Top 5 free events at Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival audience at Summerhall

Audience at Summerhall venue during Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival is coming up and the programme is full of great events and activities for adults, children, families, geeks and non-geeks alike.

If, like me however, you’re in a constant state of not-having-enough-money-because-you-spent-it-all-on-expensive-cocktail-ingredients (No? Just me?), you’ll appreciate the number of events during the festival that are completely free to attend.

Here’s my 5 picks of free events during the Edinburgh International Science Festival. And if, unlike me, you’ve got some money to spend, you can check out the full programme here.

1. Robot Lab

Sat 1 – Mon 3 April 10:00 – 16:00 (drop-in)
Venue: Grand Gallery, National Museum of Scotland

“Come and interact with robots from the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. From an assembly line robot that wants to learn how to work with you, to cute football-playing robots, learn about the many ways in which robots are trying to understand and imitate human beings. Presented by The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University”

2. Dialogues: When Art Meets Science

Sat 1 April 14:00 – 18:00 (free, but ticketed)
Venue: Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall

“What happens when art and science connect, when artists and scientists meet and collaborate? Exhibiting artists from Contemporary Connections join some of their scientific collaborators to discuss the subjects of their work and the nature of their collaborations. How might the arts and humanities inform science and contribute to its advancement? What roles do culture, imagination, argumentation, creativity, discovery and curiosity play in scientific enquiry? Is there a role for the arts in informing science? With Lily Hibberd, Hannah Imlach, Stephen Hurrel, Sebastian Verea, Jorge Viñuales, Louise Mackenzie and Simon Sloan.”

3. Micro-Engineers

Tue 11 – Sat 15 April 10:00 – 16:30 (drop-in)
Venue: Learning Centre Level 2, National Museum of Scotland

“In the movie Fantastic Voyage, a submarine with a crew, is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into a patient’s blood stream. Come and discover real life plans to implant a miniature monitoring station inside a cancer tumour, to help doctors destroy it. No science fiction involved! Explore how this tiny technology works by looking through a microscope at cancer cells, tiny silicon chips and clever circuits. Move a power coil around in water to light up wireless LEDs, and try our chemical sensors puzzles. Presented by The University of Edinburgh”

4. Future Vehicle Showcase

Fri 7 April 11:00 – 16:00
Venue: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

“Join The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation for a chance to discover a range of new low carbon vehicles and technologies on the market. Explore display stands and find out why electric vehicles are an important part of our future mobility. You’ll also have the chance to test-ride a new eBike and explore the Art, Space, Nature exhibition inside the ECCI building and grounds. Presented by Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation”

5. The Big Data Show

Wed 12 April 13:00 and 15:00 (1 hour, free but ticketed)
Venue: Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall

“Part digital magic show and part history of hacking. This work-in-progress interactive, digital performance will explore digital citizenship through your own mobile phone. Telling the story of the first prosecuted hack in the UK – and written with Rupert Goodwins, one of four who did it – The Big Data Show aims to demystify what big data is and how we choose to give it away.”

The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 1 to 16 April in venues across the city.


EduTech 2017, hosted by FutureScot, is a one-day conference which will examine the ways technology is being used to enhance pupil experience and learning in Scottish schools and how it can be used within a classroom setting to engage and inspire both educators and learners. Tickets start from £49 (excl. VAT)