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Durham University

Higgs to Hubble

Talking Science

Our programme for the general public provides a broad spectrum of talks through a variety of learned organisations, including the British Association, the Royal Institution and the Institute of Physics, and through the many regional and nationally co-ordinated science festivals. Public lectures have been presented at a variety of venues in Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Northumberland, Stockton, Sunderland and York and at the Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories as part of their ‘Talking Science’ programmes. We have also organised and participated in a series of events for the local community of artists and writers designed to explore the interface between the two cultures of art and science. The programme has strong links with local branches of the University of the 3rd Age (U3A) and provides a varied running programme of talks to Amateur Astronomical Societies throughout the UK.

Local Links

As part of our wider science outreach remit, we have established links with both the Centre for Life and the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough, and local Café Scientifiques. A variety of activities designed for family audiences and more specialist groups have been presented on subjects ranging from the Big Bang and CERN to topical science such as the search for other worlds, and the Mars Express and Cassini-Huygens missions. Durham University is the lead partner for the Dark Sky Discovery project in the North East. We have worked with the North Pennines AONB who have designated thirteen Dark Sky Discovery sites across the North Pennines.

We have also worked on various projects with artists based at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the National Glass Centre and Allenheads Community Arts Centre including their Continuum project for which Pete presented a talk at the 2019 Hexham Book Festival. Pete also presented a family talk as part of the 'Illuminate' programme of the Durham 2011 Lumiere Festival.

Science and Art

We continue to maintain links with local artists of the East Durham Artists' Network (EDAN). Since 2005 the IPPP has hosted four exhibitions of artworks in a variety of media themed on the artists’ response to the work of the IPPP and the Ogden Centre in general. In September 2007 the IPPP hosted a three day trip to CERN for seven A level art and physics students from Heworth Grange School Gateshead, six artists from EDAN and four postgraduate students from the IPPP. January 2008 saw the launch of a public exhibition of art by both groups in the IPPP. ‘CERN art @ the Ogden’, showcased a variety of artworks produced in response to the participants’ visit to CERN.

This collaboration continues and in July 2013 Lumley Castle hosted an exhibition as part of the ITN Invisibles conference. 'Invisibles Art', opened by Sir Arnold Wolfendale, featured the work of eight members of EDAN. Work by EDAN member Dawn Douglas, commisioned by the IPPP and presented to Peter Higgs during the Ogden@10 Celebrations, is featured in the portrait of Peter Higgs recently commisioned by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.