Science festival shines light on career opportunities

Published: 1 October 2014

More than 100 events are to showcase the fascinating, funny and sometimes bizarre nature of science from 4 to 19 October as part of the 2014 Midlothian Science Festival.

Now in its third year, the event aims to engage and inspire visitors of all ages and encourage local people to see science, technology and engineering as career opportunities.

Midlothian has a rich legacy in science and innovation and continues to be a world leader in this field. Its most famous scientists include Sir Ian Wilmut, who created Dolly the Sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal, in 1996, and Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, the son of a Midlothian farmer who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1927 for inventing the cloud chamber – a device used by nuclear physicists to detect and study elementary particles.

“We’ve got a rich history of science in Midlothian and over the last 30 years in particular we’ve built a reputation for producing research which is consistently world-class,” says Midlothian Science Festival director Sarah Keer-Keer, whose own work as a research scientist at Midlothian’s Roslin Institute has helped improve the welfare of chickens in battery farms.

“We’re also home to a number of big engineering and technology employers working on cutting edge projects and offering fantastic jobs. Yet these employers often have to recruit from overseas because there’s maybe a lack of recognition locally that the science and technology sector offers great career opportunities.”

Information on career opportunities at the Roslin Institute and The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies will be on offer as part of the Glencorse Science Day at The Glencorse Centre in Auchendinny on Friday 17 October. The festival’s aims are in line with a wider drive by Midlothian Council and community planning partners to promote science and technology as a career choice following the decline of traditional industries including coal mining, paper making and textile milling.

Visitors to Midlothian Science Festival will be encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities including simulated brain surgery, forensics, computer game design, pinhole photography, archaeology, mapping stars, battlefield pathology, brewing, supercomputing, veterinary medicine, rocket making and a science ceilidh featuring dances such as the dashing white blood cell.

More than 20 Midlothian venues will be involved, including Easter Bush Campus in Roslin, where more than 600 scientists are working on world-leading research into animal health and its implications for human health. Its open day on Saturday 4th October, 12-4pm, will allow visitors to see behind the scenes at The Roslin Institute, Scotland’s Rural College and the Teaching Building of The University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Easter Bush Campus is part of Edinburgh Science Triangle, a collaboration of seven science parks, four universities and two agritech institutes across Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian that forms one of the top ten research and development locations in Europe and houses more than 3,000 researchers and 120 market-leading companies.

Midlothian Science Festival is funded by partners including the Scottish Government, Midlothian Council, the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, The University of Edinburgh, Homecoming Scotland and the Darwin Trust.

For more information on Midlothian Science Festival please contact Iona Beange on 07790310859 or iona@midlothiansciencefestival.com

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