British Science Week

British Science Week, run by the British Science Association, is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages.

The awareness week provides a platform to stimulate and support teachers, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) professionals, science communicators and the general public to produce and participate in STEM events and activities.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make the most of The Makery spaces at Fareham and Fleet Libraries. This week at the Fareham Makery enjoy:


British Science Week – Lego Robotics Space Expedition – Thursday 15th March

Learn how to program your own Lego EV3 Robot & use it to perform tasks that are out of this world; our Space kit! You will use your robot to perform tasks that are typically found in Space, by programming your robot!
4.30pm-6.30pm, £8
Ages 8-13

Parent & Child Space Crumble Session – Saturday 17th March

A fun space themed family session where you design and create a gadget with your child. Get creative by making your gadget out of recycled materials and then learn how to use Crumble electronics to bring your gadget alive.
9.30am-1pm, £14 for one adult and one child
Age range for the children is 8-13

British Science Week – Science Evening at Basingstoke Discovery Centre


And please join us for Basingstoke Discovery Centre‘s special science evening:
Science Evening: various talks and workshops
Wednesday 14 March / 6pm – 8.45pm
Join us to embark on Civilisation’s next achievements and discoveries! An evening of mind-blowing and fun talks and events:

The World’s Largest Telescope

Discover the World’s Largest Telescope Under Construction – Europe’s ELT
A Science Evening talk with Dave Shave-Wall, Basingstoke Astronomical Society. Due in 2024, the Extremely Large Telescope is simply massive! If you want to understand just how big this telescope is, the fantastic science it will deliver and the engineering challenges behind it, then this talk is for you.

This artist’s impression shows the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in its enclosure. The E-ELT will be a 39-metre aperture optical and infrared telescope sited on Cerro Armazones in the Chilean Atacama Desert, 20 kilometres from ESO’s Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal. It will be the world’s largest “eye on the sky”. The design for the E-ELT shown here is preliminary.

Gravitational Waves

A Science Evening talk with Emma Osborne, University of Southampton In this talk, Emma will take you on a journey through the gravitational wave universe. Learn about what gravitational waves are, how they are made, and how scientists detect them. Discover the monster gravitational wave machines that live in space, and how they can be used to solve the mysteries of the universe, as we embark on the era of multi-messenger astronomy.

As well as the fascinating discoveries, son’t forget the cultural fascination that science brings…!

Get Creative with Cosplay

A Science Evening talk with Basingstoke Cosplay Collective Members of the Basingstoke Cosplay Collective explore a range of different techniques and materials to inspire you to make your own costumes in this very visual demonstration!

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who.

A Science Evening talk with writer Simon Guerrier and astronomer Dr Marek Kukula When Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963 the show was intended to educate as well as entertain. Fifty three years later the programme is more popular than ever and, although teaching science may have slipped from its agenda, a show featuring black holes, time travel and alien worlds still presents a great opportunity to engage audiences with the real science behind the fiction.

With Wednesday 14th March marking both Albert Einstein‘s birthday, and International Pi Day and now the sad death of momentous British physicist Stephen Hawking, this week is the perfect week to embrace the wonders of the Cosmos.

Fun Palaces

Next weekend sees the arrival of the annual Fun Palaces weekend and will be transforming some of our branches throughout Saturday 7th October. The perfect time to warm up for Libraries Week!

Fun Palaces is a movement campaigning for culture by, for and with all – with a firm belief that community belongs at the core of all culture – and an annual weekend of events, where arts, crafts, science, tech and digital are a catalyst for community engagement and full participation for everyone, from the grassroots up.

Fun Palaces are made by local people for their own communities, bringing together arts and sciences, crafts, tech and digital, free and fun, linked by the the Fun Palace network – Everyone an Artist, Everyone a Scientist. We welcome many more, from everywhere and anywhere, to join us in 2017 and beyond.

This year we are delighted to be turning 4 of our libraries into Fun Palaces.

