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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
City science festival gets underway
Electrodes
The festival runs until 16 April
An exhibition outlining how Scots environmental science has made a difference to people's lives was unveiled as a major science festival began.

The display, which covers research on tropical plants, new vaccines, and protecting the environment, was the curtain raiser to the 2002 Edinburgh International Science Festival.

The feature at the city's Royal Botanic Garden marked the start of the annual event which aims to make research more accessible for people with no scientific background.

All the research featured in the Science Seekers exhibition, aimed at five-to-14-year-olds, is supported by the Scottish Executive.

Locusts

The display begins by leading visitors through a talking tunnel to an interactive talking Know Worm electronic character that directs people to the different features.

Launching the festival at the gardens were the 'virtual presenter' of the Scottish Executive's youth website, Seonaid, and Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Simon Gage.

The display, which will later tour other parts of Scotland, highlights the work of the Scottish Agricultural and Biological Research Institutes, the Scottish Agricultural College and the Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

Elsewhere, a number of voracious locusts were also visiting the city at part of the 12-day festival.

200 activities

A free exhibition at Edinburgh Zoo will show why the insects are fussy eaters and how they use beer-smelling perfume to attract their friends.

The One of the Crowd display, which features a small number of desert locusts, is being run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The science festival, which runs to 16 April, will include some 200 activities and exhibitions for children and adults.

Over 100,000 people are expected to take part in the 14th annual Edinburgh Science Festival.

See also:

10 Mar 02 | Scotland
Dolly creator to leave Britain
27 Aug 01 | Scotland
Executive makes science centre-stage
08 Dec 00 | Scotland
Digital boost for medical research
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