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SRUC Success at Edinburgh International Science Festival

Published Wednesday, 22nd April 2015 in Research news

Edinburgh International Science Festival 2015

SRUC’s scientists and postgraduate students held a very successful event at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh last week as part of Edinburgh’s International Science Festival.

During the day 150-200 children and parents entered the ‘Junior Scientist Training School’ to learn from some of SRUC’s Future Farming Systems researchers about greenhouse gases from agriculture and food production and how science is working to reduce the emissions.

The scene was set for a great day with a life sized dairy cow, a calf and a sheep, a laser gun to measure methane production, world maps, photos of food consumption around the world, films on the big screen, and lots of quizzes and activities to take part in.  From food miles to food waste and burping cows to beach balls of (pretend) methane a great interactive, educational and fun day was had by all.

It wasn’t just the children who were learning – several parents/ grandparents commented that they had never considered agriculture as a key producer of greenhouse gas emissions before, despite it being the third largest producer within the UK. 

Did you know that the amount of methane a cow produces in a day is the same amount as an average car produces of carbon dioxide in a day?  That in the UK we throw away 30% of the food we buy including a staggering 4.5 million uneaten apples everyday?

Commenting after the event Dr Bob Rees, Head of Carbon Management Centre said:

“The visitors seemed genuinely interested and many stayed for a remarkably long time.  Those that did provide feedback made very positive remarks, and I found the whole event very rewarding.”

Upland Ecologist from SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre at Kirkton, Dr John Holland was even asked when we would be coming back:

“I had some very positive feedback from visitors about the whole event and one lady wanted to know whether we would be back in the summer holidays!  I think from the amount of time spent at the event by many of the children (and adults) they must have been enjoying it; it wasn’t as if it was raining forcing people inside so what was provided clearly worked for those who came.”

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