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August 2013

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

by Simon Watt, President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society

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My name is Simon Watt and I am the President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society a comedy night with a conservation twist.  We invite stand-ups who dabble in science and scientists who dabble in stand-up to each comically champion a different ugly endangered species.  At the end of each night we give the audience the chance to vote for what will become the ugly animal mascot for their town.

by Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association. Imran discusses the history behind the upcoming Huxley debate and why we've decided to go back to our roots.

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The British Science Association is launching the first in a new series of Huxley debates at our Festival this September, with the upcoming debate focusing on epigenetics. But why are we doing this?

by Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, who will be discussing whether a "cure" for ageing is within reach at the British Science Festival on Monday 9 September.

by Katherine Mathieson, Director of Education at the British Science Association

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Recent coverage of this year’s A-level results shows that the proportion of girls doing A-levels in physics and maths is dropping. Richard Garner writing for the Independent says that boys accounted for 79.3% of physics entries (3.8% higher than last year) and 60.1% of maths entries (3.9% higher than last year).

It’s a question that many dog owners would likely answer "yes" to.

But, how much can dogs actually understand us?

James May has answered this question for his latest Q+A on the Head Squeeze channel.

The National Science + Engineering Competition travelled to 12 of The Big Bang Near Me Fairs across the UK gathering over 1000 questions from young people to pass on to James.

In the end, James decided to answer a question by Luke from Durham Johnston Comprehensive about his dog.

At this year’s British Science Festival, Star Speaker Lord Robert Winston will be talking about a new bill that he’s sponsoring to bring transparency about animal testing to medical packaging. Animal research is always a hotly debated topic in science, and Dan Richards of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research explains the progress his team is working towards.


Sarah Castell, head of public dialogue on science at Ipsos MORI, analyses how some science stories are reported online, using initial findings from our Public Attitudes to Science social media research.

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Do you remember the horsemeat scandal? How about the Russian Meteor strike?  Which of them do you remember more clearly?  Horsemeat, right? I bet you’ve got a couple of horsemeat jokes, too.

By Alan Mercer, Programme Director for Sciencewise.

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Is space technology still in the realms of science fiction?  Well, that very much depends on your definition of space.  We may still be some way away from warp drives, matter transfer technology (beam me up, Scotty!) and the all-seeing tricorder, but for us all technological developments in space are creating significant benefits and potential issues for society.