British Science Week

The UK's widest grassroots celebration of all things science and engineering


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our world in motion: theme 2012

Our world is constantly in motion, from the groun beneath our feet to the clouds above our heads - everything around us moves.

Communication: theme 2011

From mobile phones to satellite technology to how animals communicate in the wild, communication is all around.

What on Earth is going on: theme 2010

Take on the role of weather scientists, engineers, farmers and botanists and undertake investigations on Earth's amazing properties.

What's on

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2013 theme: Invention & discovery

This year's theme gives a great opportunity to celebrate the ‘everyman’ scientist and inventor and to highlight the science and engineering behind the nation’s favourite gadgets and goods.

Much of the world around us has at some point been invented and everyday problems lead to new innovations to solve them. Explorers of the natural world discover new things every day, from new species to space phenomena.

Invention and discovery is a broad theme encompassing many aspects of science and engineering, which can be interpreted in many different ways at your events and activities. We hope it will inspire hands-on invention challenges and discovery expeditions for people of all ages.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started

What can you invent or discover? - people from all walks of life can turn their hand to invention and  can get out and about and discover the world around them- from programming a new mobile app to finding out about our galaxy.

Inventions that changed the world – celebrating the scientific revolution and showing how it shaped the world around us; from the discovery of gravity to the invention of the internet, from Archimedes to Apple and from penicillin to plastic. What was invented in your area?

The next big thing – what are scientists and engineers working on at the moment? A chance to look ahead to emerging technologies, cutting-edge discoveries and brand new products; from synthetic biology to motion-controlled TV.

Solving the problems facing our planet - from renewable energy technologies to novel food-growing systems and from controlling disease to protecting endangered species.

Undiscovered world – the on-going science revolution: from the discovery of DNA to the first synthetic cell. A chance to explore the discoveries taking place all the time in the deep oceans and remote rainforests.

Medical breakthroughs – from face transplants to combatting tropical diseases, development of treatments and medical discoveries.
From the lab to the stock market - the process of research and development in the lab and the workshop and the at-home experimenting that can lead to lucrative new products.

NSEW themes are intended to provide a foundation for your own events and activities, but it is not intended to be the only theme seen during NSEW 2013. If you can't think of an event or activity around the theme then don't worry, you can cover whatever you like in your event.

Previous themes like 'Earth', 'our world in motion' and 'communication' have sparked a wide variety of different events across the UK during NSEW. We hope that 'invention & discovery' will do the same for 2013!
If you have any burning ideas that you're keen to share then please let us know: