A CGI image of a feathered winged prehistoric animal attacking another feathered, ostrich like creature

What’s on today at the Manchester Science Festival: Thursday, 19 October

There’s plenty to get your teeth into on the first day of the Manchester Science Festival – or that could get its teeth into you if you head to Dinosaurs in the Wild (EventCity, from 9am), an immersive experience that will take you back 67 million years among the dinosaurs in their world, at their time.

Alternatively, why not be among the first to see two of our amazing headliners – the blockbuster exhibition Robots and the giant spider’s web Tape. Climb through a translucent “stretched biomorphic skin” strung above the ground and crawl along winding networks of cocooning passageways or meet more than 100 robots representing our 500-year quest to recreate robots in our own image (Museum of Science and Industry, all day). Then meet some family-friendly Scribble Bots for a rollicking robo adventure (Museum of Science and Industry, 2pm-4pm).

Evening events include an answer to the question “what’s the greatest musical instrument ever made?” No, not the recorder… the human voice.

Join soprano Daniela Sicari, baritone John Jones and University of Salford Professor of Acoustics Trevor Cox as they explore this most exquisite of instruments in Electrifying the Voice (Chetham’s Library, 7.30pm). Mixing scientific analysis with musical interludes, you’ll be taken on an exploration of the workings of the voice and how it can be adapted to different styles.

Part of the BBC’s Opera Passion day, we will also be carrying out a series of experiments in collaboration with Tomorrow’s World to find out if a soprano really can shatter a glass, and why a beautiful voice can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

For a very different music experience, try Richard Evans’ Sentinel (Waterside Arts Centre, 8pm), where sinewy synths, ethereal vocals and electro rhythms meld seamlessly with lasers and cutting-edge lighting and data visualisation for this captivating live performance inspired by climate change and forced migration. This inspiring show will be followed by an in-depth panel discussion with climate scientists, evolutionary biologists and immunologists about the show’s compelling, challenging and thought-provoking themes.

If you’re more interested in making whoopie than making music, head to Reproduction 2.0 (Museum of Science and Industry, 7pm). With human reproduction entering a new era join Prof Sir Doug Turnbull, Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Prof Robin Lovell-Badge and the Science Museum Group’s own Roger Highfield to uncover how far science has progressed – from the very first test tube baby in Oldham, to creating GM babies and even artificial embryos.

Today also marks the first day of a number of events that will take place throughout the festival, including the University of Salford’s Library of Fake News (MediaCityUK Campus, 10am-5pm), an exhibition showcasing the winners of the Physics Pics competition (Central Library, 9am-8pm) and Reena Saini Kallat’s exhibition (Manchester Museum, 10am-5pm). And if you’re looking for inspiring stories, there’s nowhere better than Women of Science (People’s History Museum, 10am-5pm). Showcasing the achievements, struggles and attitudes of a diverse range of female scientists, prepare to be impressed and inspired in equal measure. Alongside the exhibition there will be an opportunity to chat to some of the scientists or engineers featured in the exhibition to find out more about their story and journey into STEM.

There are two more opportunities to see Festival trailblazer event Under Glass this evening (The Lowry, 6.30pm and 8pm), and ticket holders are also invited to Under Glass: A Closer Look (The Lowry, 8.50pm), a short discussion and Q&A with artistic directors Suzy Willson and Paul Clark. Chaired by Gianna Bouchard, editor of Performance and the Medical Body, it will explore the themes that inspired this award-winning human art installation, and will question some of the philosophical and ethical issues around the medical gaze and the ethics of display.

Today’s timeline:

9am-8pm – Physics Pics, Central Library

9.30am-5pm – Dinosaurs in the Wild, EventCity

10am-5pm – Library of Fake News, MediaCity Campus, University of Salford

10am-5pm – Reena Saini Kallat, Manchester Museum

10am-5pm – Women of Science, People’s History Museum

10am-5pm – Robots, Museum of Science and Industry

10am-9pm – Tape, Museum of Science and Industry

2pm-4pm – Scribble Bots, Museum of Science and Industry

6.30pm-7.15pm – Under Glass, The Lowry

7pm-8.15pm – Reproduction 2.0, Museum of Science and Industry

7.30pm-8.30pm – Electrifying the Voice, Chetham’s Library

8pm-10pm – Sentinel, Waterside Arts Centre

8pm-8.45pm – Under Glass, The Lowry

8.50pm-9.30pm – Under Glass: A Closer Look, The Lowry