Monsterfest !

Friday 14 to Sunday 23 June 2013
The Monster is back
With a new look and a brand new exciting programme of science & technology themed events!

The countdown has begun! This year’s better-than-ever Monsterfest gets underway two weeks tomorrow, on Friday 14 June, and from then until Sunday 23 June will bring you a host of events to keep even the most dedicated science and technology enthusiast happy.

You’ll find a reminder of the complete programme below, but don’t forget you can find fuller details and book your places via the Monsterfest website.

Can’t wait another two weeks for your first taste of this year’s Monsterfest? The good news is that you don’t have to! Just come along to Falcon Square this Saturday, 1st June …


In town this Saturday? Keep your eyes peeled for fireworks with a difference in Falcon Square! Ruaraidh Milne will be performing his fabulous Fire Show and explaining the physics behind the flames.

Shows run for 30 minutes and will start at 11 am, 12.30 pm and 2 pm.

We are looking for volunteers (age 18+) to hand out Monsterfest leaflets during the shows, and also help us make sure no one gets too close to the action!  If you can help, please email us asap at to let us know which of the shows you would be available for. Thank you!

PS. If you can’t make it to Falcon Square this Saturday, you don’t have to miss out: Ruaraidh will be performing his show again at the Monster Family Day at Inverness College, Longman Rd, on Saturday 15 June.


Monsterfest is brought to you on the tightest of budgets and by a very small team, which means we really will be very grateful for any help you can give. And there are lots of ways you can make a difference:


Would you be able to manage the registration desk when people arrive for events? We are especially looking for help with the following:

Friday 14 June, 7.30 pm – Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario

Monday 17 June, 7.30 pm – Bumpology

In addition, we are looking for volunteers to be generally available on Sunday 16 June for the Iain Stewart event, and on Sunday 23 June for the Richard Wiseman event, both at the Ironworks in Academy Street. This might entail helping at the sign-in desk, getting a roving microphone to questioners during the Q&A sessions, and anything else that crops up on the day.

In all cases, volunteers will still get to see the full events and will not miss anything!

We would also be grateful for volunteers who could be at Urquhart Castle on Saturday 22 June for the Medieval Construction Show, just to be an extra pair of hands to help keep everything running smoothly. You wouldn’t necessarily need to be there all day: please just let us know when you’d be available.

If you are over 18 and can help with any of these, please email to let us have your details and which event(s) you would be available to help with. Thank you!
Distributing Monsterfest leaflets

Because we have such a limited advertising budget, one of the most effective ways you can help make Monsterfest a success is by helping us get the word out about this year’s great programme.

* Could you take leaflets into your place of work … or your gym … or your golf club … or your dentist … or anywhere else people might see them?

* Could you ask your children’s school(s) if they would send leaflets home to parents?

* Could you distribute some around your neighbourhood?

If so, we would LOVE to hear from you! Please email, letting us know your name and address, how many leaflets you would like, and where you would plan to distribute them.

Telling your friends, family and colleagues

Last year “Word of Mouth” was the single most productive source of attendees at Monsterfest events. So please don’t keep it to yourself! If you can, please consider helping us get the word out. Here are some easy ways to do it:

* Invite friends and family to come with you to Monsterfest events.

* Suggest events to them you think might be of interest.

* Forward this newsletter to people in your contacts list.

* Share the updates on our Facebook page.

Retweet us.

*Hand out Monsterfest leaflets (see above!)

Anything you can do to help spread the word really will make a big difference and will make an old monster very happy.

Thank you!



You will find full details plus links to our online booking system on the Monsterfest website. Evening events and the Monster Family Day all take place at Inverness College in Longman Road and are free of charge, unless otherwise stated.

Friday 14 June, 7.30 pm
Zombie Science: Worst Case ScenarioInvernessScienceFestZombieScience

Join Theoretical Zombiologist Doctor Smith for an interactive spoof tutorial on the real science behind a disease outbreak. Thanks to Doctor Smith’s heroic efforts, you will learn exactly what to do should a Zombie outbreak occur.

Saturday 15 June, 10 am to 3 pm,
Monster Family Day

An all-new line-up of mindblowing, entertaining and educational science and technology-themed activities and demos for the whole family. What better way of keeping the kids entertained on a Saturday than with brilliant beavers, techy trees, intelligent houses, fiery physics and more?

Admission (payable at the door): £1.50 per person, or £5 for a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children. No need to book. Last admission 2pm.

