As it prepares to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing,bluedot – the award-winning music, science and culture festival held at Jodrell Bank Observatory (18-21 July 2019) – has announced even more science and arts names on its already impressive bill.
Headlining Friday’s celebration of space science is Dr Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut and the first woman on the Mir space station. In a fascinating talk, Helen will share her experience of space, giving attendees a glimpse into life as an astronaut. Her first-hand account will be followed by a unique in-conversation between James Burke, the BBC’s anchor for its coverage of the Apollo 11 mission, and broadcaster Dallas Campbell.
Also on the line-up for Friday are Professor Monica Grady, who will discuss the epoch-making events of 1969, X-ray astronomer Dr Tana Joseph on the role of serendipity in science, Professor Matthew Cobb discussing the rise of the robots and the human brain,plus Professors Teresa Anderson and Tim O’Brien, co-curators of the science at bluedot, celebrating Jodrell Bank’s rich heritage and hosting a series of science talks from the Lovell Stage – a popular bluedot tradition.
Leading the rest of the science line-up on Friday is physicist, author and broadcaster, Professor Jim Al-Khalili. Jim will present Sunfall focusing on the cutting-edge science behind his new thriller about an end of the world event. Other talks will cover topics from black holes to the Big Bang.
But this is just the start of a star-studded weekend of science.Libby Jackson, one of Britain’s leading experts in human spaceflight also joins the science bill presenting UK Goes to the Moon which will discuss all things lunar including past achievements, current activities and the plans for the next decades. The theme continues with a programme of talks including Dr Katherine Joy on the science of the Moon and the first UK-led meteorite hunting expedition to Antarctica, Dr Sarah Crowther on extraterrestrial visitors of the rocky kind and Dr Simeon Barber on going back to the Moon and whether we will be there to stay.
It’s not all Moon, as bluedot also welcomes Professor Jim Naismith, Laura Holland and Paul Smith from the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the UK Space Agency who will tell the story of the new European Space Agency Mars Rover and the scientist for whom it’s named.
The wider impact of space exploration is also featured.Dr Alice Gorman will present Dr Space Junk, a timely look into space junk and space archaeology, Drs Tom Tunstall-Allock and Rachel Platonov will team up to discuss the role of the space race and the moon landing in the Cold War, and Drs Alexandra Loske and Robert Massey will highlight the role of the Moon in Art, Culture and Science.
Not to be missed isDallas Campbell’s How to Make A Spacesuit.Expect archive footage and photography as well as Dallas’s own detailed replica of Neil Armstrong’s iconic A7-L Apollo moon suit. Also joining the Dot Talks programme is British journalist, broadcaster and avid space fan Sue Nelson with First Woman on the Moon, a detailed look into the compelling story of the all female Mercury 13 and the notable achievements women have had in space.
Other stars of the science line up include Dr Tamsin Edwards who will talk about Polar Thinking: the real story of climate science and Professor Jeff Forshaw, a long-time collaborator of Professor Brian Cox, who will discuss the brain-melting concepts in Our Quantum Universe. Professor Matthew Palmer of the UK Oceonography Centre will go Beyond the Tides and explore how the Moon fuels ocean life and helps control Earth’s climate., whilst Professor Chris Lintott of the Sky at Night presents Weird Worlds: finding planets and exploring the past.
Our impact on the planet is also explored in broadcaster Liz Bonnin’s signature presentation on The Problem with Plastics, picking up on the crisis featured in her TV series Drowning in Plastic. Professor Dave Goulson also joins the bill, discussing The Garden Jungle: how our gardens could become a vast network of tiny nature reserves, where humans and wildlife can thrive together in harmony rather than conflict.
On Sunday, author Jeanette Winterson will bring her book ‘Frankissstein’ to bluedot. Praised by the Guardian as ‘A dazzling reanimation of Shelley’s novel’ Frankissstein has been celebrated by readers across the globe. Expect an in depth look into the novel with the gifted writer.
National media partner, New Scientist will also bring an exciting and interactive space workshop to the festival giving visitors the chance to delve into the smells of space as described by ISS astronauts. Festival goers will also have the chance to find out further information abut the world’s most popular weekly science and technology magazine and secure access to exclusive subscription offers.
As well as an in depth and varied science programme, bluedot has today announced further artists to its already impressive arts bill – a number of which will be funded by the Arts Council England.
Many art installations will sit in The Outer Space, a dedicated after hours spot for relaxing at the festival. This space will include the magnificent art installation Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerad. Measuring seven meters in diameter, the moon features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition. Squid Soup the UK-based international group of artists, researchers, technologists and designers will be on site with their project Submergence – an immersive walkthrough experience.
Central to the bluedot art experience is the awe-inspiring Lovell Telescope. Using audio ‘loops’ created between mission control and the lunar module, fused with signals and recordings generated by Jodrell Bank as it tracked the moon landings, celebrated light artists Illuminos will transform the Lovell Telescope with Lunar Loops Telescope Projection.
Other notable additions to the art line-up include a Space Walk Lunar Procession, Titan The Robot, Eye of The Storm, fire installation Walk The Plank and Talk to the Skies, all of which are funded by the Arts Council England.
Day tickets are now on sale, priced £59.75 per person. Full weekend camping start from £169 and are running low with final release tickets set to go on sale in the next 24 hours.
To buy tickets, visit the official bluedot Skiddle page. All purchases are covered by a 72 hour cool-off period during which a full refund is available.
Main image credit: Scott Salt / bluedot