Edinburgh International Science Festival emphasises hands-on skills with Making It strand
- David Pollock
- 24 March 2014
'People are using the products of a science literate society to develop new technologies'
In one of the flagship strands of this year’s Edinburgh International Science Festival, Making It will reintroduce audiences to ‘maker culture’ and the sense that the sciences aren’t just a spectator experience, following on from the success of last year’s inaugural and highly successful Mini Maker Faire. ‘Making It reflects our key theme this year that science is present at the heart of all "making",’ says EISF events developer Matt Wright, ‘in that people are using the products of a science literate society to develop new technologies. Tools which were once only available within the lab or for use professionally by scientists and engineers are now far more accessible to the public.’
The act of making can involve virtually anything, he continues. ‘Making generally involves learning-through-doing in a social setting, with maker culture encouraging informal, peer-led and shared creation. What we see a lot of within that is new or unusual applications of technologies, and exchange between traditionally separate domains and ways of working.’ Across Summerhall and the National Museum of Scotland, workshops and demonstrations will look at 3D printing, open-source coding, screenprinting, synthetic biology, animation and computer games.
Elsewhere in the strand, author and broadcaster Adam Rutherford offers a fusion of science and hip hop in ‘Remix: DNA vs Hip Hop’, ‘Face Off: Man vs Machine’ will see artist and designer Dominic Wilcox and his team race to create 3D printed objects with the most precision in a few hours, and Edinburgh Hacklab will be running a series of workshops on simple soldering, programming and coding, while the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire will return on the festival’s final day to welcome more than 3000 visitors to see maker-created objects from around the country. ‘We want to encourage people to get involved in "making" in any of its forms,’ says Wright of the line-up, ‘as creating things is intrinsic to human nature on a simple enjoyment level.'
Summerhall and the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Sat 5–Sun 20 Apr.