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7th September 2016, 4:07pm
One-day science extravaganza illuminates world-changing research
One-day science extravaganza illuminates world-changing research Skeletons, robots and life-size terracotta warriors will be among the fascinating figures greeting visitors at an extraordinary one-day science showcase hosted by the University of Lincoln, UK, this September.

More than 40 scientific workshops, talks and exhibitions will take place as part of the action-packed LiGHTS Nights (Lincoln - Get Hold of Tech and Science) event, which will invite people of all ages to learn more about research projects that are changing the world we live in today.

LiGHTS Nights – a celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives –will take place on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus and in venues across the city on Friday 30th September 2016.

With a thought-provoking programme of activities asking questions like ‘Am I smarter than my tortoise?’ and ‘Are human eyes best?’, the science extravaganza is part of The European Researchers’ Night event.

European Researchers’ Night is an annual Europe-wide initiative that takes place on the last Friday of September. The Lincoln showcase is one of more than 250 events occurring simultaneously in major cities across the continent this year, each inviting members of the public to meet ‘heroes of science’; the researchers from different disciplines whose work has the potential to change our world.

LiGHTS Nights will see academics from the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science present their pioneering studies and invite visitors to become scientists for the day by participating in a range of different activities and experiments.

The event is spearheaded by Professor Carenza Lewis, Professor for the Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln.

“This day-long event represents a unique opportunity for the public to meet our researchers and find out what they really do for society, in interactive and engaging ways,” Professor Lewis explained. “The amazing programme we have lined up highlights just how many varied and diverse research projects are taking place right here in Lincoln. We can’t wait to welcome schools, families and people of all ages who are intrigued by how things work and by what science means for their lives, and invite them to get involved!”

The programme of events, which features exhibitions, tours, public lectures, workshops, screenings and performances, begins at 11am and runs until 10pm. Visitors are encouraged to attend several events and make the most of the variety of activities on offer.

Highlights include Skeletons in the cupboard – an interactive demonstration by forensic archaeologists showing what can be discovered about people’s past lives from studying their skeletons, using finds from Roman and medieval Lincoln. As part of the demo, the researchers from Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences will offer insights into how conditions such as anaemia, malnutrition, tuberculosis and leprosy are recognised.

The Black Death in your garden is a hands-on exhibition showing how archaeological excavations in thousands of UK gardens are measuring and mapping the impact of the Black Death. The exhibition will run alongside an accompanying talk by Professor Carenza Lewis, who is a leading archaeologist and featured on the acclaimed Time Team television series.

Another exhibition will display an extraordinary collection of 20th-century terracotta warriors which for the last year have been the subject of a major conservation project for a team of Lincoln’s postgraduate students. Meanwhile DNA workshops will enable visitors to extract DNA from everyday food using ordinary chemicals such as washing-up liquid and alcohol – with the chance to win souvenir ‘take-home’ tubes of DNA.

Shedding light on mysteries from the animal world, Lincoln researchers will present their work exploring how dogs are helping human health; which diseases have been passed to the human race from the animal kingdom; and the colourful traits developed by creatures around the world to attract their mates.

Visitors to LiGHTS Nights will also be introduced to Lincoln’s ensemble cast of robots - the focus of exciting studies into artificial intelligence - and invited to experience the latest developments in Virtual Reality, the technology trend taking the world by storm.

LiGHTS Nights is free to attend but bookings for individual sessions should be made in advance. More more information is available and bookings can be made online.

The European Researchers' Night initiative is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions. LiGHTS Nights 2016 is Lincoln’s first participation in the initiative and further funding has been secured for the University to take part again in 2017.

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