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Formula for a fun night

CONSIDER the organisation of tones into patterns, and add the application of human kinetic energy, possibly with the lubrication of a liquid with elements of the structural formula CH3 CH2 OH.

That is the basic formula for a ceilidh, though of course the alcohol is not obligatory.

You cannot do without the music and dance, though - especially if the aim is to impart knowledge.

That, at least, is the theory of neuroscientist Lewis Hou, who organises science ceilidhs, events that combine traditional music and dance with basic science concepts in a bid to make science more accessible and fun. Mr Hou says there are many similarities between teaching people dance and teaching science - he uses, by way of example, a routine called the Dashing White Blood Cell to help demonstrate the immune system.

The enjoyment of such events, though, could be relative. If you are seated next to a less than competent fiddle player - or an artless host- you might chalk that one up as e = mc screeched.

And best beware of getting too carried away with the terpsichorean art. You wouldn't want to be the torque of the town.

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