Science Fun at New Scientist Live


In stellar company: Al Worden, Helen Sharman and Tim Peake (from left to right) talk space travel.

Thousands of science enthusiasts head to New Scientist Live this week-end

By Mélissa M Azombo

Science Convention New Scientist Live is back this weekend at ExCeL London with talks, workshops, Q&As and fun for all the family!

New Scientist Live returns this year from Thursday 28th September to Sunday 1st October 2017 from 10h00. The event, aimed at all enthusiasts, from school age to professionals kick-started its science-filled week-end spectacularly with talks from astronauts Tim Peake, Al Worden and Helen Sharman.

The three covered a few topics and answered some audience questions.

“The feeling of weightlessness,” answered astronaut Helen Sharman to what she would look forward to the most, who also said she’d been asked before if she would go into space without having to collect any scientific data. “In a heartbeat I said no. I’d rather not go at all.” The experience is clearly more about just going into space for her.

Along the same lines, Al Worden spoke of the future of space flight saying, “You’ve got to stay in space for at least eight days, to make it worthwile,” explaining there would be no point in being in space for a short amount of time, then coming back down. Eitherway, all three remained adamant that humans shall make it to Mars one day.

Likewise, Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency remained clear on the future of human spaceflight. She told Time Made Of Strawberries “Beyond the science and the technology and the economic reasons, you see it when you talk to people: The fact that there’s a human there doing it is what makes it fascinating, so I think humans will always find another role for other humans [in space].”

The event also featured talks on climate change, alcohol awareness and gravitational waves. There was a naked mole rat exhibit on display, as well as VR experiences and of course, lots of stalls from Warwick University to the European Space Agency to visit.

The rest of the stellar week-end promises a live link to the ISS, as well as a ram-packed finale day. It will feature the results of the Cassini spacecraft, which ended its mission in style only two weeks ago, by being plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere on the Cosmos Stage. The same stage will feature an intriguing talk from Dr Lewis Dartnell about what the search for alien life tells us about ourselves.

Venture into the world of consciousness on the Main stage, discover how insects inspire robotics on the Technology stage and learn about the immune-to-Cancer naked mole rat on the Earth stage. After a wander around the stalls, perhaps make your way to the Engineering stage to ponder about Synthetic Biology and head to the Humans Stage to understand more about the growing antibiotic resistance problem.

With another opportunity to be part of a conversation with Al Worden, as well as a chance to hear writer and daughter of scientist Professor Stephen Hawking, Lucy Hawking’s storytime, New Scientist Live is an event you don’t want to miss!

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