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Event of the Week
Pure Iceland at the Science Museum
Given the cheesy promotional video and the long list of sponsoring Icelandic companies, it’s easy to view this new exhibition as one big advert for the Icelandic tourist industry. And it’s certainly that. But there is an important message at the heart of this installation.
As the UK government seems poised to embrace a second coming of nuclear power, the Pure Iceland exhibition shows how that country hopes to draw 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources in the near future. Sure, the Icelandic population is a fraction of the UK’s, and their efforts to go green are underwritten by a geothermal abundance we do not have. But think of the power all those experimental pop synthesisers must draw. More seriously, this small Scandinavian island is setting an inspiring precedent worth celebrating. And the Science Museum usually know how.
To backdrops of mud volcanoes, lava cones and gigantic projections of the sea at dusk this unique exhibition will come alive providing a magnificent and memorable visit for children and adults alike.
We wonder if they’ve considered tapping that other great national resource: World’s Strongest Men. Check out the Icelandic domination here. Hook a few of those up to a dynamo, and Magnus is your uncle.
The Pure Iceland exhibition runs until 23 April.
The Dana Centre continues to be the most prolific of science venues this week. Tonight, you can feed your mind at the same time as your tummy by attending Dinner at Dana. University of Oxford’s Philip Stewart serves up the science, with a talk on the Periodic Table and his own, colourful pastiche: the Chemical Galaxy.
This is followed tomorrow by that old favourite of the science lecture: optical illusions. Penny Fidler (surely into forgery; and we bet she’s never heard that one before) and Masud Husain talk about what’s going on in your noggin when you misinterpret clever images in How the Mind Deceives the Eye.
Finally, on Monday: fancy a pig’s liver or a calf’s heart? Not leftovers from Dinner at Dana, but an evening devoted to the emerging discipline of xenotransplantation (animal to human organ transplants). Discussed through the medium of a card game. Only at the Dana!
The Royal Society is all giddy and energetic this week with two (count ‘em) public lectures. Tonight, there’s a rather sober assessment of a silent killer: cancer of the ovary. Professor Fran Balkwell explains the latest insights into this most insidious of cancers. Then, on Monday, something a bit special. Dr Thebe Medupe reveals the different astronomical traditions of various African regions, and how some of these beliefs correlate with modern, scientific knowledge.
In a busy week of science lectures, where does it all end? Cosmologist and author John D Barrow asks similar questions of science itself. What are the limits to science. Indeed, are there any? Yes, says Barrow, at Gresham College tomorrow.
Some of these limits are consequences of our nature, some are consequences of the universe’s nature, while others are consequences of the nature of knowledge itself.
Places, like science, are limited.
When and Where?
Pure Iceland, every day until 23 April, Science Museum, FREE
A silent killer, Tonight, 5.30, Royal Society, FREE
Dinner@Dana: Breaking the code, Tonight, 6.30, Dana Centre, £13
How the Mind Deceives the Eye, Thursday, 7, Dana Centre, FREE
Impossibility: the limits of science, Thursday, 1pm, Gresham College, FREE
Cosmic Africa, Monday, 6.30, Royal Society, FREE
DECIDE: Animal organs, human bodies, Tuesday, 6.30, Dana Centre, FREE