What will happen to us when the Sun runs out of its fuel? Should we expect an encounter with an asteroid similar to the one that annihilated dinosaurs? If we happen to be all alone in the infinite universe, isn’t this a colossal waste of space? Where do cyclones and anticyclones come from? Can mathematics be fun? The answers of those and of many other questions are available to anybody who visits the Sofia Science Festival. In the course of five days, from 9 to 13 May, the capital city will play host to a laboratory for entertaining chemical and physical experiments and to a comical mathematics show. And those who wish to discover the delicious aspect of science should not miss visiting the molecular restaurant.
The festival is on for a second consecutive year and its organizers are the British Council in Bulgaria and the Democritus Forum. This year again the event is underway under the auspices of Minister of Education, Youth and Science Sergei Ignatov. More about the agenda of the festival from Lyubov Kostova, director of the British Council
„Visitors are welcome to the festival tents at the Zaimov Garden in Sofia where we are going to debunk myths in the lookout for new worlds. Robots will be built, and there will be mathematics for fun. Chemists will be allowed in the kitchen to cook something delicious and quite safe to consume. There will be workshops for children, various presentations, science cafes and exhibitions. The program is quite diverse, and our visitors will even be able to see the scale model of the London 2012 Olympics facilities. Overall, the events are very intriguing and with various highlights – physics, chemistry, biology presented either with a sense of humor or more conventionally. Presenters are from different age groups. There are younger scientists and older ones too.”
On 11 May the final round of the FameLab competition will take place. It is targeted at young researchers aged from 18 to 35 who are able to present to a wider audience their scientific interests in an attractive way. The finalists are eleven including three young ladies. The winner will leave for Cheltenham where he or she will compete with rivals from 18 other countries. One particularly interesting event is the charity exhibition with photos of human chromosomes. It seeks to promote tolerance to people with genetic disorders. Lyubov Kostova explains that the backbone of the festival is the participation of Bulgarian researchers, however the program also includes presentations by two foreign scientists.
„We have a guest from Poland. He is a finalist at this year’s first edition of FameLab in Poland”, Lyubov Kostova explains. “He will speak about his soft spot for smelting and for the technologies that we use to make something as lovely as a jewel, a necklace that any woman would adore. Another foreign guest this year is Sara Santos who was born in Portugal but has lived for many years in UK. She is a mathematician and will make two exceptional presentations. One of them is dedicated to the secret of the digit 2 and the other one will focus on entertaining geometry. Sara will show to us that mathematics is not simply digits. It is the field that can resolve the mystery of the perspective and of maritime chess for instance. Both presentations will be in English. After the first edition of the festival last year we believe that many Bulgarians have very good knowledge of English and we have not even hired interpreters.”
Part of the events will be with free access and for others tickets are sold at symbolic prices. Anybody interested in the event can look up its specialized website at http://www.sofiasciencefestival.bg.
Translated by Daniela Konstantinova