Science Festival Honour

I’m honoured to have been asked to present the “Grimond Lecture” at the forthcoming Orkney International Science Festival to be held in Kirkwall, Orkney from September 2nd – 8th 2010.

Festival director Howie Firth provided a bit of background to the Grimond Lecture:

“The background is that we select one lecture each year as something a bit special, which has ideas in it of wider application. A characteristic of the Grimonds was that they used to open up fresh ideas on a variety of subjects, and particularly ideas which had a direct potential benefit for society. We thought that this was something that should be continued by the Festival.

Your presentation this year encapsulates some key ideas that we want to bring out in this year’s Festival – that in order to tackle the challenges in science and in society we are going to have to push ourselves to the limit, beyond the boundaries that we are used to working within in in everyday life. This is something that people sometimes say but do not follow up, and your talk will look at how that approach can be put into practice in a particular way. So we feel that this is ideal for the Grimond Lecture in the 20th Festival.”

My lecture will begin at around 1230 on Thursday September 2nd at the St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall.


How can you run 1000 miles in a fortnight? What’s the preparation for pushing body and mind to the absolute limit? World record-holder William Sichel discusses the science behind ultra-endurance sport – physiology, nutrition, adaptation and the importance of understanding psychological factors.