Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning kicked off this Saturday with a festival family day on Talbot Campus.
From the chance to test your pain threshold to exploring BU’s bone labs, becoming a Mini Professor and creating your own comics, free activities for all ages ran throughout the day.
The Festival runs until Wednesday 20 June, with over 90 free events for all ages to share and showcase BU's research and expertise.
Biological anthropologist, broadcaster and author Professor Alice Roberts opened the Festival, sharing insights into the species that shaped our world in two talks based on her book Tamed.
Professor Roberts, who received her honorary doctorate from BU in 2013, said: “I strongly believe that universities are about much more than just their own staff and students.
"I think events like this, the Festival of Learning at Bournemouth University, is just what universities should be doing to throw open their doors to the public, showing people what goes on inside universities. We are engines of knowledge and sources of amazing stories, so there's a cultural enrichment that can happen.
"When people are making decisions about politics, health, whether personally or collectively, we need to have the best evidence and up-to-the-minute research, and it's here that that happens, so it's another great reason to engage with the public."
Among the events taking place in BU’s Fusion Building was ‘It’s Painless (almost)!’, hosted by Drs Ellen Seiss, Jonny Branney and Osman Ahmed. The event looked at the pain threshold and how this can vary between individuals.
Dr Branney, a Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at BU, said: “The Festival of Learning has been really popular, in particular our event attracted many people interested in finding out exactly where their pain threshold is.
“Engaging with the public is something that we really enjoy, and being able to share our research with the community has been particularly great.”
Also capturing the imaginations of visitors was an open lab drop-in session with members of staff from BU’s Faculty of Science and Technology. The lab featured a collection of skeletal remains, together with artefacts from across anthropology, including knapped tools and stone age weapons discovered at Hengistbury Head.
Commenting about the Festival, BU Vice Chancellor Professor John Vinney, said: “The Festival of Learning is all about opening our doors so that members of the public can come in and see what we do in terms of our research, our education, and how we bring this together with our model of fusion.
"Alice has been fantastic, she’s given two talks today, one for younger audiences and one a little more scientific and in-depth for older children. They’ve both captivated the audience and generated brilliant questions – she’s an inspirational figure and it’s an honour to have her as one of our honorary doctorates."
He added: “There’s been a real span of ages with lots of families on campus exploring and engaging in activities, which makes it so special. There’s been a real buzz and excitement about inspiring people to learn.”
Other events taking place across the week include a number of community-based activities on Sunday 17 June, held at AFC Bournemouth, the RNLI, Upton Country House and BU’s Executive Business Centre on Lansdowne Campus.
Throughout the week events continue across BU, to find out more or to book your place on an event, visit: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/fol