27th June 2010

Last updated: 27 June 2010

Wrexham Science Festival 2010

This week's Science Cafe previews the Wrexham Science Festival, a ten-day extravaganza which explores the multitude of ways that science and technology touch our lives. Adam Walton catches up with a few of the speakers who'll be inspiring and engaging audiences during the Festival.

They include Peter Excell from Glyndwr University who'll be exploring new ways of using computers. He believes that the keypads, even the touchscreens that we use that we use on PCs and mobile phones are actually a very limited and unimaginative way of interacting with them. He describes a future of wearable computers and cybernetic hugs.

Science writer Brian Clegg asks "Who was the first scientist?" He's drawn up a shortlist of candidates - Archimedes, Roger Bacon, Galileo and James Clerk Maxwell - and when he's put the case for each of them, his audience will have the opportunity to vote for the winner.

The opening speaker at the Festival is Johnny Ball, the television presenter who switched a whole generation of children onto science and maths through programmes like Think of a Number and Think Again. His talk is called 'Past Imperfect, Future Fantastic' and he tells Adam why he's so optimistic about the future of Planet Earth.

Adam also meets occupational therapists Neil Robdale and Helen Carey. Neil will be running a workshop in laughter therapy during the Festival. There's plenty of scientific evidence that laughter is an effective stress-buster. It's a good cardiovascular workout and it's also been used to help patients cope with the physical and emotional pain of arthritis and cancer. And while Neil's making 'em laugh in his workshop, Helen's talk will exploring how 'doing' can make us happy. Her recipe for happiness? Set yourself a manageable challenge every day!

The Festival kicks off on Thursday 1st July and runs until Saturday 10th July.

Wrexham Science Festival website

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