The British Science Festival

Bringing the latest in science discovery to a city near you


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Professional development
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Family events

Talks and debates

Lord Kelvin Award Lecture winner: Robots and humans: When two societies meet

Evening events

What's the point?


Below are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive about the Festival. If you think there is anything missing, you can let us know by clicking the comment button at the bottom of the page.

What is the British Science Festival?

The British Science Festival (formerly the BA Festival of Science) is one of the UK's biggest science festivals, encompassing over 250 events over the course of a week, held at a different location each September. Annually it attracts around 400 of the best scientists and science communicators from home and abroad who reveal the latest developments in research to a general audience.

Where is Festival held?

The Festival is hosted by a different university city each year, with events taking place at the University, in the city and surrounding area. In recent years the Festival has visited Liverpool, Birmingham, Guildford, Aberdeen and York.

When does the Festival take place?

The Festival takes place in September each year. The 2013 Festival will take place from  7 -12 September in Newcastle.

What goes on during the week?

The Festival hosts debates, talks, workshops, exhibitions, fieldtrips and more. The programme should be available to search online from June, with the printed version of the programme available from mid July.

How is the British Science Festival organised?

The British Science Association (formerly the British Association for the Advancement of Science (the BA)) coordinates the Festival as a whole, with valuable assistance from key partners. The Festival is split into four programmes: main programme, Science in the City programme, Schools Key Stage (KS) 2-3 programme and Schools KS 4-5 programme. Within these programmes, events are arranged by individual organisers.

Who can hold an event at the Festival?

The British Science Association is not prescriptive over who may hold an event within the Festival, but we do follow a strict proposal process to ensure a varied programme is produced and all events have scientific integrity and appeal to our varied audiences. The proposal process is opened in the spring, 18 months before the Festival, with a final programme produced by the end of March. Details are posted online.

Who are the events targeted at?

The Festival attracts academics, general public, school groups and families, of all interests and backgrounds. We believe we offer a unique opportunity to interact with an eclectic mix of people engaging in science.

What is the Festival theme?

The Festival has a different theme each year. In 2013 the theme is 'Making waves - exploring the creative and contoversial in science'

How can I attend events at the Festival?

Each event is listed on our website and in the Festival programme. In the programme, the appropriate audience for each event is listed. Visitors to the Festival are able to purchase individual tickets or book for most events in the Festival programme. Some events are drop-in events. Bookings normally open in June.

How much does it cost?

Ticket prices for individual events vary. Some are free, some cost around £3, some are more.