Science week will be going off with a bang

THE outer reaches of the universe, visual illusions and the changing brain are some of the fascinating areas children can explore at this year s Hampstead Science Week

Ben McPartland

THE outer reaches of the universe, visual illusions and the changing brain are some of the fascinating areas children can explore at this year's Hampstead Science Week.

The annual festival of science opens on Monday and promises a strong line up of lectures and talks from experts coming from far and wide.

The five-day event organised by Hampstead Scientific Society in conjunction with the Ham& High will centre around University College School and South Hampstead High School.

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"We've got fireworks, we've got space, the universe, all different kinds of subjects for both young and old," said Julie Atkinson, secretary of the Hampstead Scientific Society.

"We want to inspire young people to take up science and also to let others know that science is ex-citing and interesting. We want them to question the world they live in.

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"It's important to get them interested in science early so they are not frightened of the subject and they can see that it is interesting and relevant. It is useful to know about it even if they don't want to take it up as a profession."

Featuring strongly in this year's line-up will be the man who has become known as the Urban Spaceman - Jerry Stone.

Mr Stone, who has lectured on space exploration across the world since 1975, will kick off the week at University College School with a talk on the universe. The man who helped organise the Mars Society's 2005 European Conference will also introduce to his listeners the idea of space colonies on Thursday.

He said: "Part of my aim is to inspire students to follow careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, for the young people of today will be those who are involved in the projects of tomorrow."

In other lectures Richard Tear and Edd Roberts from UCS school will discuss the science of cooking in Culinary Chemistry, Richard Horton , editor of The Lancet, will talk about Why Medicine Matters and Dr David Wolfe from South Hampstead will present Recent Developments in Nuclear Proliferation.

Once again there promises to be fireworks as Professor Jackie Akhaven from Cranfield University will discuss the chemistry of pyrotechnics in her talk Pretty, Pretty, Bang, Bang.

All events are open to the public free of charge. People who would like to go to the events can turn up at school receptions where they will be directed to the venues.

For more information visit uk.

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