The BA Festival of Science

09 September 2007

Interview with

Sue Hordijenko, The British Association for the Advancement of science

Every year, the British Association for the Advancement of science hold a festival.  They go to a different university each year and the idea is to make science fun and interesting for the masses.  Sue Hordijenko is one of the people responsible for making it all happen...Chris -   Now what are you going to have on offer for everybody in York?Sue -   Well there's about 350 different events, exhibitions, talks, discussions and debates going on across the university of York campus and also in various different locations across the city, starting today [9th September 2007] and going on until next weekend.Chris -   And what sort of level of education do people need to have to come to this thing?  They don't need a PhD presumably?Sue -   No, not at all.  It's an extremely varied programme of activities, so it spans across all of the sciences.  We like to find scientists who have extremely good communication skills so it's very much aimed at a lay audience.Chris -   And what are the highlights?  What sorts of things would you say is definitely going to be on your wish list to drop in and see?Sue -   Well, when I've finished talking to you, Chris, I'm off to see a talk by Robert Winston, talking at the theatre royal in York.  So he's going to be in conversation with broadcaster Sue Nelson, he's going to be giving us an insight into what it's been like working in the area of fertility all of those years, and really what it's like to be a scientist working very much in the media spotlight.  So I'm off to see him later and I think that should be very good.  Being a bit of a chocolate fan myself, we've got an event on Tuesday taking place on the university campus which looks at some of the scientific issues raised in our passion for chocolate, including the notion of whether or not chocolate addiction does exist.Chris -   I think it certainly does, if you ask my wife.Sue -   And if you ask me as well... It's also going to be looking at some of the conflicts that have arisen over the years where cocoa is concerned.  We've got some events on natural disasters, like earthquakes, that are taking place on Wednesday, should be quite interesting.  Also on Wednesday we've got an event that looks at the truth about hypnosis, and an event which looks at rock guitar in 11 dimensions, so I'm sure you're safe from that Chris, there really is quite a diversity of events taking place.  Chris -   And if people want to come, are they going to have to dosh up loads of money or is this going to be something that they can get good value for money from?Sue -   The tickets that are priced are extremely reasonable, and there's also quite a lot of free activities taking place that people can drop into as well.

The BA Festival in York ran from the 9th - 16th September 2007, and the Naked Scientists were there all week!  Look out for a special edition series of podcasts soon!

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