Explorathon returned to St Andrews on Friday 29th September and it was a huge success!
Explorathon is an extravaganza of discovery, debate and entertainment that takes place on European Researchers’ Night at universities throughout Scotland. University of St Andrews researchers from the across the Arts, Humanities and Sciences put on a spectacular evening of activities, open to all. It is a major event on the public engagement calendar and was hugely successful, drawing vast numbers of attendees to explore climate change, dig up archaeology, go on torchlight tours of the Bell Pettigrew Museum and much more.
School of Biology researchers were well represented in the diverse shows and research fair that Explorathon had to offer. For example, the How We Think: From Animals to AI panel discussion, chaired by Dr Katrina Falkenberg, explored intelligence, cognition, culture and problem solving across the animal kingdom and beyond. Prof Sue Healy described her research in bird cognition (pictured), alongside Dr Amanda Seed, Prof Ian Gent, Dr Luke Rendell and Prof Andy Whiten. Researchers from SMRU delivered the activity, SNAP!, in which participants could have a go at identifying individual whales, dolphins and seals using photographs and natural markings. Kevin Laland gave a talk on his latest book, Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony, winner the BPS Book Award for Academic Monograph. A diverse team of brave academics delivered Bright Club – academic standup comedy – with Helen Spence-Jones performing her debut alongside seasoned comedian Dr Kate Cross and four others. Another popular show was the XX factor, an audience-judged competition in which female researchers pitch their work in 3 minutes. Brittany Jones (Biology) won the day-time schools competition, Frances Entwistle (Biology) brought home gold in the evening competition and Fiona Macfarlane won the online competition (Mathematics and Statistics).
Visit the Explorathon website for the full program of events.