Author: Guy Kerr

sidmouth science festivalSidmouth Science Festival enjoyed a sixth successful year, with the Jurassic Coast Trust again playing a major role in the festival’s science programme.

This year’s Sidmouth Science Festival held the theme of ‘Science In Our Lives’, and the Jurassic Coast Trust sponsored an evening talk by one of the world’s leading glaciologists, Professor Julian Dowdeswell of Cambridge University.

Julian, Director of the highly-regarded Scott Polar Research Insitute, gave an eye-opening and highly-entertaining talk on global ice and its relationship to wider climatic and environmental change. Although the talk included some extremely worrying facts and figures, Julian took a well-informed optimistic stance, pointing out that there is still time for global warming to be managed in a way that avoids calamity.

Jurassic Coast Trustee John Wokersien attended and wrote of the talk, “Prof. Dowdeswell’s talk about the melting of the Arctic permafrost and its implications for humanity was absolutely brilliant, fascinating and concerning in equal measure.”

Saturday 14 October was Sidmouth Science Festival’s ‘Geology Bonanza’, held at the town’s Masonic Hall. On display from the Jurassic Coast Trust were a range of museum quality rock and fossil specimens from along the 95 miles of the World Heritage Site as well as maps, publications for sale and a variety of models that assist in the explaining of some key concepts     relating to the geology of the coastal rocks.

A number of Jurassic Coast Ambassadors contributed to the event by manning the Trust’s stand and interacting with the public, answering questions and explaining geological concepts.

In addition, four Ambassadors gave talks, which included: Poetry Of The Jurassic Coast by Sarah Acton, 95 Miles of Coastline In Three Years Of Art by the artist Colin Bentley, Rocket Quarry Strombolites (petrified trees from the ‘Age Of The Dinosaurs’) by John Ayres, plus An Introduction To Glaciation & The Milankovitch Cycles by Mike Green.

sidmouth science festival lanzarote geopark display

Display by Lanzarote Geopark at the festival’s Geology Bonanza.

In addition to Jurassic Coast and UK science organisations, the Geology Bonanza also welcomed Elena Mateo of Lanzarote Geopark in the Canary Islands.

The wider Sidmouth Science Festival, which ran for well over a week, was another success for the town, attracting visitors from along the Jurassic Coast and well beyond. A range of school-based field and class activities took place during the day time, with evenings devoted to various talks. Both Sundays were filled with family activities, the first one based on the Ham and Esplanade and the second Sunday at the Norman Lockyer Observatory.

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