By Goldie Marfo, Communications Intern


It is almost September, and that means the British Science Festival 2022 is just around the corner. Taking place right in the heart of Leicester from 13 – 17 September, there will be over 100 free events on offer – from after dark experiences, to talks with the UK’s leading experts in their fields.
To help you decide which events to attend, in this blog we’ve pressed rewind by sharing our top picks of history-based events at this year’s Festival. 

Talk: Modern Tribes, Ancient Brains 

Location: Queen’s Building, Lecture Theatre 1.12, De Montfort University 

Time: 14:00, Thursday 15 September  

How have us humans managed to survive through time? The question is pretty valid considering the features that other species appear to have over us, be it sharper teeth or natural strength.  

A reason for our survival is one that might surprise you – spoiler alert – its group living. 

On 15 September, Martha Newson from the Universities of Kent and Oxford will talk on the human need for modern tribes. Using her research on a more familiar ‘Modern Tribe’ - football fans - she will dive into how key behaviours linked with these groups appear to have an origin deep within our evolved need to belong. 


Talk: Shakespeare in collaboration  

Location: Queen's Building, Lecture Theatre 1.12, De Montfort University 

Time: 14:00, Tuesday 13 September  

William Shakespeare. We’ve all heard of him. The ‘solitary genius’ behind some of the most performed and read plays in history, from Macbeth to Romeo & Juliet.  

But is there more to his work than meets the eye? Recently we’ve been able to view how authors, just like Shakespeare, have been influenced and have done the same to others through their works. 

Just how have we managed to do it? Well, the number of times authors use common words like ‘the,’ ‘and,’ and ‘of’ is viewed, and this gives them what we call their very own ‘language fingerprint’.  

So be sure to grab your friends and join Gabriel Egan from De Montfort University on 13 September in his talk to discover how these distinct ‘fingerprints’ of authors have been found in Shakespeare’s works.  


Talk: Origins of Extinction 

Location: Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester 

Time: 21:00, Thursday 15 September 

From dinosaurs to dodos, many species have fallen to extinction in the history of the Earth. (Trust us, there’ve been a lot.) 

But surprisingly enough, extinction is more of a newer concept than you would think, even though we are all familiar with it. 

Take a whistle-stop tour through history with Sadia Qureshi from the University of Birmingham in her ‘History of Science Section Presidential Address’. Get ready to explore the ideas behind extinction and how we can save our own species. 


Activity: Fossils after dark 

Location: Leicester Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester 

Time: 18:00, Thursday 15 September 

Fossils, they allow us to unpick the hidden stories of the past and discover more about life on this planet before our own.  

Join us on 15 September to meet a team of palaeontologists from the University of Leicester and get hands on with real-life specimens that tell us the story of flying reptiles, how they moved and their ancient diets. As well as the first complex animals that lived on Earth.  

And guess where some of these 600-million-year-old fossils can be found? Right here, in Leicestershire. 


Visit the British Science Festival website for more information on these events, and to browse the full line up.  

Stay tuned on all the latest on the British Science Festival by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #BSF22