The Big Bounce 2020

A brand new free science festival for the East End of Glasgow! From 30 October to 1 November


The Big Bounce logo 3 text over face

Whether you’re into science or not, we think you’ll enjoy checking out dancing atoms, spooky forces and artificial suns, all without leaving the house!

This year we’re streaming online, live from the Barrowland Ballroom and beyond on the weekend of 30 October. We’re bringing you mind-blowing shows, talks, comedy and workshops for wee ones and big yins alike!

Across three days, we’ll explore the physics that drives our world, and the technology that harnesses it to create wonders. For this first festival, we’re focusing on the amazing ways that science can help us tackle the climate crisis and find a brighter future.

Everyone is welcome!

Read more on Facebook.

Festival timetable

Mind and Draw Poster-making Workshop

Saturday 31 October: 12:00-13:00

Online on Zoom (link in registration below)

Arts and crafts on a desk with Mind and Draw logo

Join Garry from Mind and Draw for a creative session where we will be doing a range of fun activities on the theme of climate science!

We will be creating artwork and posters all about solutions to tackle climate change.

It’s open to everyone, all ages and abilities, and we will have climate scientists taking part and getting creative with you too!

This event is free, but there are limited places available.

Register for free on Eventbrite to guarantee your place!

Ideal for those aged one to 100.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

Fast Physics!

Saturday 31 October: 14:00-14:45

LIVE on YouTube and this page, from the Barras Market

Fast Physics logo on black

Physics! What is it good for? Folk in Scotland and beyond are doing some weird and wonderful stuff with physics right now, and these four quickfire talks will reveal all.

Come along and have a peek – you can even throw some questions at our three physicists, if you're fast enough!

The four quickfire talks are:

1. Winds from Supermassive Black Holes. 

They can tell us how galaxies evolve. How? Well, show up and find out.

2. Scary Physics: sometimes things are not as they seem… it wouldn’t be Halloween without slime, spooky solid fluids, and levitating objects!

3. Why warming in the Arctic means you get wet in Scotland. 

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. This is bad news for polar bears, but what difference does it make to those of us that live elsewhere?

We explain how changes in Arctic climate have a big impact on the weather we experience in Scotland, and what we might see in the future.

4. Energy in the Green New Deal.

For centuries, we've run our civilisations by burning coal, gas and oil. But with the world itself now heating up we need to think about how we keep the lights on, our machines running and our lives comfortable in the years and centuries to come.

This Fast Physics presentation will look at new ways of generating, storing and moving energy that won't cost us the planet.

All talks ideal for people aged 11ish to 100.

Register for free on Eventbrite or hit ‘attending’ on Facebook to get reminders and more details.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

Fusion Future: The Sun’s Power on Earth

Saturday 31 October: 16:00-17:00

LIVE on Youtube and this page, from the Barrowland Ballroom!

A woman standing next to a fusion reactor

Fusion is the reaction that powers the stars – small particles colliding and combining produce huge amounts of energy with no greenhouse gases and no long-lived radioactive waste. 

This makes fusion the ultimate energy source and scientists have been trying to do it on Earth for decades. When it works, it will change the energy landscape; perhaps even change the world.

The next decade will be a really exciting one for fusion energy. Discussing why scientists have been chasing the fusion dream for so long and where fusion fits in the energy market, Dr Melanie Windridge will show you why now is a key time. 

She will introduce you to what it takes to harness the energy of the stars, some of the approaches being tried and talk about how private investment is moving the field towards commercialisation.

Dr Windridge is a plasma physicist, speaker and writer... with a taste for adventure.

She has a PhD in fusion energy from Imperial College London, is communications consultant for fusion company Tokamak Energy, and is the author of Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights and Star Chambers: The Race for Fusion Power.

Ideal for people aged 11 to 100.

Register for free on Eventbrite or hit ‘attending’ on Facebook to get reminders and more details.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

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Followed by:

Fusion Future: a Zoom Q&A with Dr Melanie Windridge

Join us for a live discussion about the exciting fusion energy, and what it means to you. Bring questions and an open mind!

This event is free, but there are limited places available. Register for free on Eventbrite to guarantee your place.

Register on Eventbrite.

Power Up!

Sunday 1 November: 13:00-13:45

LIVE on YouTube and this page, from the Barrowland Ballroom!

Two people in front of a wind turbine

Kids take on the role of young engineers in our fun-filled show Power Up!, where we check out alternative, renewable energy sources.

Join us to learn how we power our homes and our cars, and watch cool demonstrations of the effects of climate change.

