Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Insects on the Edinburgh International Science Festival menu

Eating insects
Image caption People will be able to try eating insects at this years festival

People will be able to try eating insects at this year's Edinburgh International Science Festival - in its special future-themed programme.

Eating Aliens and The Adaptation Diet will allow people to choose from an alternative menu of insects and invasive species.

Children will also be able to work in a plastic recycling plant where they will melt and recreate products.

The festival runs for two weeks from 23 March.

The Edinburgh scientist behind one of the most significant discoveries of recent times is also being honoured at the festival.

Prof Peter Higgs, who established the theory behind the Higgs boson particle, is to receive the prestigious Edinburgh medal.

It is being awarded jointly for the first time along with CERN, the European nuclear research centre which made the discovery.

Prof Higgs is the 25th person to receive the medal at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Three previous winners have gone on to receive a Nobel prize.

Children will also be able to try their hand at forensic investigation and decipher the clues in a crime scene in Crime Scene Investigation.

Other family events around the city include workshops and scientific trails at the National Museum of Scotland and a Malaysian jungle-themed expedition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Media captionAlan eats a mealworm: "A tasty snack"

The University of Edinburgh will have a programme of events at the National Museum of Scotland and the free Scottish government Expo-funded exhibition, InMotion, will be running at Ocean Terminal from 23 March to 7 April.

About 200 of the best and brightest minds in science and technology will gather in the capital to dissect, debate and celebrate at the science festival.

There will be a specially commissioned experiential sculpture from New York-based artist Jason Hackenwerth.

When completed, the huge installation will reach from floor to ceiling in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland.

An outdoor photographic exhibition in St Andrew Square launched on Thursday ahead of the science festival.

Last year, the festival had 35,000 visitors.

Amanda Tyndall, deputy director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, said "This year's science festival will see around 200 of the best and brightest minds in science and technology gather in Edinburgh to dissect, debate and celebrate some of the biggest, most outrageous and sometimes controversial, ideas in science.

Image caption Mealworm cakes will be on offer at the science festival

"For two weeks, the city becomes the perfect melting pot for ideas and we invite audiences to join our futuristic adventures as we explore the promise, potential, peril or pitfalls of life in the 21st century and how science can shape our future."

Professor Mary Bownes, vice-principal at Edinburgh University, said: "As leaders of innovative research that affects the way we live and our strong commitment to sharing our knowledge with the wider community, we are delighted to again contribute to a wide range of activities at this year's science festival.

"We hope many people will come along and enjoy interacting with our staff and students."

Dr Gordon Rintoul, director at National Museums Scotland, said: "The redeveloped National Museum of Scotland provides a striking backdrop for some of the highlight events of this year's Edinburgh International Science Festival.

"The festival this year celebrates 25 years with a theme of looking to the future and National Museums Scotland shares this vision with our £12m plan to develop eight new galleries in the National Museum specifically for science and technology and art and design."

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