Edinburgh Fringe

Professor Alan Gow performing at the Edinburgh Fringe

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, brought to you by the Beltane Public Engagement Network is debate, discussion and discourse in the company of some of the fiercest intellects that Scotland has to offer – all within a yurt!

The cabaret first ran at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, and has got bigger and better every year. It is a unique programme of events which offers the public an opportunity to engage with world-class researchers in an entertaining environment. The shows, which take place every August, feature researchers from across Edinburgh and beyond, focusing on topical areas of research. 

Evaluation carried out by the organisers shows that around 88% of audience members learnt something new at the shows they attended and almost half (49% to be exact) said they’d changed their minds on a subject as a result of the discussion.

For more information, check out The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas website

Previous shows

Since 2013, Heriot-Watt academics and researchers have taken to the stage in the following shows:

  • Derek Ball (IB3, EPS): 'Exercise is Bad for you!'
  • Jenny Wood (EGIS):  'Keep the Kids Out!'
  • Jemina Napier, Mark MacQueen, Stacey Webb, and Gary Quinn (SML):  The Myth of Universal Sign Language.
  • Dr Lorna Street & Prof. Phil Wookey (SLS): 'Skating on thin ice'
  • Dr Derek Ball (SLS): 'What if Lance Amrstrong had the right idea?'
  • Prof. Jemina Napier (SML): 'Hearing loss or Deaf Gain?'
  • Dr Alan Gow (SOSS): 'Brain training on trial', 'The Great British Brain Off', 'What makes you sharp', 'This show will make you sharper'
  • Jenny Wood (EGIS): 'Keep the Kids Out!'
  • Prof Graham Turner (EGIS):'Send the Deaf to Orkney' and 'Speech Sucks: The Future Signs'
  • Dr Prabir Bhattachyra (SML): 'Sex Selective Abortions: behind the headlines'
  • Dr Tim Johnson (MACS): 'Rethinking Rules'
  • Dr Peter Matthews (SML): 'Demolish Morningside!'
  • Professor David Cobham (SML): 'George Osborne's Vain Pursuit'
  • Dr Ross Alexander (EPS): 'Lets kill half the world'
  • Dr Paola Ruffo (SOSS): Can Google really translate?'
  • Dr Anna Sedda (SOSS): 'Disgust for Dummies'
  • Dr Ross Donaldson (EPS): 'The Dark Side of Data Security'
  • Prof. Ruth Aylett (MACS): 'The Robots are Coming'
  • Dr Thusha Rajendran (SOSS): 'Ok Computer or Paranoid Android?'
  • Dr Elli-Maria Charalampidou (EGIS): 'Can Sustainability Ever Be Mainstream?'

Key information