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Norwich Cathedral science fest's explosive start 

There was an explosive start to a two-week science festival at Norwich Cathedral last night (March 7) when a replica volcano erupted just outside the historic venue. Keith Morris reports.

The eight-foot high replica volcano outside Norwich Cathedral rumbled menacingly, billowed smoke and then erupted in flashes of light and explosions to launch the science festival in front of an expectant crowd. The model aims to mimic how the Soufriere eruption in 1902 on the Caribbean island of St Vincent actually happened, killing thousands of people.
 
Jenni Barclay professor of volcanology at the UEA, said: “It is a real privilege to bring our volcano exhibition to the Cathedral. For me volcanos embody what is amazing about science, which is the discovery and understanding about how the world works. But it is also about innovation that can make the world a more comfortable place for everyone, including those who choose to live near volcanoes.”
 
Launching the event at a reception, the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, explained that the festival aimed to celebrate the work and research of scientists, engage with some of the ethical issues and show that science can be fun as well as serious.
 
“Above all, the fortnight will demonstrate that there does not need to be any conflict between increasing our understanding of science and having a faith in the God who made us and who loves us,” said Jane.

“Both scientists and people of faith are committed to searching for truth, both communities have to deal with a certain amount of uncertainty and inconsistency and probability. They also recognize that we live in such an amazing universe that as human beings we are always going to be dealing with mystery.”
 
The festival, Evolution – Faith in a Changing World, has been put together by staff at the cathedral, UEA, John Innes Centre, Norfolk Museums Service, the SAW project and others and continues until March 18.
 
www.cathedral.org.uk/science
 
Pictured above is a replica volcano outside Norwich Cathedral which mimics how the Soufriere eruption in 1902 on the Caribbean island of St Vincent actually happened.



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