23 Aug 2018

From STIS to Orkney and on to Outer Space!

STIS PhD student, Matjaz Vidmar, has been invited to deliver a series of knowledge exchange and outreach events for Orkney International Science Festival (OISF) between 6th-12th September 2018.

STIS PhD student, Matjaz Vidmar, has been invited to deliver a series of knowledge exchange and outreach events for Orkney International Science Festival (OISF) between 6th-12th September 2018.This is his third appearance at OISF, having visited the 2015 and 2017 editions of the festival.Though some of the events he will deliver will be held on Orkney mainland he will yet again also visit some of the more remote islands in the archipelago.

In particular, Matjaz will be visiting the islands of North Ronalsday and Sanday, where he will speak to the local community about going From Standing Stones to Blasting Rockets: Scotland is Off to Space!

The talk is based on his extensive ESRC-funded doctoral research of the development of (“New”) Space Industry in Scotland, in particular examining emerging networks, innovation intermediaries and changes to new product development processes. With the recent announcement of UK Government investment into the creation of vertical launch capability in the North of Scotland, this is a particularly topical contribution to the discussion in many communities.

Furthermore, Matjaz has also been invited to present some thoughts on the deep connections between scientific research, arts and society as explored through his participation in the recent Social Dimensions of Outer Space network’s Edinburgh Futures Institute project. He will outline the main points from my essay on the topic in a talk entitled Universe: The Love Story, as part of the skyranMoon exhibition in Stromness.

Finally, in partnership with a young team of rocket engineers from Spacelink Institute, Matjaz is hosting a plenary discussion about the future of small-scale spaceflight in an event called Make it, Fire it Into Orbit!.

Matjaz will also visit and speak to pupils of local schools, both the community school on Sanday as well as at Kirkwall Grammar School, to discuss a variety of opportunities through which young people can engage in science, technology and innovation, including studying it form a social-scientific perspective.

As such, Matjaz will be complementing a variety of colleagues form the College of Science and Engineering, including the Nobel-prize winner Prof Peter Higgs, who will support the festival with a host of other events and activities.