Science cabaret

YorNight 2020 provided an evening of rapid-fire entertainment as a troupe of York scientists took to the stage with music, comedy, stories and tales of research.

Each act had just eight minutes to make the audience laugh, think or cheer!

Here’s a flavour of what was on offer:

Astrology - even the stars say it’s nonsense

Astrology is a load of rubbish but even people that know this might still have a gander in the newspaper or check if they really should be dating a Leo. Full time physicist and occasional bad science sleuth James Lees is here to tell you exactly why, even taken on its own terms, astrology is nothing but hot air.

Zap! Selectively targeting cancer cells with radiotherapy

When treating cancer, you want to kill as many cancer cells in the body as possible, but limit the collateral damage to surrounding healthy cells. Radiotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses high-energy rays to do just this. Louise Murray, Katherine O’Mahony and Vani Ramasamy show you how it works in a fun and interactive way!

Could it be magic?

Where is the line between science and magic? Where does alchemy end and chemistry begin? Is our presenter Annie Hodgson a wizard or a chemist? 

All for maths! And maths for all!

Did you write funny stuff on your upside-down calculator? Wasn’t Pythagoras such a babe? Join York undergraduate Zulekha Samiullah and decide why (or why not) maths was the best subject ever at school.

Solar and wind energy? Not a fan

Let’s make our country 100 per cent renewable! We may need more than a few solar panels on our roofs. Physicist Yorick Enters offers a personal take on the future of energy production in the UK.

Battles of Britain: The maths of ‘what-if’ scenarios

This year marks 80 years since the Battle of Britain was fought. Mathematician Jamie Wood describes how we can think about how the battle might have been fought differently with the aid of statistics, different strategies and lottery balls.

Three ways the Universe is trying to kill you

Space is beautiful. It enthralls us, inspires us and reminds us of our total insignificance in the vastness of reality. But is it also out to get us? Join astronomer Emily Brunsden to discover some of the more cosmological ways we may all meet our end.