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ECCI #EdSciFest event explores link between fake news and climate change

The link between fake news and climate change is one of the dangerous ideas that will be set loose on the public at ECCI as part of Edinburgh International Science Festival on Saturday 6 April.

Kicking off the first day of Edinburgh’s annual science festival, ECCI’s vibrant low carbon hub will play host to Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: Provocations for a Sustainable Future - inviting some of the UK’s brightest and bravest thinkers to put forward their most challenging sustainability ideas.

The thought-provoking and entertaining session, hosted by notorious Edinburgh comedian Susan Morrison, will give visitors a chance to engage with cutting-edge low carbon knowledge.

Speakers include University of Edinburgh plant science and biogeography expert Dr Richard Milne, who will imagine a future where ‘fake news kills world’.

“Before going mainstream in 2016 fake news was used for decades to attack climate science” Dr Milne argues. “I intend to bust those climate myths and explore the new, growing dangers that fake news poses for our planet.”

Dr Milne is joined by Heriot-Watt energy scholar Dr Elma Charalampidou and Modern History expert Dr Nikos Papdogianni (Bangor University), who will each put forward their own ‘dangerous ideas’ to be debated.

Following the cabaret visitors will also have a chance to view a series of short environmental films created by students from Edinburgh College of Art, complete with a question and answer session with the filmmakers.

Edinburgh’s annual science festival is the world’s first public celebration of science and technology and still one of Europe’s largest. This year events range from five floors of hands-on science fun for young minds at the City Art Centre to world-class speakers and interactive events for all ages across the city.

Climate challenges are set to be at the forefront of this year’s festival, as the Edinburgh Medal - the prestigious City of Edinburgh Council award for the scientists making a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity - will be awarded to Christiana Figueres, the UN Climate Chief who was instrumental in the successful conclusion of the 2015 Paris climate talks. Ms Figueres will accept the award as part of her speech at the Edinburgh Medal Address: Climate Change Where are We? on Friday 5 April.

ECCI Director Ed Craig said: "At ECCI we believe in the power of innovative and game-changing ideas in our drive towards a thriving zero carbon future.

"Our partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of this ground-breaking thinking - and to challenge people with radical ideas about how we can create a healthier, smarter future."

Amanda Tyndall, Creative and Festival Director at Edinburgh Science Festival, said: “Taking inspiration from the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, this year we set out to explore the uncharted territories of life and beyond at Edinburgh Science Festival with a theme of Frontiers.

“It is fitting to have the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas - an event as thought-provoking as it is entertaining - at the Festival with an expert panel challenging ideas around sustainability.

“We look forward to joining the discussion!”

ECCI has teamed up with the University of Edinburgh’s department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability to deliver its programme of Edinburgh International Science Festival events.

Book your tickets quick, before they sell out!