You’ll get to see renewable energy in action as we explore engineering wonders such as hydro dams and solar power.

Everyone needs to work together to find the best possible way to fill our energy meter whilst being good to the planet – before our resources run out!

Ideal for people aged five to 100.

Register for free on Eventbrite or hit ‘attending’ on Facebook to get reminders and more details.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

Climate Change: Simple, Serious and Solvable

Sunday 1 November: 14:30-15:15

LIVE on YouTube and this page, from the Barras Market

Physics graphics floating above a city

Are you dancin’? Dr James Rae is. He’ll tell you how global heating actually works, and if you’re lucky also bust some pretty mean moves. He’ll show how the science of climate change is simple, the impacts are serious and the problem itself is solvable.

Come join in with this LIVE online event to find out how humans like you can help the world to bounce back!

Ideal for people aged 11ish to 100.

Register for free on Eventbrite or hit ‘attending’ on Facebook to get reminders and more details.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

Weather Folklore: Fact or Fiction?

Sunday 1 November: 14:30-15:30

Online on Zoom (link in registration below)

John's Weather Forecasting Stone

This workshop will explore the weather-prediction sayings that many of us are familiar with, and whether there is any truth to them.

Join the community learning and development team at Glasgow Science Centre to discuss weather folklore, check out some familiar and maybe unfamiliar home weather predictors, and discover how meteorologists actually develop weather forecasts.

This event is free, but there are limited places available! Register for free on Eventbrite to guarantee your place.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Sunday 1 November: 16:00-17:00

LIVE on YouTube and this page, from the Barrowland Ballroom!

A light bulb with CODI written inside

Take three top academics, three dangerous ideas, add one comedian and it’s the force of nature that is the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CODI).

Hosted by comedian JoJo Sutherland, and now in its eighth year, CODI is 60 minutes of rapid-fire research from some of the finest minds in the country.

Curated by the University of Edinburgh as part of Beltane Public Engagement Network and produced by Fair Pley, CODI streams live from the Barrowlands as part of the Big Bounce 2020.

‘A fascinating discussion’ Broadway Baby

‘All of the CODI talks are designed to challenge their audiences’ Lancet

‘[T]here are no talks here which don’t promise to be hugely educational and thought-provoking’ List

1. When Money Can Talk

Your money is changing and it’s getting a mind of its own! What happens when your bank finds out you’re addicted to Greggs or tapping your credit card can tell Spotify just what song to play? Where money and tech meet, spending has never been easier, but as money gets smarter can we stay in control? Join Chris Elsden (The University of Edinburgh) as he ventures into our digital financial futures where money can listen, talk and even take decisions for you.

2. Spot the Bot! 

Machines are learning to write and translate poetry, novels, and news stories (in any language). But can they really capture the intricate emotions and nuances of human literature? And what does this mean for the future of jobs in translation, journalism and writing? Paola Ruffo bets you can’t tell the difference between text written by humans and computers! Are you up to the challenge?

3. RoboDoc!

AI-enabled robots are on the rise and in some tasks they already beat humans! Soon, they will take their place alongside doctors in our health system, interpreting your X-rays and MRI scans better than their human colleagues. Together, doctors and intelligent robots could enable huge advances in our ability to diagnose diseases early and perform surgery with greater precision.

Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy (The University of Edinburgh) explores what is becoming possible and what questions this raises for patients and medical professionals.

Ideal for those aged 16 to 100.

Register for free on Eventbrite or hit ‘attending’ on Facebook to get reminders and more details.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

Coding for Absolute Beginners with Remote3

Part 1, Friday 30 October: 16:30-17:00 and Part 2, Sunday 1 November: 11:00-11:30

Online on Zoom (link in registration below)

Computer animation

If you’re looking for a friendly way to get into the mysterious world of coding, then look no further! No previous knowledge is required.

We will show you how to programme your own interactive stories, games and animations, in just the same way that we code robots to explore other planets and the remotest parts of our own planet Earth. You’ll start making your own codes right away, using just your computer browser.

The workshop has two sessions. On Friday we’ll introduce the workshop and set you on your way with a simple challenge to do for the rest of the weekend, with helpers on call to help you. Then on the second session on Sunday we’ll show each other what we’ve done. We’re here to get you into coding… and have a pure dead brilliant time along the way.

This event is free, but there are limited places available. Register for free on Eventbrite to guarantee your place!

Ideal for those aged eight to 100.

Register on Eventbrite.

Go to Facebook event.

The Big Bounce is the new name for the Festival of Physics, previously held annually at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

For enquiries, please email festivalofphysics@iop.org.