IOP is a force for physics at NI Science Festival

27 February 2017

A conversation between professors Jim Al-Khalili and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a lecture on quantum biology by Al-Khalili and a digital creativity workshop were among the sessions offered by the IOP in Ireland at the NI Science Festival.

IOP is a force for physics at NI Science Festival

The festival ran across more than 25 venues in Northern Ireland from 18 February with events including talks, debates, theatre, music, film and interactive sessions offered by a range of organisations, and finished on 26 February.

On the first day of the festival the IOP in Ireland, with STEM Aware, ran a free Digital Creativity workshop at the Gasyard Centre in Derry/Londonderry where people of all ages could interact with technology and software such as iPads, Minecraft, Raspberry Pi, Makey Makeys, Pokemon Go and FIFA 17, or learn to code a robotic arm.

The IOP in Ireland also brought physics busking to the Foyle Arena in Derry/Londonderry on 25 February and St George’s Market, Belfast on 26 February, where they engaged the public with physics through tricks using everyday objects.

IOP is a force for physics at NI Science Festival

On the final day, the IOP in Ireland ran an event at the Whitla Hall, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), where Bell Burnell (left), a renowned astrophysicist and a former president of the Institute, discussed her life and work in science with Al-Khalili (right), a physicist, author and broadcaster.

Later that afternoon in the same venue, Al-Khalili spoke about quantum biology for the first annual John Bell Lecture. The lecture was presented in honour of the quantum physicist John Stewart Bell, best known for Bell’s Theorem on non-locality. Both events were organised by the IOP in Ireland and co-sponsored by QUB.

Bell Burnell was also the keynote speaker at the STEM in Action Female Workshops event, run and hosted by Belfast Met, at which the IOP in Ireland had a stand. The workshops were aimed at students in key stages 3 and 4 and there were talks by former Belfast Met STEM students.

As part of the festival, the IOP in Ireland’s policy adviser, Dr Sheila Gilheany, spoke at a packed out Tenx9: The Final Frontier storytelling evening, held at The Black Box, Belfast on 22 February by the NI Science Festival in partnership with Tenx9.