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Nov 8, 2023

Thought-provoking events aimed at adults from TechFest: Learn how to overcome insomnia at city talk 

With around a third of the UK population struggling with insomnia, a fascinating talk as part of this year’s TechFest science festival will explore how to overcome this often chronic condition. 

TechFest has teamed up with the University of Aberdeen and The Rowett Institute to create a series of thought-provoking lectures and events on health topics, including anxiety and diet. 

Thanks to the support of joint principal funders bp and Shell and public programme sponsor Equinor, entry to each event is either free or just £2 per person. 

Dr Olga Runcie will discuss how to how to win the battle with insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, which is linked to a low quality of life and a higher level of physical and mental illness. 

A consultant psychiatrist at Albyn Hospital, sleep specialist and founder of Somniance, Dr Runcie will discuss how to deal with anxiety and fear about not sleeping.  

Audience members will learn how to change their sleep routine in order to break a vicious insomnia cycle, as well as hearing about recent research and new developments in the treatment of chronic insomnia. 

How to Win the Battle With Insomnia will be held at 7.30pm tomorrow (Thursday, November 9), at the University of Aberdeen’s Fraser Noble Building. Admission is £2. 

The Rowett Institute will host an event on healthy and sustainable diets in Scotland, from 2-4pm this Saturday, November 11. The Rowett’s atrium on Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, will showcase the team’s research on what nutrients are important and where to find them.  

Visitors can take part in activities including measuring your diet and lifestyle’s environmental impact and making smoothies from vertical farm microgreens, while Professor Alex Johnstone will give a talk at 2.30pm on healthy and sustainable diets in Scotland. 

These events are part of Aberdeen’s award-winning annual science festival, TechFest, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a packed programme of fascinating events for all ages, reflecting advancements in science and technology. 

There are more than 25 fun workshops, lectures and hands-on experiments aimed at children, teenagers and adults alike. 

Sarah Chew, TechFest’s managing director, said the festival was not just for young science enthusiasts. 

“We have curated a really varied programme of events, talks, workshops and lectures this year, with themes including forensic science, technology, climate change and the environment and health. We have been able to secure some of the best speakers in their respective fields so this is a great chance to come along and learn.”

“Many of these are ideal for students or other adults who have an interest in these fascinating subjects – or who just want to learn something completely new. There are lots of interactive activities to get involved with – and even better, admission is either free, or priced at just £2.” 

Visitors have the chance to listen to a wide range of world-renowned speakers, including leading scientists who are sharing their real-life work and research, as well as behind the scenes tours and even a Q&A session with an astronaut. 

Other thought-provoking events throughout the festival include cyber safety, wildlife photography, artificial intelligence, volcanoes in Antarctica and reusing waste. 

The festival is being held at several venues across Aberdeen, including RGU’s Garthdee campus and the University of Aberdeen. 

Booking is open and the programme can be downloaded from the TechFest website. 

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills, by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.  As well as the science festival, the charity runs a programme of year-round events for schools and the wider community. 

For more information on TechFest and to book your tickets, visit 

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