In the Highland Science Festival, we believe in going to extremes. Not just the extremes of geography, which takes us to distant places and warm communities where we join the busy local calendar of events. We also like to boldly go and lecture where few people have ever lectured before.
This year we gave the world's shortest physics lecture in a new venue – a potting shed in Borders Bookstore, Inverness. The potting shed was specially produced for us by Noble Timber Buildings of Forres, and by the end of the day was steeped in relativity and quantum theory to such an extent that some of us wondered whether the company might have to change the spelling of its name to Nobel.
We rounded off the Festival with a lecture in the ruined Cathedral at Fortrose. There too it was a privilege to lecture. The beautiful setting of the Cathedral is quite inspirational, with the grass around it and the Chapter House beside, and the houses round about. What an ideal place for a talk on medieval science and the air of mystery and wizardry that sometimes hangs over the subject!
But this is just the start. We are looking for more extreme places all the time – and here's where you can help us.
Do you have somewhere really extreme, somewhere where nobody has ever lectured before, somewhere that nobody would ever think of lecturing in? If so, we want to hear from you!
Is it inaccessible? Good. Unsuitable? Excellent. And best of all, has anyone ever given a science lecture there before? Perfect. The spirit of science is the spirit of adventure, to tackle the impossible – or at any rate, the highly improbable. The breakthroughs happen when people get jolted out of their normal patterns of thinking – and we like any opportunity to be jolted. You can help us go to extremes!
Extreme Lectures this year were:
"The Worlds Shortest Physics Lecture", Saturday 1 November, 12:30pm in "The Potting Shed", Borders Bookshop in Inverness.
"The Shaping of the Cairngorms", Saturday 1 November, 2:30pm, Aonach Room, Base Station, Cairngorm Mountain.
"Whisky Making - Art or Science?", Friday 7 November, 7:30pm, Glen Ord Distillery, Muir of Ord
"It was the Wizard: Michael Scot and Medieval Science", Saturday 15 November, 7:00pm in the ruins of Fortrose Cathedral, Fortrose.