Out and about: E&T’s pick of technology #events in March

Whether you prefer a hands-on experience or just sitting back and listening, there’s a tech event for all tastes happening in March. For everything listed, check the organiser’s website for details of times and prices.

The Big Bang Fair

NEC Birmingham, 16-19 March

Billed as the UK’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people, the Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits, plus careers information designed to show the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for people with the right experience and qualifications. Having grown from 6,500 visitors in 2009 to nearly 70,000 last year, it’s a collaboration between more than 200 organisations and also hosts competitions like UK Young Scientist and UK Young Engineer of the Year.

British Geological Survey Family Fun Day

Keyworth, Saturday 19 March

Also celebrating British Science Week is the British Geological Survey’s 14th annual Family Fun Day at its conference venue at Keyworth. Activities in previous years have included plaster casting fossils, make your own earthquake, panning for ‘gold’, remote control trilobites and fossil rubbing, all with the emphasis on being hands-on. There’s also a programme of tours and demos which in the past have included a 3D theatre presenation flying over and under the UK’s geology and guided tours of the BGS’s vast ‘warehouse’ of rock, fossil, mineral and core collections.

Science, Innovation, and Policy: Have We Got the Energy?

IET Clerk Maxwell Lecture, IET London: Savoy Place, 15 March

Energy is fundamental to society’s well being, health, security, and resilience. Without a reliable supply infrastructure breaks down and the lights will go out, but the reality of climate change and population growth means that we have to make important decisions now on how we source, distribute and use our energy. Science, engineering and innovation will be critical in ensuring a sustainable energy future, and in this talk the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport will discuss how scientists, engineers and policy-makers are working together to meet the challenges. Sir Mark is responsible for ensuring the government has the necessary science and engineering advice in all areas of policy, from the urgent needs of emergencies to day-to-day resilience and long-term planning of horizon scanning. He will also stress the importance of scientists and engineers getting involved in a public conversation about what we want our society, and indeed world, to be like in the future.

CeBIT 2016

Hannover, Germany, 14-18 March

This year’s CeBIT promises to cover a broader spectrum of tech hot topics than ever before, from the Internet of Things, Big Data & Cloud to eCommerce and data security. Will tomorrow’s machines be smarter than humans? Will we all have chip implants? What’s the best digital strategy for my business? What is Europe’s future role in the development of new technologies? A big lineup of renowned experts from around the globe will be addressing all of these questions and many more.

Artificial Intelligence and Rise of the Machines: Cambridge Science Festival

Various venues 7-20 March

This year’s festival includes more than 300 events, many focusing on the growing interaction between humans and technology. Will artificial intelligence be superior to or as creative as the human brain? Are we letting machines take over and give rise to mass unemployment or worse? Should we be worried about quantum computing and the impact it will have on the way we work, communicate and live in the future? Or should we harness rather than hate the digital deluge? The full programme also includes events on neuroscience, healthcare, sports science, psychology and zoology.

 The Gadget Show Live

NEC Birmingham, 31 March – 3 April

The UK’s largest consumer technology exhibition, where established brands and emerging inventors showcase their products, giving visitors the chance to get their hands on the latest gadgets. More than just an exhibition. Gadget Show Live features a full ine up of demonstrations, gaming tournaments and Super Theatre shows.

Tickets £9.99 – £160


QEII Conference Centre, London, 7-11 March

2016 is the 10th year for this international software development event, which involves a two-day conference followed by two workshop days. This is a practitioner-driven event aimed at technical team leads, engineering directors and project managers who influence innovation in their teams. There are six tracks to choose from on each day, covering topics such as Java, DevOps, functional languages, containers and optimisation. The event will feature more than 100 speakers, all of them experts in their respective fields.

 Wearable Technology Show 2016

ExCel, London, 15-16 March

Now in its third year, the Wearable Technology Show will be welcoming more than 6000 delegates and 200 speakers. A great forum for the development of new business and partnerships across the smart device, IoT and wearable markets, it features not only cutting-edge new technologies for attendees to explore, but also nine conference tracks covering topics from healthcare and fitness to augmented reality.

Designs of the Year

Design Museum, Bermondsey, London, until 3 April

Now in its eighth year, Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. Its slogan: “Someday the other museums will be showing this stuff”. Among the exhibits are the human organs-on-chips designed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute which won the Design Museum Design of the Year Award for 2015.

Creation from Catastrophe: How Architecture Rebuilds Communities

RIBA , 66 Portland Place, London, until 24 April

The destruction of cities, whether by humans or nature, can present unique opportunities to radically rethink townscapes. This exhibition explores the different ways in which cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of disasters, from masterplans to reconfigure London after the Great Fire of 1666 to contemporary responses to earthquakes and tsunamis.


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