William at the Orkney International Science Festival

The newspaper “Orkney Today” wrote (02/09/2010) :

“THE 20th Orkney International Science Festival has just been officially opened.
The seven-day festival features speakers from countries ranging from Austria to Australia, and France to Thailand.
The international tone of the festival was set by its opener, Johnny Grimond, writer-at-large for The Economist. He was the magazine’s foreign editor for fourteen years and before that its Africa correspondent and America editor, and has written on global issues such as the supply of fresh water, the state of the sea, and the growth of cities. He has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times.

There is also a local connection for Mr Grimond, whose parents, Jo and Laura Grimond, were part of Orkney life for half a century. Jo Grimond, MP for Orkney and Shetland, transformed the fortunes of the Liberal party in post-war Britain, turning it into a radical force for change. His wife Laura, a political campaigner in her own right, was a granddaughter of the Liberal prime minister H H Asquith.

Following the official opening which took place in a packed St Magnus Centre in Kirkwall,today, Thursday, Mr Grimond then introduced the festival’s Grimond Lecture, given this year by Orkney’s world record-holding ultra-runner, William Sichel from Sanday, who discussed the science behind ultra-endurance sport, including physiology, nutrition and psychology.

Pushing back the boundaries will be a theme of this year’s festival, which will highlight the role of science as exploration of the unknown.”