Edinburgh International Science Festival – Dynamic Earth: Life on the Rocks
Arriving at ‘Our Dynamic Earth’ too early – again – I sat outside, enjoying the sunshine, before wandering in to find the room with the drinks. Over the next half hour people trickled in and began to mingle, enjoying their drinks and nibbles. I had an opportunity to chat to the Director Stuart Monro who recognised me from earlier events.
Promptly at 7 o’clock we all moved into another room for the presentation. As Stuart described it, it would be one long reminiscence, his personal story. He started off by talking about his role model, David Attenborough, and then moved on to the purpose of ‘Our Dynamic Earth’; the things that he hopes will inspire, motivate, excite and stimulate children of all ages, from 9 months to 90 years.
Stuart talked about the Earth, the tectonic plates and their effects on the landscape. We travelled around the world, from the Himalayas to Iceland. From Tenerife to New Zealand and to Yellowstone. He discussed subduction zones and constructive plate margins and how the Himalayan mountains were formed.
Realising that he might have made us all slightly depressed with volcanoes and the end of the world, he showed us an entertaining clip of an antelope crashing into a tree next to a pair of lions, with ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ playing in the background.
Next, we were given a tour of the museum; where without children we could be the children. We travelled back in time, looked at fossils, underwater creatures, life in ice and even travelled around world in the 4D theatre. And to finish off the night we were given the option of watching ‘Astronaut’, a planetarium show about the risks and advantages of being an astronaut.
This was excellent, and you could tell just how passionate Stuart Monro is about his subject, and how much energy he has put into ‘Our Dynamic Earth’ to encourage others to see the great things about our Earth.