For the Public

For the Public


Photograph of researcher with brain model
Photograph of festival event
photograph of film event
photograph of discussion evening

Find us at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018!

Ditch the Classroom; Speak in Tongues! with Thomas Bak
Mon 13 August and Thurs 16 August, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street (Mon 13 1:30pm, Thurs 16 8:10pm)
Everybody believes that education is good: the more, the better. But what if the benefits of education are mainly due to knowing different languages? Does this mean we don’t need to study maths, biology or technology? How many of us really need the specialist knowledge to prepare us for a possible medical career? Join Dr Thomas Bak (Psychology) for this controversial take on educating future generations!

Monolinguals, Where Are You? with Antonella Sorace
Wed 8 August and Sun 19 August, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street (Wed 8 8:10pm, Sun 19 1:30pm)
Is anyone truly monolingual anymore? Knowing dialects, learning languages at school, and hearing migrant speakers make everyone bilingual to some extent. It also means that people may not be as bad at learning languages as they often think they are. Join Antonella Sorace (Linguistics and English Language) to discover what it means for the brain and language learning!

We’re All Mental! with Matthias Schwannauer
Fri 10 August and Sun 26 August, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street (Both 8:10pm)
The history of mental disorder is full of instances of labels of mental disorders being used to control what was deemed as unacceptable or dangerous. Professor Matthias Schwannauer (Clinical Psychology) argues the seductive appeal of neuroscience. If we can locate our thoughts, beliefs, anguish and distress, surely we are able to identify a key to happiness and contentment. If mental Illness is largely defined by not being typical, who wants to be?

What Keeps You Sharp? with Alan Gow
Tue 7 August and Thurs 16 August, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street (Tue 7 8:10pm, Thurs 16 1:30pm)
Isn’t the expression ‘having a senior moment’ awful? But how do thinking skills change with age, and do our lifestyles affect them? Join Alan Gow (Heriot-Watt University) to explore results from “What Keeps You Sharp?”, a nationwide survey about attitudes towards the changes people expect in their thinking skills with age.

Why Is Mental Illness So Goddamn Controversial? with Stephen Lawrie
Sat 11 August, The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street (8:10pm)
Psychiatrist Stephen Lawrie (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences) thinks mental illness is needlessly controversial. The battle lines drawn between ‘pill-peddling’ doctors and psychotherapists ‘dealing with the problem’ hide the fact that the two work best together.

What Phrenology Teaches us About Ourselves with David Price
Thurs 09 August, Banshee Labyrinth, 35 Niddry Street (7:30pm)
Phrenology was a pseudoscience introduced in the late 18th century that tried to explain your behaviour, personality, intelligence and so on based on the shape of your head. It was almost all wrong but it had many positive impacts, or example in promoting a more compassionate approach to mental illness. On the negative side it fuelled many baseless racist ideas. David Price will discuss what phrenology was and why it became particularly prominent in Edinburgh, how it influenced contemporary thinking and what has replaced it in our current understanding of how the brain works.

Public Talks and Discussions

We regularly offer lectures and discussion events and most are recorded and made available online on our Youtube Channel.


You can find us particpating in numerous festivals throughout the year including:

  • The Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Midlothian Science Festval
  • Borders Science festival
  • Dunbar Science Festival
  • Mad Hatter Grey Matter festival
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival

Film Evenings

We regularly contribute to scientifically-themed film screenings with partners such as New Media Scotland, Edinburgh International Science Festival, British Science Association (Edinburgh). Films covered have included:

  • Momento
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • Her
  • Inside Out
  • Silver Linings Playbook

Open Days

Edinburgh Neuroscience members participate in Doors Open Day events and regularly invite the public to find out more about our research projects