Holograms, prosthetic limbs, honey bees and onion DNA have one thing in common - they're all part of Oxfordshire Science Week 2008, which runs from 7 - 16 March. This celebration of local talent brings together scientists and science fans from the University of Oxford, museums and science centres across Oxfordshire for ten days of events at eleven different venues.
This year, for the first time, Oxfordshire Science Week is a real collaboration of county-wide science expertise; notably the University of Oxford (including the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the University Museums), Science Oxford, the Medical Research Council and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell, and museums in Wantage, Henley and Banbury.
Oxfordshire Science Week will be launched on Friday 7th March with a debate entitled "How would you spend £2 billion to transform British science?" Science broadcaster Sue Nelson will join top-level scientists from the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the University of Oxford, to discuss what they would fund to transform science in Britain and to justify their choices.
Saturday 8th March sees one of the week's largest events, "Wow! How?" Held at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum, this family science fair attracts thousands of visitors each year, to stalls run by volunteers showing off their favourite experiments, including how to make slime or what happens to a marshmallow in a vacuum.
Science Week concludes with a two-day event at Science Oxford on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th March. "Science in the Kitchen" explores scientific phenomenon using household materials and equipment. Find out how to investigate ink using jelly and batteries, make paint from eggs, or explore the chemistry of polymers using custard powder. Lending their endorsement to the event on Friday 14th March will be Judith Hann, author of several science books and a presenter of Tomorrow's World for 20 years, and John Exelby, co-founder of the BBC World Service TV News. In 2007, Science in the Kitchen attracted several hundred visitors and was listed by The Times as their number one activity for families nationwide that weekend.
This is just a small selection of the events taking place during the week. A full brochure is available at venues across the County.