Beltane Breakfast | Engage in 2016 | 30 November 2015

New year, new plans and, for Beltane, a new home! 

The final Beltane Breakfast of 2015 was a chance to (i) plan your 2016 engagement and (ii) bid farewell to Beltane’s 7 Bristo Square HQ before we move to Holyrood. We heard about lots of exciting public engagement opportunities happening in 2016 and how researchers and volunteers can get involved with them. Here is a summary:

Beltane update (Heather Rea: email Beltane)

  • We are planning for the 4th year of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe in Augusts 2016. The deadline for show ideas is 5pm on 29th January 2016

  • We are working on an Explorathon bid for EU researchers’ night 30 Sep 2016 and 29 Sep 2017. The aim is to focus on reaching out to different communities and we will know in March 2016 if it has been funded.
  • The Beltane (along with the rest of the Institute for Academic Development) are moving to Holyrood on 15th December 2015. Our new address will be 1 Morgan Lane, Edinburgh, EH8 8FP (map). We are looking forward to trying out some different spaces for events such as the Levels Café and teaching spaces.
  • Beltane will be running science communication training in February, March and before September to coincide to help researchers prepare for science festival activities.

Dunbar Science Festival (Dee Davison: email Dee)

  • The Dunbar SciFest starts with a family weekend Sat 5th and Sun 6th March 2016 and continues with an evening light installation and workshops in schools. They are looking for drop-ins, workshops and stage shows and want to do more in grammar schools in 2016. Some events will be tied in with the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. You can register interest and find out more via the website.
    Sign up for Dunbar SciFest 2016 and More about Dunbar SciFest
  • Dunbar Science Club runs twice a month from Sep-June and is a good place to test out new workshop ideas or share established activities. Could you inspire young minds with some Saturday science? Get in touch with Dee Davison about delivering a workshop as part of Dunbar Science Club. More about Dunbar Science Club

Soapbox Science (Clare Taylor: email Clare)

  • Soapbox Science is a novel public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Clare is coordinating a soapbox science event in Edinburgh in June 2016. A call will go out in January looking for a total of 12 female scientists at all stages of their career. Soapbox science will provide training (likely to be held in Newcastle). Clare will also be looking for volunteers to help with the event and there will be a call out for these in March 2016. .

Ragged University (Alex Dunedin: email Alex)

The Dangerous Women Project (Peta Freestone: email Peta)

  • The Dangerous Women Project will publish 365 posts on the theme of what it means to be a ‘dangerous woman’ on a specially designed website linking International Women’s Day 2016 with International Women’s Day 2017
  • There is an open call for submissions closing on 31 January 2016, a ‘soft’ launch on 10 December 2015, media launch in February 2016 and a public launch on 7 March 2016. It will be run as an action research project and responses to posts will be studied. Posts can take various forms e.g. writing, video, poetry, graphic etc.

Bang Goes the Borders (Wendy Salvesen: email Wendy)

Midlothian Science Festival (Juliet Ridgway-Tait: email Midlothian Science Festival)

  • The Midlothian Science Festival is a 2-week science festival that runs during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of October (last week of Midlothian school term and half-term holiday). They run events in unique spaces across Midlothian and focus on demographics not normally reached by other science festivals (e.g. under 5s, women and older people)
  • They are looking for more activities to run in schools this year, can be talks rather than workshops.

BrightClub Edinburgh (Andy McLeod: email Bright Club Edinburgh)

Just Festival (John Grieve: email John)

Science Ceilidh and Fun Palaces (Lewis Hou email Lewis)

  • The Science Ceilidh project brings people together through science and music. They work with local researchers and community groups to write new dances on science themes.
  • For the International Year of Light 2015 there is a specially themed ceilidh taking place at the Southside Community Centre on 5 December 19:30 – late There will be a call out for next year’s theme of space.
  • Fun Palaces is a national campaign promoting the idea of ‘everyone an artist, everyone a scientist’. There were 5 Edinburgh-based Fun Palaces this year and we hope to coordinate Fun Palaces with a longer lead-in time for 1-2 Oct 2016 (this is straight after Explorathon in 2016 midday 30 Sept to midday 1 Oct). Lewis will arrange a meeting in the New Year.
  • One of the 2015 Fun Palaces was held at the Ocean Terminal shopping centre where there are already 2 artists in residence, a living exhibition and a bookable community space. There is interest in setting up a rolling scientist in residence programme. Lewis has contacts at Ocean Terminal if you are interested in getting involved.