Barts Pathology Museum, talks all things autopsy and anatomy, drawing upon her experience as a mortician in Morbid Anatomy: Life & Death Inside the Mortuary (16+).

With 10% of the population sporting radiant red locks, Dr Declan McKenna discusses the ginger gene, explaining how it affects hair colour and why it is so common in this part of the world in Ginger Genetics (18+).

In the fight against Bacterial pathogens developing resistance to the miracle medicine, antibiotics; hear from experts in infection control about the threat of the spread of superbugs in The Antibiotic Apocalypse (14+), at Ulster University February 21. Hear how scientists are developing new treatments to tackle antibiotic-resistant bacteria, to prevent civilisation stepping back into a medical Dark-Age.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister commented: “The NI Science Festival is highly anticipated by families, academics and science enthusiasts alike - its diverse 11-day programme brings events for all ages to enjoy to venues across Northern Ireland. Each event brings creativity, vibrancy, stimulates minds, stirs debate, and highlights the advances in science, technology, engineering and maths.

We have a rich heritage of scientists, engineers and inventors here – people whose inventions have changed the world from John Bell’s Theorem and Harry Ferguson’s tractors, to Frank Pantridge’s defibrillator. And with the NI Science Festival inspiring our emerging talents, who knows what these young people will pioneer in STEM professions in the future?

"I’m particularly looking forward to hearing from Colonel Chris Hadfield on why we should dream the impossible. It’s fantastic that he’s returning to Belfast to inspire our budding scientists and astronomers."

NI Science Festival is supported by the Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University, Innovate UK, British Council Northern Ireland, Matrix and STEM recruitment specialists MCS Group.

For more information about NI Science Festival events and to purchase tickets, visit and keep up to date with the festival on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
NI Science Festival launch 2018