Taking science to the masses at the 2017 Port Eliot Festival

The University of Plymouth will be taking its world-leading appliance of science to the Port Eliot Festival this summer.

From tidal power to technology, and brain cells to beach litter, academics will be sharing their research in the festival’s Science Lab.

There will also be a live performance based on the words and emotions of Lennon and McCartney, and a recreation of an 1850s vision of utopia.

This will be the second year the University has showcased its scientific expertise at the annual event, which takes places from July 27 to 30 on the estate in South East Cornwall.

For 2017, there will be presentations for audiences of all ages, including:

  • The Killer in our Seas: the future of the fight against plastic – Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology, with Surfers Against Sewage;
  • Harnessing the Waves: in the race to establish sustainable renewable energy resources, could the ocean be the answer? – Dr Keri Collins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, COAST Laboratory;
  • Blast Into Science (for curious kids) featuring volcanoes, robots, explosions and the kitchen sink;
  • Steam Punk Science: Atkins’ Panorama – Dr James Gregory, Lecturer in British History Since 1800;
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Regeneration: the problem with nerve damage and how to fix it – Dr David Parkinson, Professor of Neuroscience;
  • Come Together: the Sonification of Lennon and McCartney – Dr Alexis Kirke, Senior Research Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research.

The University is the official Creative and Cultural Partner of the festival, and a range of activities will be taking place on the University campus and in the wider community including an outreach project with local schools to highlight opportunities and progression routes in, and through, the creative industries.

During the festival itself, students and academic staff will work alongside established professional artists and designers to stage workshops in a range of craft and design practices in collaboration with Hole & Corner magazine.

They will also create a daily newspaper for the festival and in partnership with Creative Kernow, showcase Cornish design creativity through the ERDF funded Cultivator initiative.

The collaboration is coordinated by the University’s Creative Cultivator unit, which exists to nurture and support external engagement, knowledge transfer and collaborations between academia, the creative industries and wider community.

Colin Midson, Associate Director of Port Eliot Festival, said:

“Our partnership with the University has undoubtedly brought an extra level of energy to the festival. Its creative team has helped programme a string of memorable science happenings that have really lived up to their unique backdrop in the Round Room. And we’re glad to have enabled students to experience at close range how the festival is planned, managed and brought to life. We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship this year and beyond.”