Stonehaven scientist set for showcase

A Stonehaven woman is set to showcase her research at Europe’s largest science festival when it returns to Aberdeen for the first time in almost 50 years.

Dr Julia Allan, a lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, will appear at the British Science Festival, the largest and most high profile public science event in Europe which takes place in Aberdeen and the surrounding area from September 4-9.

The interactive event, entitled Why don’t we eat as we intend? The psychology of dietary control, will explore our relationship with our diet and why we find it so difficult to resist temptation. Audience members will be invited to take part in a range of psychological tests designed to illustrate why resisting temptation is so hard.

Dr Allan said “I’m delighted to be participating in such a prestigious and high profile event. It’s a great opportunity to showcase some of the exciting work that we’ve been doing in the Aberdeen Health Psychology Group.

“Our event focuses on why it’s so difficult to resist temptation and stick to a healthy diet. We’ll be taking a look at how our environment makes it easy to gain weight, at the different psychological processes involved in sticking to a healthy diet, and at strategies we can use to help control our diets. The event combines a talk with plenty of audience participation and an opportunity to test your own psychological and dietary control.

“Many of us struggle to control our diets despite knowing what we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ eat. Behavioural scientists made some great advances in recent years towards understanding the factors that determine food choice and eating patterns. Our event will shed some light on these factors, and outline simple strategies we can all use to increase our chances of resisting dietary temptation.”

Dr Allan is part of the Scottish Government funded Health Psychology Group at the University who are jointly organising the event alongside the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

The event will take place on Saturday September 8 between 1pm and 2pm in the Linklater Rooms at the University of Aberdeen and tickets are priced at £3.

Most of this year’s BSF events are free to the public but tickets for many of the priced events are selling quickly. One of the star attractions of the festival, an audience with Particle Physicist and television personality Professor Brian Cox, sold out in just 3 days.

And so the public are being advised to get in early, bookings can be made online at, by telephone on 08456 807207 or alternatively you can drop into the Music Hall on Union Street, Aberdeen to book through their Box Office.

The British Science Festival has an illustrious history spanning 178 years, and has developed into the largest public access celebration of science in Europe. Organised by the British Science Association, the University of Aberdeen and Techfest-Setpoint, the Festival will bring more than 350 of the UK’s top scientists, engineers and commentators together to discuss the latest developments in science and technology with the public.

The last time the festival was in Aberdeen was almost 50 years ago in 1963, and 2012 will be its first visit to Scotland in over ten years. It is expected to attract more than 40,000 visitors to the north-east.

Sponsored by BP and Shell U.K. Limited, the 2012 Festival will take place from 4 - 9 September hosted by the University of Aberdeen. For further information, visit