Welcome to our blog from the British Science Festival. This year's Festival will be in Surrey from 5-10 September with hundreds events expected to happen at the University of Surrey campus and throughout the county. With workshops, hands-on fun, heated debates, talks, performances and field trips there's something for everyone!
Stay tuned for the latest news and developments from the British Science Festival.

from Yasmin and Natalie (Festival team)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Colour - bubbles, butterflies and more

Well, what a week. We’ve been at the Manchester Science Festival and thought I would give a little update of what we’ve been up to. At the weekend, we took two of our fantastic BA Award Lectures to the Manchester Science Festival. First up, Pete Vukusic from the University of Exeter giving his talk Evolutionary colour: Evolutionary colour: understanding nature's use of light. He joined us on Saturday at the Manchester Museum to look at colour, how colour is formed, how we see it and the different types; namely pigments and structural colour. Pigments produce a colour as a result of different wavelengths of light being absorbed. Structural colour works by producing a colour when light interacts with different layers of an object. When light hits the object at different angles the colour can appear to change. A great example is soap bubbles and some butterfly wings. We had great fun painting some audience members’ face with paint and looking at it under UV light, creating bubbles, watching cars change colour and watching creatures disappear. We then found out about the different ways that colour cold be applied in science including use in make-up (no butterflies were harmed!). We had some younger members in the audience than we thought we would and Pete’s ability to adapt the content of his talk and present information for the different age groups throughout was impressive. He was a really engaging scientist, bringing light to his area of work and inspiring the audience – especially the younger ones. I think we have a few budding scientists as a result!

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