Dazzling Engagement rings the changes



Dr Laura Wicks, HW Engage, shows a budding scientist the tiny unseen world of the Botanic Gardens.

Heriot-Watt’s International Year of Light activities have enlightened the public at the weekend, dazzling audiences with a stunning microscopic art show and children’s workshops at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.

‘The micro-world of science and art’ exhibit showcased two projects coordinated by Heriot-Watt: ‘Spot-on Micro’ and ‘EnLightenment’. Hundreds of members of the public met with Heriot-Watt researchers, and learned more about how arts and sciences can benefit each other, with spectacular results.

The Spot-On Exhibition, coordinated by Dr. Jose Marques-Hueso from the Institute of Signals, Sensors and Systems, presented a selection of the best images from the Heriot-Watt, SFC and EPSRC sponsored National Microscopy Photography Contest. The images drew in sizable audiences across the week, and a selection can also be found online.

The EnLightenment team, from the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, ran microscope workshops for the next generation of scientists. Children and parents alike loved the smartphone microscopes, where they could use their own smartphones to see the tiny world, as wel as a printing workshop.

Science and meatballs

The team also showed off their smartphone microscopes at Ikea as part of the Midlothian Science Festival. This was a great opportunity to engage with the public that don’t usually make it along to science festivals, and all amongst meatballs and flatpack furniture!