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One night, unlimited discovery at the University of St Andrews

Thursday 22 September 2016

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Academic comedy from Fringe Festival favourites Bright Club, making solar cells from raspberries and a torch lit tour of the Bell Pettigrew Museum are just some of the events taking place later this month at the University of St Andrews as part of this year’s Explorathon.

Explorathon – an evening of discovery, debate and entertainment – will take place on Friday 30 September at the Byre Theatre to celebrate European Researchers’ Night 2016. It brings together researchers and the public across the country to showcase the ground breaking innovation and research taking place in Scottish universities. The wider European network will simultaneously be active in over 300 cities across the continent, involving 1.5 million participants.

Researchers from ancient history to zoology will host displays, shows, comedy and hands-on exhibitions from 5pm to 12.30am. All events are free although booking is recommended. 

The events will spill over to Saturday morning with Explorathon@Parkrun in Craigtoun Park including the Dog Cognition lab, and the launch of the child and baby lab at a family fun day in St Mary’s Quad.

Night at the Museum: See the Bell Pettigrew Museum as you’ve never seen it before with a torchlight tour of the rare and fascinating specimens in this zoological collection. Stay close, you never know what might pop out of the shadows! Tours will depart from the Byre. 

‌How would you improve humans? Level Up Human is an optimistic science podcast in which guest judges consider pitches from experts, the studio audience and Mother Nature herself in pursuit of good ideas for our descendants. Join us for this live recording hosted by biologist, comedian and presenter, Simon Watt, best known for the BAFTA winning Inside Nature’s Giants and Channel 4’s The Elephant: Life After Death.


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Bright Club (over 18s) is a stand-up comedy night like no other. Six academics take off their lab coats, put down their rare manuscripts and exit their offices for one night to take to the stage and perform eight minutes of side-splitting comedy about the topic they know best – their research.

Dog Cog in the Park: Have you always thought you and your dog share a special language? And just how smart is your dog? Bring your dog to meet the St Andrews University Dog Cognition Lab for demos and taster sessions. All levels of canine intelligence welcome!

Professor Verity Brown, Vice-Principal (Enterprise & Engagement) at the University of St Andrews explains: “As part of the 24-hour, Scotland-wide, award-winning extravaganza that is Explorathon, we are inviting everyone to exercise their curiosity and to play, discuss and discover through the world-class research being conducted in St Andrews.”

Dr Mhairi Stewart, Public Engagement Officer at the University of St Andrews adds: “Whether making your own birdsong, driving a Mars rover, creating intergalactic music on our Cosmic Keyboard or taking part in one of our shows, there is something for everyone. Most events are family friendly, with adult only events taking place later in the evening.”


Notes to editors

Events are free but booking is recommended; more information can be found on the Explorathon website.