All six schools represented at various events across the programme

Date posted

3 April 2019


The Edinburgh Science Festival returns to the city this weekend!

Running from 6-21 April 2019, this year’s theme is Frontiers. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landings, this year’s Festival will explore the boundaries of knowledge and the spirit of adventure that drives science, technology, engineering and maths.

With countless events taking place across the city as part of the festival, we’ve pulled together this handy Edinburgh Napier-related guide to help you decide what to go and see.

Featuring academics and students from all six of the University’s Schools, there really is something for everyone – make sure you don’t miss out!

Welcome to Tech Town 

Prof Mark Deakin | School of Engineering and the Built Environment | Sunday 7 April

Some cities have already started doing it. Most cities are thinking about how they can too. As Artificial Intelligence technology and the potential to automate tasks like cleaning, deliveries and transport develops, what will the cities of the future look like? Join Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Mark Deakin and others to look into some existing robo-cities and discuss how Scotland's cities might adapt themselves for the future.

Ideas on the Edge

Dr Tom Flint and Prof Kenny Mitchell | School of Computing | Sunday 7 April

Augmented and virtual reality used to seem like wild ideas of the future but we are now living in the world of this cutting-edge work. Pippa Goldschmidt hosts a panel, including experts in blending real and digital worlds, Prof Kenny Mitchell, Dr Tom Flint, and Dessy Markova to explore where the virtual can take you next.

Festival Frontiers: The Festival City

Dr Louise Todd, with Dr Gary Kerr and Dr Kirstie Jamieson | The Business School/School of Arts and Creative Industries | Tuesday 9 April

Edinburgh is known as 'the world's leading festival city' and many cities around the globe are designated or branded as festival cities through their significant provision of cultural events. This panel discussion attempts to unpack the meaning of the festival city, beyond the brand; and in doing so asks what are the physical and symbolic frontiers of a festival city in the 21st century?

Designs for the Developing World

Dr John McDougall | School of Engineering and the Built Environment | Thursday 11 April

From rural sanitation to flood defence, scientists and engineers are still finding innovative solutions for the developing world. Join host Katrina Kilkenny of WaterAid and experts including researcher in earthquake-resistant foundations Dr John McDougall, SaddleAid founder Peter Muckle, technology entrepreneur Tim Harper, and Chief Executive of Scotland's International Development Alliance Jane Salmonson, to follow the journey of new designs from scientific concept to implementation and helping the people who need it most.

Star Wars? The Law of Armed Conflict in Space

Dr Clare Frances Moran | The Business School | Thursday 11 April

Wars and conflict have been the cause of many dark years on Earth – but how would they affect space? Detonating bombs and using force on Earth is regulated by the law of armed conflict, but the use of weapons in space is supposedly forbidden. Get yourself into the legal mindset in this interactive event and argue the best way to regulate war in space – if at all!

Uncertain Frontiers Photography Workshop

Ron O’Donnell | School of Arts and Creative Industries | Saturday 13 April

Create a stunning photographic image using recycled material! Explore and create, through the use of recycled materials, a world view of topics that science does not always get right. International photographic artist Ron O’ Donnell will inspire and energise you to create an alternative view of our world, highlighting issues such as plastic pollution and nuclear weapons.

Treating Patients as People in the NHS

Dr Stephen Smith, with Dr Jennifer Jones and Dr Nicole Walsh | School of Health and Social Care | Sunday 14 April

Whether you've experienced the service first hand or you know a loved one who has, the NHS has touched the lives of millions. Yet a flurry of conversation continues to surround the healthcare service with some questioning whether it is fit for purpose. Does the NHS place enough focus on the individual? Throughout this lively debate you will use an electronic voting system to contribute your own views to the discussion.

Dine and Debate

Dr Fay Skelton and Richard Kyle | School of Applied Sciences and School of Health and Social Care | Sunday 14 April

In the spirit of the original Oyster Club founded by Adam Smith, Joseph Black and James Hutton, we invite you to discuss some of our most pressing scientific quandaries over supper. Hosted by comedian Susan Morrison with short presentations from experts and a delicious three course vegetarian meal, you'll be encouraged to chat about the topics raised around your table – with a little help from our facilitators. No knowledge required – just an appetite for discussion and appreciation of good food and drink.

Providing some discussion topics to chew over, our presenters will be:

Dr Faye Skelton (Edinburgh Napier University), exploring the psychology of false confessions and what we can do to prevent them.

Dr Philip Cook (The University of Edinburgh), arguing that justice demands we abolish childhood.

Richard Kyle (Edinburgh Napier University), saying the choice is simple: lose weight or lose our NHS.

And while you get your teeth into the discussion, you can also enjoy a delicious three course meal:

Starter: Roast Fig & Fennel Salad with Goats Cheese on Grilled Sourdough Crostini

Main: Sumac Roasted Aubergine Halved Stuffed with Harissa Sauce, Chickpeas, Cumin, Chili & Pomegranate Seeds, Served With Peppers And Halloumi Salad With Herby Caper Dressing 

Dessert: Orange & Polenta Cake

Vegan, gluten free, and dairy free versions available. If you have dietary requirements or allergies please alert a member of staff at the event. Over 18s only.

EISF Family Day (Oriam, Heriot-Watt University)

Three Edinburgh Napier research groups taking part | Saturday 13 April

Discover the wonders of science and sport, and get hands-on with cutting edge research, spanning robots and virtual reality to bacteria and body parts. As part of Heriot-Watt's Year of Health, Oriam, Scotland's National Performance Centre for Sport, transforms into a marathon of discovery. The day will be packed with workshops and interactive activities, exploring healthy homes, bodies and minds.

Map Sound! Code Light!

Dr Tom Flint and student - School of Computing

Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Computing is having hands on fun with technology and coding.  Help us build a paper map that makes sound.  Learn how to code flashing lights and noises on the amazing Adafruit Circuit Playground.  We’ll get you programming in less than 2 minutes, fun for all ages.

Snakes and Ladders!  The Ups and Downs of Vitamin D

Dr Melanie Leggate and Hannah Lithgow - School of Applied Sciences

A giant floor based game of Snakes and Lasers where participants get to compete and learn more about vitamin D.  This specially designed game debuts at the Science Festival and has been specially designed to help adults and children learn more about the importance of vitamin D.

The Mystery of Bones!

Rachel Lopera-Burgueno, David Hughes and Dr Jasmine Samvelyan - School of Applied Sciences

An opportunity to experience what it’s like to carry out everyday tasks for people with osteoarthritis conditions, with fun and interactive tools, especially developed for the Science Festival.  Come and find out more about how your bones work. 

Hands-on Robots

Brian Davidson, Dr Keng Goh and students | School of Computing and School of Engineering and the Built Environment | 16-18 April

Enjoy fun activities with mobile robots designed by students from Edinburgh Napier University. See how they work and what they can do and do some programming of your own. Parents welcome and encouraged to help.

The Future of Cyber Security, Data and AI

Professor Bill Buchanan | School of Computing | Wednesday 17 April

Hosted by leading technologist, Sharon Moore, cyber expert Prof Bill Buchanan discusses the frontiers of Artificial Intelligence. Our world is changing fast and we are moving into an information age. Unfortunately, many of our systems can not be trusted and our new world provides increased threats against our privacy. This presentation will explore the risks we face and the new opportunities that this information age will bring.

Impact stories

See just a few of the ways that our researchers have made an impact on the economy, industry and society.