Things to do this week: Festival of What If

Looking for the best things to do this week? Don’t waste away being bored on the sofa… here’s our pick of ways to exercise your grey matter and nourish your neurons.

11th August 2017
Festival of What If © At-Bristol

#BrainFood brings you the best shows on TV and radio, science apps and books to activate your mind, and fun events to visit. This week – the truth about gender, the science of pain, and the game-changing mathematicians you’ve probably never heard of.


No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free? © BBC/Outline Productions
© BBC/Outline Productions

No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?

BBC Two, Wed 16 August, 9:00-10:00pm

Is the way we treat boys and girls the real reason we haven't achieved true equality between men and women? In an attempt to find out, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim takes over a primary school class for a term, stripping away anything that reinforces the idea that boys and girls are fundamentally different. Can treating all the children the same, regardless of their gender, even out their differences in attitude and achievement?


From Agony To Analgesia © PM Images
© PM Images

From Agony To Analgesia

BBC Radio 4, Wed 16 August, 3:30-4:00pm

In this two-part series, Prof Irene Tracey delves into the science of pain. Can we ever really know someone else’s pain? Why do only some people develop chronic pain after an injury? Irene shows how unusual types of pain, such as phantom limb sensations, can shed light on how pain is generated in the brain.


Significant Figures © Profile Books
© Profile Books

Significant Figures

Ian Stewart, Profile Books, £20

How many mathematicians can you name? In Significant Figures, Prof Ian Stewart explores the lives and discoveries of 25 trailblazing figures, from household names (Isaac Newton, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace) through to some of history’s lesser known number-crunchers. You’ll read about the inventor of the algorithm, the mathematician who made a crucial breakthrough the night before he died in a duel, and the pioneer who learnt calculus from her wallpaper. Click here for a sneak preview.


Festival of What If © At-Bristol
© At-Bristol

Festival of What If

At-Bristol, until 3 September, included in standard admission price

Throughout the summer, the At-Bristol Science Centre is hosting a six-week festival of curiosity, with three fortnightly themes. The current theme is ‘What if nature took over?’, so expect plenty of activities based around the natural world. There’ll be edible plants to try in the Kitchen, flower dissections in the Greenhouse, and the chance to experience nature time lapses in the Planetarium. Head here for the full programme.   


Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice © Ninja Theory
© Ninja Theory

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

PS4/PC, Ninja Theory, £24.99

Follow the story of Celtic warrior Senua as she journeys into the Viking underworld to save her lover’s soul. Throughout her quest, Senua experiences delusions and hallucinations – symptoms of what we now call psychosis. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the game’s developers have worked closely with experts to ensure that the representation of psychosis is as accurate as possible. Click here to read more about the game’s development.  

For more fabulous downloads, check out our list of the top 10 science apps for Android and iOS.


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