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Dangerous ideas at heart of Fringe series

Researchers will explore a range of topical and challenging issues at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Can data cure cancer? Are aliens coming? Can art reduce poverty? These are some of the questions world-class academics will debate at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CODI).

The varied programme offers the public an opportunity to share their views and engage with researchers.

This year sees CODI in new venue with twice the number of shows compared to previous years. The 48 talks take place from 4-27 August at Edinburgh’s New Town Theatre.               

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Doctors on data

At one event, Professor David Robertson from the University’s Usher Institute will discuss the contribution data science can provide towards cancer research and care.

He will deliver the lecture, titled Dr Data: the answer to cancer, along with Professor Aileen Keel from the Innovative Healthcare Delivery Programme on 19 August.

Extra-terrestrial talk

On 13 August, University astrobiologist Dr Adam Stevens will take the audience on a tour of life in the universe.

He will question what an alien lifeform might look like, how likely it is to be dangerous, or whether human beings are more dangerous to the universe than it is to us.

Poverty and culture

Dr Marisa De Andrade will discuss whether it is possible to measure humanity at her talk on 18 August.

She will explore whether compassion and relationships can be measured, and if culture and art can reduce poverty.

Further topics academics will cover include child labour, multilingualism and gender equality.

New audiences

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas is now in its fifth year at the Festival Fringe and is organised by Beltane Public Engagement Network.  

It is designed as an informal platform for academics to engage with the public on an array of topics.

We are thrilled to have doubled the number of events at this year’s Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. We have built large community of researchers who return each year and encourage their colleagues to get involved. Renowned for its extravagant displays and outlandish performances, the Fringe provides the ideal setting to discuss research with audiences who may not usually come into contact with it.

Sarah AndersonBeltane Public Engagement Network

Related links

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas Programme

Beltane Public Engagement Network

The University at the Festivals

Research at the University of Edinburgh

Festival Fringe