Heriot-Watt academics return to the Fringe



Professor Jemina Napier

A group of Heriot-Watt academics has once again taken to opportunity to share their work with an international audience via the medium of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It was great to delve into a completely different forum, and hear what people think.
Dr Alan Gow

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas offered debate, discussion and discourse in the company of some of the fiercest intellects that Scotland has to offer, all within a yurt.

Professor Jemina Napier and Dr Noel O’Connell from the School of Management and Languages discussed whether ‘hearing loss’ should really be termed ‘deaf gain’:  a suggestion which the audience supported.

From the School of Life Sciences, Dr Lorna Street and Professor Phil Wookey (disguised as a polar bear) controversially discussed whether we should just let the Arctic melt and stop worrying. Dr Alan Gow’s show, ‘The Great British Brain Off’, examined the various ingredients that might protect or harm the ageing brain. One reviewer noted the show was "Fun and fascinating, not intimidating like old school science lessons…….. It also feels like something that you can easily understand.”

Dr Derek Ball courted controversy by asking ‘What if Lance Armstrong had the right idea?’ What could the limits of human performance be with the aid of a range of doping agents, would we want to see all that a human could achieve, and what would be the ethical implications of such an approach?

The 2016 event is planned to be even bigger and better and the team is hoping that more Heriot-Watt people will get involved.