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Dr Bunhead’s blend of science and spectacle set for SciFest

Dr Bunhead’s blend of science and spectacle set for SciFest

Dr Bunhead promises a feast of science and spectacle

A Guinness World Record spud bazooka, liquid-nitrogen-cooled stunt bananas, the world's biggest indoor cloud, chocolate-powered flamethrowers and “heaps of other science stuff that your teacher never did in school” will all be unleashed on audiences at this year’s New Zealand International Science Festival, to be held in Dunedin from 5-13 July.

“Stunt scientist” Tom Pringle, otherwise known as Dr Bunhead, says he’ll be “joyriding through the world of science using an anarchic blend of WOW! Factor demonstrations, bringing audiences face-to-face with the silly, crazy, dirty, dangerous and magnificent side of science.”

The zany Edinburgh-based science educator says that he has got shows and workshops lined up for kids, adults and school teachers and is preparing a special performance for a Pasifika audience that he is “very excited about”.

“My shows are especially suitable for anyone who hates (or hated) science at school, and in each show I tease out some science explanations behind the everyday experiences and objects that we take for granted,” says Tom Pringle.

Festival Director Chris Green, who saw him perform at the Edinburgh Science Festival in 2013, said Dr Bunhead’s events are in keeping with the New Zealand International Science Festival’s message of ‘leave boring behind’.

“This is a rare opportunity to have someone of Tom Pringle’s calibre at the festival, and anyone who knows his work on the TV programme "Brainiac: Science Abuse will have a good idea of his ‘oooh, wow, aaaaargh, cool’ emotional rollercoaster approach to science. He takes everyday objects and turns them into a science-themed barrage of contraptions, whooshes, bangs and flashes – to use his own colourful description.”

Pringle (AKA Dr Bunhead) has been a globe-trotting, freelance science communicator for almost 20 years. He has an international reputation as a pioneer of performance-science shows and immersive training programmes in science communication and professional development for school teachers. His television work has been broadcast worldwide by the BBC, Discovery, Sky and Disney channels; he featured in all 6 series of Sky One's cult show Brainiac: Science Abuse and in both series of the BBC's Hyperlinks, with further appearances on the BBC's Blue Peter, The Weather Show, The Slammer and Life According To Fred, alongside occasional BBC radio appearances. He previously attended the New Zealand International Science Festival in 2000.

The festival programme – including Dr Bunhead’s events will be officially announced in late May, with tickets on sale from early June. Announcements of other key international guests will be made in the coming months.

Tom Pringle’s visit to the New Zealand International Science Festival has been made possible with the generous support of Mitre 10 Mega. The 2014 New Zealand International Science Festival is sponsored by two major funding partners, the University of Otago and the Dunedin City Council.



T: @NZSciFest


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