By Hana Ayoob,  Project Officer at the British Science Association


The last time the British Science Festival visited Bradford, the Society of Dyers and Colourists hosted a fantastic evening event on senses. This year, we wanted our theme to have a stronger connection to our hosts, and therefore to colour.

We have such a strong evolutionary relationships with our colourful world and it’s such an important feature of the world we live in. At ‘Talking Colour’ we’ll go beyond colour as a physical property to answer the questions you never thought to ask. Why did Gladstone think the Greeks were colour blind? Does the language you speak change how you see the world? What does poetry in motion actually look like?

Scientists, artists and performers come together to explore, question and celebrate the language and psychology of the colour.  Uncover how we think about and talk about the colourful world around us through bite-sized talks, creative activities, performances and live experiments.

Wednesday 9 September


What's on?

18.30-19.30 Poetry in motion
Kala Sangam
Pens at the ready for a creative writing workshop meets performance with local South Asian arts organization Kala Sangam. Try your hand at poetry writing before watching as a selection of poems are interpreted in Indian dance, mime and music. Pens and paper will be provided.


19.00-19.30  Three dimensional colour
Peter Naish
Find out how colour produces 3D effects in this fun interactive session. Expect old fashioned slides, 3D glasses and lots of personality.  


20.00-20.30 Chemistry, craft and culture
Jing Han
Science, art and history collide as Jing Han explains how modern chemistry is uncovering the secrets of ancient Chinese dyers.

20.30-21.00 Colourful language
Marie Rogers
Discover whether the language we speak can influence how we see the world around us.


21.00-21.30 No, Prime Minister, the Greeks weren’t colour blind
Mark Bradley
William Gladstone was convinced that Homer, and his fellow ancient Greeks were colour blind. Find out what led him to this conclusion.


Drop in and experience colour like never before...

Discover the Colour Experience, and have fun with the museum’s interactive exhibits and stop by Bradford Brewery’s pop up bar to try our Festival Brew.

Investigate the relationship between colour and language with Eleanor Maclure. Explore the words we use to identify colours, our colour vocabulary and our understanding of colour names.

See the unexpected with Christine Holdstock’s creative activities exploring colour perception through paper weaving and more.

Delve deeper into colour perception with a series of mini experiments from the Sussex Colour Group.

Choose from a range of colouring pages and materials at our Colouring bar and settle down for a meditative break.


All British Science Festival events are FREE!
Take a look at our full programme, watch our teaser animation, or find out more about our series of lates...