Fake news, the moon and hoaxes. Catch up with what you missed at the Being Human Festival with this great summary by Dr Daniel Cook and Dr Keith Williams.

The theme for this year’s Being Human National Festival (November 2020) was New Worlds, and the local theme was ‘Dundee: The Lunar City’, using the forgotten link between Dundee astronomer, the Rev Thomas Dick, and perhaps the most notorious ‘fake news’ story of the 19C: the 1835 ‘Great Moon Hoax’.

The Life and Work of the Rev Thomas Dick and the Moon Hoax, together with artwork from University collections and DJCAD graphics and illustration students was presented at a special live event, ‘Lunar Tricks’:

The Festival attracted media interest with pieces in the Courier and Metro

Moon hoax: How a 19th-century Dundee Minister was at the heart of the ‘greatest fake news event of all time’

Batmen and unicorns: Inside the original moon hoax

Keith Williams also wrote a piece that appeared in The Conversation

The event included a comic book launch which we mentioned here on the blog:


Have a look at the link here to discover other comics from previous Dundee Being Human festival programmes:

Being Human

Additionally, the event also included a poetry reading of, Paper Moons: Imagining other Worlds in Pandemic Times, by Wyvern Poets and guests, including Bill Herbert.

Finally, a specially created ‘alternative history’ moonshot feature film,  From the Earth to the Moon, and DJCAD student Moon Hoax short films were created for Dundee University’s part in the festival where students were invited to tell a convincing lie.

These can now be found on YouTube:



Downloadable Dundee bicentennial edition of Frankenstein from 2018, illustrated by Scotland’s leading comics artists:


Coming up in January 2021:

Celebrating (nearly) two Hundred Years of Justified Sinning

In association with the Centres for Scottish and Critical and Creative Cultures, an online event to launch:

  • an illustrated booklet of poems by the Wyvern poets inspired by James Hogg’s novel, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, a classic of Scottish Gothic and forerunner of Jekyll and Hyde.
  • a specially-edited bicentennial edition of the novel itself
  • a graphic novel adaption of Hogg’s narrative



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