British Science Festival 2020

The British Science Association and Anglia Ruskin University have taken the difficult, but sadly inevitable, decision to postpone the British Science Festival 2020, due to take place from 8 – 12 September in Chelmsford. 

The safety of everyone in our community is paramount and – due to the ongoing social distancing measures – it is impractical to plan and execute an event on the size and scale of the Festival at this challenging time.

The Festival will take place instead from 7 – 11 September 2021. Further updates will follow in due course, and the full programme will be launched in June 2021.

We would like to thank everyone who has been involved to date in the planning of the British Science Festival 2020, and look forward to continuing to build relationships with partners across the city in the lead up to the Festival next year.

Read the full statement here.

Background on the British Science Festival

The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science Festival, travelling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. Our Festival aims to connect people with scientists, engineers, technologists and social scientists.

Each year, we bring an inspiring programme of free events to the public over four or five days, bursting with exciting opportunities to get involved in. Our talks, workshops and drop-in events span a diverse range of subjects that encompass science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone.

In 2019, the Festival brought over 100 free events to Coventry & Warwickshire with our host, the University of Warwick. We broke a sweat at our sports hub takeover, had exciting debates across scientific disciplines and ended the Festival grooving to a holographic light show. We can’t wait to see what’s next as we head to Chelmsford!

Hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, the Festival will be held in Chelmsford and Essex from 7-11 September 2021. Get ready for another exciting programme of events...

Opportunities to get involved in 2021 

Award Lectures - are you, or do you know, a promising early career researcher?

Every year we accept applications for the seven Award Lectureships available to promising early career academics, skilled at engaging people with their research. These Award Lectures aim to promote open and informed discussion of science and related disciplines.

The selected candidates will have the opportunity to present their winning Award Lecture at the British Science Festival.

We are currently accepting applications for the Festival in 2021! Head over here to find out more and submit your application by 17.00 on 3 December 2020.

Community grants

Each year, the BSA provides grants of £500 to community groups/organisations in the host festival city that work directly with audiences who are traditionally underrepresented and currently not engaged in science activity. We want to empower and support community groups to run their own science activities as part of the British Science Festival, enabling new local audiences to engage with science. 

You can find more information here.

Watch this space for application details for grants for community organisations in Chelmsford to participate in the Festival in 2021.


For information on the sponsorship packages available for the British Science Festival, please contact Amy MacLaren, Director of External Relations at the British Science Association.

Festival evaluation reports

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