Lights, camera, science: experience the science behind movies at Science Lates

Delve into the world of science behind some of your favourite movie moments at Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) this February with Science Lates: Sound and Screen. Cultural events co-ordinator at Glasgow Science Centre, Chris Banks, tells us why you should go along.

I love losing myself in the incredible stories and the predictions presented by storytellers of how the world could look in the future. Often these predictions can turn out to be eerily true to life.

Credit: Glasgow Science Centre

For example, in 1865 author Jules Verne published a novel called ‘From the Earth to the Moon’, in which three Americans are fired into space by a gun. In his story, the three men launch a lunar vessel called ‘Columbaid’, weighing a little under 20,000lbs at a cost of $5.5million. A century later in 1969, America did send three men to the moon in the command module Columbia which weighed 26,300lbs, but at a cost of $16billion.

To cap it all off, Verne’s estimate of $5.5m was equivalent to about $13bn in 1969. Science fiction to science fact!

Back to the Future

The famous ‘hoverboard’ that the Back to the Future trilogy promised that we would have by 2015 is still science fiction but there is some science fact in the Back to The Future trilogy, such as self-tying shoes and the ‘Mr Fusion Home Reactor’.

In the second film, we see Dr Emmet Brown uses ‘a banana peel, some beer and a beer can’ to generate power for the flux capacitor and time circuits. Currently, some powerplants are extracting fuel from rubbish in the form of biogases like methane. Instead of letting it release into the atmosphere we can harness it as a combustive fuel for engines.


There are currently more than 20 million vehicles in the world running on compressed natural gas (CNG), the same gas used to heat our houses.

CNG is a resource that is very widely available in the world and is less polluting than petrol or diesel. In Belgium, around 16,000 cars already run on CNG. A few manufacturers are stressing this technology, which they consider more promising than electric cars. It is not exactly the Mr Fusion Home Reactor, but it certainly is quite an exciting concept!

Red carpet

Glasgow Science Centre will roll out the red carpet for the next in its series of adult only events. Science Lates: Sound and Screen will explore the science behind our favourite movie franchises.

With live science shows, planetarium presentations and live music performances – not to mention the tasty treats and beverages – it is sure to be a night to remember.

Credit: Glasgow Science Centre

Science Lates are a unique way to start of your weekend in style. Sound and Screen will see the science centre hosting several live music acts, a silent disco curated by our friends at HMV Argyle Street and industry experts will be discussing the sounds of the universe.

All of this and more is available to enjoy and better still – with no kids allowed.

Science Lates: Sound and Screen takes place at Glasgow Science Centre between 6pm- 10.30pm on Friday 21 February 2020. Tickets are available online.

Chris Banks is cultural events coordinator at Glasgow Science Centre.
Please note that this event is strictly adults only (18+). If you are lucky enough to look younger than 25 you must bring a valid form of photo I.D. Anyone under the age of 18 or without valid I.D. will be refused entry. Disabled access only can be booked by calling 0141 420 5000.
Glasgow Science Centre is an independent Scottish charity and their vision is to help create a country where all people value science and technology to inform decision-making, empower individuals and enrich lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Warning: Undefined variable $deps in /var/www/web/wp-content/plugins/google-captcha/google-captcha.php on line 765