Please note that this year’s Family Day will be taking place at the Inverness College LONGMAN ROAD campus, and not at Midmills, as in previous years.

SUNDAY 16 JUNE, 4pm, IRONWORKSInvernessScienceFestIainStewart

A journey back into the mists of time, explaining how geologists unravel the truth about events that took place many millions of years ago. With Prof Iain Stewart, the inspirational presenter of wonderful TV series such as Earth: The Power of the Planet.

Tickets are £5 per person, and early booking is strongly recommended!


Monday 17 June, 7.30 pm
Linda Geddes: BumpologyInvernessScienceFestLindaGeddes

Science journalist and author Linda Geddes explodes some of the myths about pregnancy and childbirth, and shares some fascinating insights into how babies develop. Thanks to Waterstones Inverness there will be a chance to purchase Linda’s book, Bumpology, after the event and have it signed.






Tuesday 18 June, 7.30 pm
Engineering: Saving Lives in Challenging EnvironmentsInvernessScienceFestRoger Boultbee

Engineer Roger Boultbee will talk about his experiences as a VSO volunteer in Malawi and explain how engineering solutions help save lives through improving the quality of hospital care.







Wednesday 19 June, 7.30 pm
The Vital Statistics of the Loch Ness Monster

Dr Charles Paxton of the University of St Andrews explores what statistics tell us about the probability of discovering new giant animals in freshwaters as well as revealing the results of a statistical analysis of eyewitness testimony from Loch Ness.

Thursday 20 June, 7.30 pm
The Secrets of Life: What it is to be Human

Steven Dodsworth was one of the first 10 scientists to work on the UK’s contribution to the Human Genome project. In this talk he will explore some of the fundamental aspects of what makes you “you”.

Friday 21 June, 7.30 pm
Pre-release screening: Dimensions

The perfect Friday evening entertainment for science fans. This beautiful multi-award winning film is both a love story and an exploration of one of the ideas about time-travel, and Monsterfest is giving you the chance to watch it, free, before it has even been released! Even better, both the director, Sloane U’Ren, and the producer/screenwriter/composer, Ant Neely, will be joining us in person for a Q&A session afterwards. Definitely one to book early!

PS. You can find out more and watch the trailer on the Dimensions website.

Saturday 22 June, see website for showtimes
The Medieval Construction Show,
Urquhart Castle, nr Drumnadrochit

Discover how medieval builders overcame the challenges posed by gravity and friction as you follow the journey of a block of stone from a quarry to the top of an arch in a medieval building!

Suitable for families with children aged 7+. Once inside Urquhart Castle the show itself is free and Historic Scotland is offering a 20% discount on normal castle admission charges for those who have booked to attend. Booking essential: please see Monsterfest website for details.


An astonishing 73% of Americans claim to have experienced paranormal phenomena. Psychology professor Richard Wiseman examines the science behind the supernatural, revealing what ghosts, psychics and out-of-body experiences show about our brains and beliefs.

Tickets are £5 per person, and early booking is strongly recommended! Thanks to Waterstones Inverness, there will be the opportunity to buy Richard’s books and have them signed after the show.


New to the Monsterfest programme this year, a series of lunchtime talks presenting the very basics of a range of scientific subjects in ways that everyone will understand. Please see the Monsterfest website for fuller details.

All these sessions take place in the ground floor lecture theatre of Inverness College in Longman Road, are free of charge and will run from 1:00 to 1:50 pm. As ever, it would help us if you would book your place(s) in advance via the Monsterfest website if you can.

Monday 17 June
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Internet Safety

Tuesday 18 June
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chemistry

Wednesday 19 June
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Physics

Thursday 20 June
Magic Numbers: An Introduction to the Beauty of Mathematics

Friday 21 June
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Bugs and Germs


Have you seen the Monsterfest publicity around Inverness yet?

Our banner is still up in Inverness Railway Station, and you’ll now find the Monsterfest leaflet in all sorts of places as you’re out and about: the Aquadome & Leisure Centre, your local library, the Tourist Information Centre, the Floral Hall and the Eastgate Centre, to name just a few.

And there’s more to come soon! Watch out for the Monsterfest banner across Academy Street, the adverts in the Inverness Courier, and the window display and leaflets in Waterstones!

Don’t forget: if you’d like to get involved in any way, just email us on We’d love to hear from you!

Best wishes

Paula Kirby
for the Monsterfest team at Inverness College


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