Preview: Edinburgh International Science Festival

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THE God paricle, crime scene investigation and stargazing - just some of the highlights of the 2013 Edinburgh International Science Festival, which begins tomorrow.

For 25 years the festival has prided itself on making science entertaining and engaging, and this year’s line-up is sure to do that.

Any of the four million viewers who watched BBC Two’s Stargazing Live will recognise astronomer Mark Thompson - he presents the show alongside Professor Brian Cox.

The ‘people’s astronomer’ will be fronting Stargaze With Mark, at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, where visitors will get the chance to handle a meteorite, witness the formation of a comet and, weather permitting, stargaze with Mark themselves. The event will take place on Wednesday 27 March at 7pm.

Another highlight of the festival promises to be the appearance of Edinburgh University’s emeritus Professor Peter Higgs, the scientist who first proposed the existence of the most famous particle in the world – the God particle.

The detection of the Higgs boson last year by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has an incredible story that stretches back to 1964. Professor Higgs and CERN director general Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer will be telling it at the Signet Library on Sundayat 7pm.

Wanted! Volunteers to migrate to Mars in 2023. Mars One, the organisation recruiting people for the first attempt at interplanetary migration, will also be in attendance at the festival.

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder of the mission, will be presenting his plan and exploring the details, problems, and benefits of going where where no man has gone before.

Interested in moving to Mars? Join Mars One on 5 April at 8pm, at the National Museum of Scotland.

Families with young children, meanwhile, should head to the City Art Centre over the next two weeks for activity-packed sessions aimed at engaging kids with science.

The venue will be transformed into a weird, wacky, but wonderful world with skeletons, robots, and monsters around every corner. Kids can help in a plastic recycling plant with the new Polyfloss Factory activity, and solve the clues to a crime in their very own forensic experiment called Crime Scene Investigation.

Edinburgh International Science Festival, tomorrow-7 April, for full details visit www.sciencefestival.co.uk

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