The Festival highlights each year a wealth of ideas, from the frontiers of science to life in island seas. This year’s topics include tidal power, hydrogen for transport, Dirac and the electron, human genetics and early settlement, regenerating land, drowned forests and ancient landscapes.
There are insights into wartime aerial photography and night-sky photography, wind and water power from traditional mills to modern power schemes, ancient musical instruments, the mathematics of Bach, building traditional boats, making rockets, the physics of mountain rescue and the physics of darts.
There are stories from Iceland and Ireland, tales of journeys in Norway and Uzbekistan, and reports from the Arctic permafrost and the Great Green Wall of Africa.
Speakers include two Nobel laureates , with over 50 talks and workshops. Venues include a 17th-century historic house and a 12th-century cathedral, along with modern lecture halls and an arts centre by the sea, with a team of young people to the fore.
In between the talks there are lunches of local fare, and it all rounds off with a traditional ceilidh. It’s an ideal opportunity to combine a visit to Orkney’s stone circles and sea-cliffs with a rich and varied programme of events and speakers.