We’re in action this coming weekend!

We’re providing support to the Orkney group AOP who’re telling the story of the battlecruiser HMS Hood, lost in action exactly 80 years ago in the hunt for the Bismarck, and the part played by Orkney in the story. Presentations on Friday evening (May 21st) and Saturday afternoon and evening (May 22nd) will describe the story of the events and the Hood herself and her construction.

The presentations are on the Festival’s YouTube channel playlist, and there are more details of them plus direct links on our website. Here’s a direct link to the opening event on Friday evening.
Discussion with Commander William Sutherland RN (retired), Commander David Hobbs, MBE RN(retired), Graeme Lunn, and Rob White. Introduced by Captain Chris Smith, Regional Commander RN Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile the programme for this year’s Festival on 2-8 September is taking shape, and topics will include the story of a strange visitor to the Solar System in October 2017, given the name ‘Oumuamua. It was the first interstellar visitor, and strangely different from a comet or an asteroid. Its shape was either elongated like a cigar or flat like a pancake. It was more reflective than asteroid rock – as reflective as burnished metal. It also accelerated away differently from the usual path of a comet in the Sun’s gravity. It was so strange that one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, Prof. Avi Loeb of Harvard University, we have to consider the possibility of alien origin. He will be speaking in this year’s Festival, and there’s more about his ideas in this newspaper interview

Frontiers Magazine New Issue

The spring issue of our online magazine Frontiers is now online, with a range of features about discovery and exploration. There’s the story of an Orkney link to the Shackleton expedition a century ago, and a look at the life of the remarkable Caithness inventor who built the first electric clock and the first fax machine. The mystery of the oaks provides a longer and thought-provoking read, with a fresh look at the way in which trees may have reappeared in Orkney and northern Scotland after the melting of the ice.

Festival seeks Assistant Director

Also, we’re looking for an Assistant Director. It’s a short-term post to the end of September, with the potential for continuation and development of the role into 2022 and beyond.

The successful candidate could work from anywhere in Scotland, provided they have good internet access, as the Festival will be online again this year due to the current Covid situation. With the work part-time and hours flexible, it’s possible that someone might be able to fit in the role with existing work commitments, for instance as continuing professional development.

Requirements include a good science background, and wide-ranging interests, with a particular interest in communication: speaking, writing, presenting, and using social media.

The closing date for applications is 24 May, and fuller details can be downloaded.

All the best from the Festival Team!

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