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New Scientist Live: Inside the world's best science and tech festival – New Scientist

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From a huge revolving planet Mars to cuddles with a robot, as well as talks by Alice Roberts and Hamza Yassin, find out what went down at this year’s New Scientist Live
By Clare Wilson
11 October 2023

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Artist Luke Jerram’s huge model of Mars

Adam Warner

Artist Luke Jerram’s huge model of Mars
Adam Warner
FROM the very large to the very small, from inside your body to the furthest reaches of the universe, there was a smorgasbord of ideas and discoveries to explore at New Scientist Live, the world’s biggest and best festival of science and technology, on 7 to 9 October.

Hamza Yassin - Our Planet

Presenter, wildlife camera operator and Strictly Come Dancing champion Hamza Yassin tells a packed crowd about life behind the lens

Adam Warner

Presenter, wildlife camera operator and Strictly Come Dancing champion Hamza Yassin tells a packed crowd about life behind the lens
Adam Warner
We heard from Alice Roberts on archaeology, Hamza Yassin on wildlife filming and Tim Gregory on meteorites, as well as talks on psychedelic drugs (see “Psychedelic health claims may be promoting risky self-medication”), the birth of galaxies (see “JWST should soon glimpse the very first stars born after the big bang”) and predictions about which of the greatest scientific mysteries will be solved in the next century.
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Saying hi to Middlesex University’s robot Bertie

Adam Warner

Saying hi to Middlesex University’s robot Bertie
Adam Warner
In between talks, visitors could be hugged by a selfie-taking robot, take a Formula E race car for a virtual spin round the track or have a huge stick insect clamber over their face. They could even visit Mars – kind of. That is, they could take in an enormous, revolving, softly glowing model of the Red Planet, built by UK artist Luke Jerram, while learning how to drive mini Mars landers and repeating NASA studies of Martian soil.

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Taking blood from a fake arm on the Medical Mavericks stand

Adam Warner

Taking blood from a fake arm on the Medical Mavericks stand
Adam Warner

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Author Claudia Hammond reflects on all things mind and body with J. Spooner from the Unlimited Space Agency on the Engage Stage

Adam Warner

Author Claudia Hammond reflects on all things mind and body with J. Spooner from the Unlimited Space Agency on the Engage Stage
Adam Warner

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A Formula E racing car at the Envision Racing stand

Adam Warner

A Formula E racing car at the Envision Racing stand
Adam Warner
There were plenty more ways to get your hands dirty, including building air-powered model trains and learning coding to control NAO, a knee-high robot with some slick, Gangnam Style dance moves. Other life skills to tick off your bucket list included microscopy, flint knapping and building a dug-out canoe.

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A lively stick insect, courtesy of the Royal Entomological Society

Adam Warner

A lively stick insect, courtesy of the Royal Entomological Society
Adam Warner

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Anthropologist Alice Roberts tells the history of Britain through burials

Adam Warner

Anthropologist Alice Roberts tells the history of Britain through burials
Adam Warner

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Trying out an ejector seat with Martin-Baker Aircraft Company

Adam Warner

Trying out an ejector seat with Martin-Baker Aircraft Company
Adam Warner

Chris Van Tulleken

Doctor Chris van Tulleken on what ultra-processed food is doing to our bodies and to the world

Adam Warner

Doctor Chris van Tulleken on what ultra-processed food is doing to our bodies and to the world
Adam Warner
For a mind-blowing finale on Schools’ Day, thousands of children heard from astronaut Andreas Mogensen in a live link-up with the International Space Station about what it is like to live – and do science – hundreds of kilometres above Earth. Mogensen talked about the downsides of space station life, from missing family to drinking recycled urine, as well as the upsides, like looking down on shooting stars. “When you go to the window and look down at our beautiful planet, you’re just awe-struck,” he said.

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Spider-Man tries a new look at the National Space Centre’s stand

Adam Warner

Spider-Man tries a new look at the National Space Centre’s stand
Adam Warner
For another dose of awe-inspiring science at next year’s show, held on 12 to 14 October 2024, tickets are now available at super early bird rates.
Super early bird offer
Get your 2024 tickets by visiting: newscientist.com/2024tickets
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