We want you to help us create a Fun Palace that is unique and relevant to the community that you live in. Have you got a skill that you can share with others? We would love you to give some time to share that skill at one of our Fun Palaces over the weekend of the 7th and 8th October. Follow the links below to find out more about the venue and contact details.

Library Fun Palaces in Hampshire are in the following places:

Lymington Library

See in branch for details.

Stubbington Library

See in branch for details.

Tadley Library

Featuring: Coding, Silchester Players, TADS, Refreshments, Dog, Rock Choir, Flower Arranging, Tiny Talk, DOTS digital lending, Bells, Fire Engine and Quilters.

Yateley Library


–          Junior Jhoom! Taster Sessions (children’s Bollywood dance/fitness workshops – one for ages 4-7, one for ages 7+)
–          Family 3D colouring workshop using Quiver 3D app
–          Construction Club
–          Scrabble with East Berks Scrabble Club
–          Village Green Quilters (will be displaying their work and inviting people to try out various quilting techniques)
– Yateley Country Market will be selling cakes

Winchester Science Festival 2017

Winchester Discovery Centre hosted Winchester Science Festival over the weekend, the working project of the not-for-profit organisation Winchester Science Foundation. Over three days people of all ages interacted with fun science demonstrations, information stands and a varied programme of science talks. Our libraries’ fine selections of scientific books e-books and e-magazines had never been more popular!

Now in its sixth year, Winchester Science Festival seeks to inform, engage and entertain the general public with fun and cutting edge science communication and education. A big focus of the festival is to inspire young minds so Friday is Families Day, where this focus takes priority, while throughout the weekend under-19s have free entry to all talks. Winchester Discovery Centre staff enjoyed the science and technology choices for young summer reads!

The festival is also a site for Hampshire-based scientific and technological services and institutions to promote themselves and the world-leading ingenuity right on our doorstep. Representatives provided a range of fun demonstrations and interactive exhibits, including chemical science experiments, dry ice, and electrical demonstrations as well as a volcano-shaped pinball feature demonstrating the potential of stem cells in healthcare. Mini Professors, who run classes in Winchester and Basingstoke Discovery Centres, also promoted the fun science offers even at preschool age.

The weekend opened with 3 sold-out events on Friday. Dr Ben Littlefield’s Festival Opener demonstrations of the explosive chemical processes of life – with audience participation, but not to be tried at home! Science presenter and rapper Jon Chase continued the high energy performance, the audience joined in with his fun and fact-filled raps to explore some of the norms and extremes of the solar system.

On Saturday the wet weather arrived, but the Discovery Centre provided the perfect option to see the festival and continue with Summer Reading Challenge 2017! And there’s still time to sign up at your local library and get started.

The Animal Agents theme was extended to science with Dr Seshadri Nadathur’s ‘A Cosmic Detective Story’, looking to the night sky to be a cosmic detective yourself. Dr Lucie Green, the first female presenter of the BBC’s Sky At Night series and leading solar scientist, described ‘Our Brilliant Sun’ as we know it and as we may come to know it with future space missions. On Sunday Carrie Anne Philbin from the Raspberry Pi Foundation spoke about Digital Making: Creativity and project-based learning with Raspberry Pi, which related heavily to Hampshire Libraries’ upcoming projects and courses in two branch Makery studios.

This was the perfect reminder that the Hampshire library-based science and technology fun continues throughout the summer and beyond. Follow Fleet and Fareham’s Makery pages and sign up at to find out more.


Featured image credit: Dave Hughes, Hampshire Skeptics.

British Science Week – 10-19 March

British Science Week Logo

March 10th to 19th marks British Science Week 2017

Hampshire Library Service love science and we have pulled together some of our favourite science titles into this book list to celebrate British Science Week.

A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history, wrote the modern classic A Brief History of Time to help non-scientists understand fundamental questions of physics and our existence: where did the universe come from? How and why did it begin? Will it come to an end, and if so, how?

