Peter Arnold
CEO of Newcastle Science City
Science Highlights

Newcastle has been alive this month with all kinds of weird and wonderful science.

The success of this year’s Newcastle ScienceFest, which attracted a staggering 60,000 people into the city from as far afield as Canada and the US, demonstrates the public’s appetite for science.

Newcastle Science City helped ensure the local community benefited from the science on offer, enabling members of the 4U youth project at Newcastle Deaf Centre to take part in the festival’s headline event, the Maker Faire.

You can also find out more below about the fascinating science field trip we organised to give residents the chance to get behind the scenes of science to discover the world-leading research into sustainability that is happening on their doorstep.

Let’s hope the campaign to attract new funding for Newcastle ScienceFest in 2012 and beyond is successful so science and technology can continue to be presented in such an accessible and exciting way.

World-wide attention for Newcastle’s scientific excellence

Newcastle’s innovative work to promote and nurture scientific excellence has been attracting world-wide attention.

A Chinese delegation of 20 managing officers from the Beijing Shijingshan District descended on the city to learn from its valuable experience in developing science parks, commercialising technology and establishing worldwide business services.

As part of a course specifically designed by Northumbria University to provide practical knowledge and information, the group of civil servants visited Newcastle Science City to find out about the vision for an exciting new scientific community on the Science Central site.

The delegation also heard how Newcastle Science City is hard at work creating the demand for the site ahead of its construction by creating new businesses through its Newcastle Innovation Machine, developing skills and educating the next generation of scientists.

Simon Green, programme manager at Newcastle Science City, said: “This delegation proves that people from across the world consider our innovative approach to harnessing and nurturing Newcastle’s scientific potential as world-leading. We were thrilled to share our knowledge with the group.”

Residents take a peek behind the scenes of science

Newcastle residents have been taking a peek behind the scenes of science to find out about the world-leading research into sustainability that is happening on their doorsteps.

A group of 16 residents had a chance to gain real insight into the innovative work of Newcastle’s scientists and researchers when they took part in an energy and environment science field trip to Moorbank Botanical Gardens and Cockle Park Farm organised by Newcastle Science City as part Newcastle ScienceFest.

Rhianne Dixon, Newcastle Science City’s community science team manager, said: “The field trip provided a wonderful, interactive learning environment with the opportunity for Newcastle residents to meet speakers from the cutting-edge of scientific discovery.”

“The content of the trip was absolutely fascinating and the whole group felt they had gained firsthand experience of the really exciting scientific discoveries that are being made in the city. It also brought together people of all ages and from all walks of life, with varying levels of scientific knowledge, to learn from each other’s experiences.”

See science in action

Developing electric vehicles, identifying causes and prevention of Alzheimer’s and pioneering cutting-edge stem cell research into the diagnosis and treatment of cancer – just some of the innovative scientific work that is happening right here in our city.

And for one day only an exciting event organised by Newcastle Science City will allow visitors to find out more about these fascinating developments by meeting the scientists and researchers who are making the discoveries and getting behind the science through models, films, presentations and experiments.

The Science City Showcase will bring to life Newcastle’s science excellence under one roof, for one day on May 17 at the Centre for Life.

It will give communities and businesses the chance to see for themselves why Newcastle is recognised as a world-leader in three areas of scientific excellence – sustainability, ageing and health, and stem cell and regenerative medicine.

The event will be open between midday and 5pm to the local community and schools, with Blue Peter science presenter Steve Mould undertaking demonstrations and interpreting the science exhibited.

A business event will be held in the evening between 5.30-7.30pm at which Graeme Chapman, healthcare business manager at Microsoft UK, will talk about why Microsoft chose Newcastle as a place to develop their technology aimed at the older generation. If you would like to attend this event please contact [email protected]

Professor Paul Younger
Director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability
Spotlight on the search for deep heat

This month Professor Paul Younger, Director of the University’s Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, explains how engineers are drilling two kilometres under the heart of the city in pursuit of hot water that one day could heat Newcastle.

As renewable energies go, geothermal is one of the most appealing: unlike wind turbines there’s almost no visual intrusion after installation; and unlike wind, solar or wave energy, geothermal is available at all times, whatever the weather. That’s because deep geothermal energy arises from incessant, natural, heat-generating processes deep in the Earth’s crust.

We know that those sorts of processes are particularly active in the North East. In fact, in some of the last working collieries in North Tyneside the miners encountered warm, salty waters with a chemistry that tells us they have come from much hotter, deeper zones, rising along great geological features such as the Ninety Fathom Fault. Central Newcastle is in the same geological setting as those old collieries.

Newcastle Science City
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