This podcast originally appeared on the Pod Delusion, episode 214 on November 22nd 2013.

This podcast is an audio adventure from the Abu Dhabi Science Festival 2013

The Abu Dhabi Science Festival 2013 is organised by the Edinburgh International Science Festival group, and this year (my first year), it’s been something special.

The ADSF Du Forum venue (as seen from the hotel)

The festival is in two locations this year: one half at the Corniche, a long stretch of beach in the city centre, and the other on Yas Island (see photo).

With workshops, shows and a carnaval-style area at the Corniche, this festival has been huge.

In this podcast I bring some of the atmosphere to the airwaves, speaking to festival go-ers, science communicators, showmen and the Director Simon Gage.

The podcast starts an announcement overheard across the walkie-talkies directing people to the “shallow end”. This is a reference to the tent as unfortunately it was flooded on Wednesday night, and the festival was closed for renovations on Thursday.

A big team effort managed to get things up and running for Friday (one of the busiest days of the Festival 2013) but unfortunately the rain struck again to close the Festival for the last day.

I talk to Simon Gage, the ADSF13 science festival director. We discuss the floods, how it hopefully won’t stop the festival, what the festival is all about, and how cultural differences have to be taken into consideration.

Under Pressure. Image credit: Joy Ng

I then bring you the exciting world of Under Pressure – a live show by Peter Wright from Wonderstruck Ltd. His show explores all the things we can do with pressure, and in this exert Peter is lying on a bed of nails!

I then bring a bit of a flavour of the Lego-robot-cars workshop, where children get to use visual programmes to direct a lego robot around a mini assault course. I speak to some students and to the teacher about how the festival activity is complementing the work they do at school and what children take away from the festival itself.

Nicola Shepherd in next – we talk about her Busking Bikes that tour Abu Dhabi to promote the festival and bring some science to some unsuspecting customers! She even shows me a little demo.

Science communicator from Rocket Cars Workshop


Finally I speak to some of the local science communicators that come and help us out (after all, with an Arabic speaking audience, English speaking science communicators aren’t much use) about what they take away from the festival.



Go to the orginal article here or listen below