Updated: Saturday, 19th April 2014 @ 9:38am

Manchester's 'rock star scientist' warms up for city's Science Festival

Manchester's 'rock star scientist' warms up for city's Science Festival

By Andrew Little

The warm up for Manchester Science Festival begins this week with a live comedy show featuring Professor Brian Cox.

Professor Cox, Manchester’s rock star scientist, is a special guest on the award-winning Radio 4 science comedy show, The Infinite Monkey Cage, which also features presenter Robin Ince and impressionist John Culshaw.

The show which is to take place at Manchester University on Friday evening is fully booked and is expected to provide a great start to the festival.

“There’s a great buzz about the Festival this year,” said Natalie Ireland, Festival Director. “There’s always a good energy, but the festival is really at the heart of the cultural calendar in Manchester now,”

Now in its fifth year, this year’s festival promises to be the best yet, with over 100 events being held across the city, including comedy shows, robot-making workshops, science debates and space-themed knitting events.

Artist Helen Storey will be installing the pieces from her fashion collection Primitive Streak in Debenhams and the Royal Exchange Theatre tomorrow, with viewers able to drop in at any time before the festival closes.

“I think Primitive Streak will be incredible. Getting science-inspired pieces onto the high street is really exciting and Debenhams and the Royal Exchange have been really supportive,” said Ms Ireland.

“We’re hoping such public places will really draw an audience who might not otherwise engage in the festival.”

The collection, which she designed along with her biologist sister, Kate, presents the first 1000 hours of human life.

Ms Ireland hopes that the festival will help inspire people with science and encourage young Mancunians to consider science as a career.

“Manchester is at the heart of science in the UK – we want to shout about how amazing that is.”

The festival runs from Saturday 22 October to Sunday 30 October.

Here at MM we’ve picked out a few of our favourite events for you:

22 and 23 October

Band Goes the Theory  (11am–2pm & 3pm–6pm, Campfield Market Hall)

This is sure to be an amazing family event. The hugely popular Bang Goes the Theory team perform explosive live science demonstrations and recreate some of the best stunts from the TV series. Audience members also have the chance to participate in their own scientific experiments and chat to the presenters about all things science. This free event is now fully booked but a limited number of tickets will be available on the day.

23 October

Polar (3pm and 7pm, Royal Northern College of Music)

Natalie Ireland confessed to have “shed a little tear” at the premier of Polar in January. This immersive cinematic experience combines stunning video footage of our polar kingdoms with a specially written score performed by Manchester Camerata. This promises to be a truly magical experience. Ticket prices range from £10-£30.

23 October

Your Days Are Numbered: The Maths of Death   (7.30pm–9.30pm, MOSI)

After sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comedian Timandra Harkness and stand-up mathematician Matt Parker – who was this week named as the winner of the Josh Award for innovation in science engagement – bring their hilarious show to MSF. Just try not to die laughing. Tickets cost £8 or £6 for concessions.

25 October

Zombie Science 1Z  (11am, 2pm & 4pm, Anthony Burgess Foundation)

This hour long spoof lecture discusses the science behind zombie outbreaks and how to stop them.

25 October

Field of Genes   (6.30pm–8pm, MOSI)

Researchers and athletes will discuss the values of nature and nurture within sport and how a new DNA test which identifies athletic strengths could change the future shape of sport.

28 October                            

Out of this world  (Open from 6pm, event starts at 7.30pm, MOSI)

Journey into the deepest, darkest depths of the universe and back again in this night of cutting edge science, side-splitting comedy, cocktails and fancy dress. Tickets cost £8 or £6 for concessions.

For more information on all the events, venues and tickets, visit the festival website http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/