First "Nerdland Festival" in Belgium expects 10,000 science enthusiasts

The first "Nerdland Festival" expects some 10,000 enthusiasts of science this weekend. The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the provincial domain of Puyenbroek.

The festival provides fries and beer, but the main interest goes to top scientists such as Valerie Trouet, a world authority in the field of dendrochronology, the discipline that uses growth rings to learn about the age of trees. Or doctor Piet Houbeke, who answers the question whether a man has a normal penis. Other popular topics are black holes, insects and programming.

The initiative stems from the popular podcast Nerdland, a monthly review that discusses science and technology news. Organizers Lieven Scheire and Hetty Helsmoortel are putting their weight behind what should become the biggest open air science festival in Belgium. It is the first edition, although the concept has already a precursor in "Sound of Science" festival, also by Helsmoortel.

Poetic freedom is hardly allowed at the festival, which strives for scientific correctness. There are two hundred acts on ten different stages, with experts always watching over scientific correctness.

Together with comedian Henk Rijckaert, the fourth "Doeboek voor Kleine Nerds" is launched. Lieven Scheire will tour with a "DNA special" until the end of June, animals will be digitally dissected and the program will be supplemented with live shows by well-known and lesser-known artists, focus talks by scientists and workshops, activities and experiments.

Music is also included in the program, a “Belpop Bonanza science show”, which complements the immersiveness of music with facts about the genre or artist.



© BELGA PHOTO (ANDRE HERMANS) Web of the Linyohia triangularis spider

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