The British Science Association and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) are pleased to announce that the British Science Festival in 2020 will take place on the University’s Chelmsford campus, as well as at venues across the city.

Working in partnership with the University, the British Science Association will bring the flagship event to the region for the first time in its 189-year history. The British Science Festival is one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which each year travels to a new part of the UK, bringing a vast array of events, performances and installations with a scientific twist.

Joining forces with Anglia Ruskin University and other organisations across the county of Essex and beyond, the British Science Festival will shine a light on the cutting-edge innovation taking place in the region.

The Festival will be held between Tuesday 8 and Saturday 12 September 2020 and the programme will feature a diverse programme of talks, debates, performances and activities on the Chelmsford campus of Anglia Ruskin University and will make use of a number of different venues in the nearby city as well.

The baton to host the next British Science Festival was officially handed over at the Festival dinner in Coventry Cathedral last night – a celebration of the success of this year’s event in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: “It was a pleasure to visit the University of Warwick, which has hosted a fantastic festival this year, in conjunction with the city of Coventry.

“It will be wonderful for the people of Chelmsford to have such a prestigious event on their doorstep in 2020 – and in turn we’re excited to be able to showcase our world-class facilities and cutting-edge research.

“The hard work starts now, and we’re confident we will make the British Science Festival in Chelmsford a fantastic success.”

Ivvet Modinou, Director of the British Science Festival, said: “I am delighted that the British Science Festival will be heading to Anglia Ruskin University in 2020. The University has built a fantastic reputation for its research and scientific excellence over recent years, and it’s incredibly exciting to know that we will be working with the world-class researchers and academics based there to produce the event.”

The British Science Festival moves to a different location each year, the first meeting having taken place in York in 1831, and is one of the British Science Association’s leading engagement programmes. This is the first time in the Festival’s history that the event will be hosted in the city of Chelmsford, and its first visit to the county of Essex as well.

The British Science Festival is aimed at an adult audience with a broad but non-specialist interest in science, and usually includes around 100 events, all of which are specially curated by the British Science Association in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. World-leading academics from Anglia Ruskin University and other institutions and organisations across the UK will present, discuss and debate cutting-edge science from across the scientific disciplines together with its impact on wider society, at a range of different events, talks and performances. Over the next 18 months, the British Science Association and Anglia Ruskin University will work together to refine and develop the programme of events.

The Festival has been the stage for many iconic moments in history – such as the famous debate on Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution between Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford in 1860. It also saw the first use of the word ‘scientist,’ in 1834.

The origins of the Festival, previously known as the annual meeting, can be traced back to York, in 1831. Since then it has travelled the globe, including visits to Montreal and Australia.