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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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Listen to 13 April
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 13 April 2006
Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Science Festival

Quentin Cooper is in Edinburgh this week, where the UK's largest science festival is currently in full swing, spring, stretch, thud and bang. The Edinburgh International Science Festival has a heavy emphasis on children and therefore on things being burned, broken and blown up in various ways. It also features talks from authors of scientific books and from leading researchers.

Each year there are more and more science festivals all over the country, from Orkney to Brighton.  

Quentin is joined by Dr Simon Gage, the long-serving director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Frank Burnett, the co-director of the Cheltenham Science Festival to discuss the future of science festivals.

Why are there so many? Do they preach to the converted - and children - or also reach adults who otherwise might have little connection with science? 

Gas Hydrates

Gas hydrates are a potentially huge and largely untapped source of energy, but they could also be a huge environmental threat as a source of greenhouse gases, a cause of tsunamis and possibly the cause of the strange disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle.

Gas hydrates are crystalline structures formed from water and gas molecules. Predominantly they are methane hydrates, and most are found undersea.

Quentin discusses the good and the bad aspects of gas hydrates with Dr Ross Anderson from Heriot-Watt University's Centre for Gas Hydrate Research, and Dr David Long from the British Geological Society in Edinburgh.
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