The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins

This is that rare thing – a book that changes science and reaches the public. From the moment of its publication 40 years ago, it has been a sparkling best-seller and a scientific game-changer. The gene-centred view of evolution that Dawkins championed and crystallized is now central both to evolutionary theorizing and to lay commentaries on natural history such as wildlife documentaries.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.

Bad Science and Bad Pharma – Ben Goldacre

Bad Science is a book by British physician and academic Ben Goldacre, criticising mainstream media reporting on health and science issues. It contains extended and revised versions of many of his Guardian columns. Bad Pharma is  about the pharmaceutical industry, its relationship with the medical profession, and the extent to which it controls academic research into its own products.

Forces of Nature Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

Forces of Nature is a 2016 book that accompanies the BBC One TV series of the same name. The book attempts to provide deep answers to simple questions, ranging from the nature of motion to the uniqueness of a snowflake. It uncovers how some of our planet’s beautiful sights and events are forged by just a handful of natural forces.

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson

Bill’s own fascination with science began with a battered old schoolbook he had when he was about ten or eleven years old in America. It had an illustration that captivated him – a cutaway diagram showing Earth’s interior as it would look if you cut into it with a large knife and carefully removed about a quarter of its bulk. And he very clearly remembers thinking: “How do they know that?”. This book attempts to answer that question and more!

The Epigenetics Revolution Nessa Carey

Nessa Carey presents a compelling story of the most important revolution in modern biology – and what it could mean for humanity. She concludes by investigating the amazing possibilities for the improvement of humankind that epigenetics offers for the surprisingly near future.


The Magnetic North by Sara Wheeler

About the book

Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, herding reindeer across the tundra with Lapps and shadowing the Trans-Alaskan pipeline with truckers, Sara Wheeler discovers a complex and ambiguous land belonging both to ancient myth and modern controversy.  The Magnetic North is a spicy confection of history, science and reflection in which Wheeler meditates on the role of the Arctic: fragmented lands which fed imaginations long before the scientists and oilmen showed up (not to mention desperado explorers who ate their own shoes). The Magnetic North tells of all this, plus gulag ghosts, old and new Russia, colliding cultures and bioaccumulated toxins in polar bears.


Reviewed by Bridewell Beauties

Reads like a series of essays. Very comprehensive and academic. Strongly divided opinions. Could be read on several levels

star rating ** ½


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Mendel's Dwarf by Simon Mawer

About the book

Like his great-great-great uncle, the early geneticist Gregor Mendel, Dr Benedict Lambert is struggling to unlock the secrets of heredity. But for Benedict the mission is particularly urgent and personal, for his is afflicted by achondroplasia. He is a dwarf. When a chance meeting leads him to the acceptance that he craves, he begins a journey towards correcting the injustice of his own capricious genes, with devastating consequences.

Reviewed by Victoria Group Gosport:

Very much enjoyed by everyone. Hours of discussion – stimulating, well written and informative. thought it a great read. Didn’t quite understand all the science but didn’t really interfere with the story itself. Many layers to the book – love story, history and science. Not the book i would have chosen myself – it made you think!

Star rating: ****

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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

About the book

Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller: but even when he stays safely in his own study at home, he can’t contain his curiosity about the world around him. A Short History of Nearly Everything is his quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization – how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. Bill Bryson’s challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It’s not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out? On his travels through time and space, he encounters a splendid collection of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists, like the painfully shy Henry Cavendish who worked out many conundrums like how much the Earth weighed, but never bothered to tell anybody about many of his findings. In the company of such extraordinary people, Bill Bryson takes us with him on the ultimate eye-opening journey, and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

Reviewed by Boaters Book Club:

ReThe book was considered heavy going, but interesting and a great source of information, and written in a good style. The research was considered amazing, however, several members did not read it or skipped bits.

Star rating: ***

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