From robotics and the end of the universe, to climate change, spoken word and UV Yoga… Hull and the Humber will come alive with science this September.

RB to join Ørsted as Principal Partners of the Festival

The British Science Association (BSA) has today (19 June) unveiled the full programme and opened bookings for the British Science Festival 2018.

Hosted by the University of Hull, the Festival will transform Hull and the Humber into a celebration of science this September, celebrating the region’s research excellence in topics such as energy, the environment and healthcare. 

From Tuesday 11 to Friday 14 September, the Festival will feature over 100 events from top scientists, artists, performers, academics and local community groups.  The diversity of the programme shows that science belongs to, and affects, us all.  Moreover, it emphasises that science is fun, thought-provoking and interesting; it's not just something confined to a lab.

Highlights of this year’s programme include:

Discussions on provocative and important topics

Male suicide: a silent crisis
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK. Join TV presenter and doctor Xand van Tulleken in conversation with BBC Horizon Editor Steve Crabtree as they discuss this silent epidemic and how to raise awareness of it.

Modern slavery in the UK 
Cristina Talens, who works with businesses to spot modern slavery in their supply chains, will speak about this issue that often hides in plain sight.

Lord Prescott: climate change, science and me 
Local MP and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott will share his experience of the Kyoto Summit, which was a pivotal turning point in his relationship with science.

Hellblade: tackling psychosis stereotypes
Makers of the BAFTA award-winning video game Hellblade designed their heroine to be a female warrior living with psychosis, as a new and positive way of representing the mental condition. Explore this important move with creative director Tameem Antoniades and psychiatrist Paul Fletcher, in conversation with neuroscientist Uta Frith.

A song of ice and fire
Ashley King takes you from the birth of the solar system to the present day. Using samples from primitive asteroids once formed in the cold, outer regions of early stars, he unravels a complex and fascinating picture of the region of space we call home.

Hellblade: the BAFTA award-winning video game's take on mental health will be explored at this year's Festival

Art installations

Museum of the Moon
In partnership with Hull’s Freedom Festival, we be showcasing the unique touring artwork: Museum of the Moon, by UK artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter at an approximate scale of 1:500,000, the installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. On the evening of Tuesday 11 September, join us for a special sing-a-long as we "Howl at the Moon".

Distortions in Spacetime
Experience what it’s like to step inside a black hole with a brand-new immersive experience from audiovisual pioneers Marshmallow Laser Feast. The new work, entitled Distortions in Spacetime, will turn participants’ bodies into particle clouds on a giant screen, then give them the sense of being squashed, stretched and spaghettified as they are affected by gravitational waves created by two black holes crashing into each other.

Tree Listening
What sounds does a tree make? Find out for yourself with Alex Metcalf's Tree Listening Project which uses highly sensitive microphones to make audible the inner workings of trees, live. As seen on BBC One's Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees.

Immerse in the Tree Listening Project and hear the inner workings of these beautiful, life-giving plants

Showcasing local places, spaces and people

As well as events on campus, venues across the city will see leading scientists come together from across the world to showcase the latest scientific advancements.

The Ferens science takeover 
Science and art collide at this unique after-dark event at The Ferens Art Gallery. Finish the evening off with a play in our special robot petting zoo.

UV Yoga
Experience yoga like you’ve never seen it before. With muscles highlighted in UV paint, yoga teacher Hayley Hill and clinical anatomy specialist Kat Sanders will explore the complexity of human musculature in this highly visual class.

Bounceback to the future
Local youth group The Warren’s spoken word collective, Bounceback, turn their attention to science and respond to the theme of science fiction and the future.

Visitors will get the chance to pet robots at our takeover of the Ferens Art Gallery

And for something completely different…

Unlocking the secrets of the canine mind
Participants will discover the experimental techniques scientists use to gain insights into canine cognition and find out how man's best friend really thinks.

Nail Transphobia
Get your nails painted for free by the fabulous, trail-blazing Charlie Craggs. Charlie is an award-winning transactivist who is changing hearts and minds, one nail at a time.

Attraction explained: how to seduce and why we love
Viren Swami will reveal how geography, appearance and personality affect who we fall for and why. Stay for the evening and put your new knowledge to the test at the singles mixer! 

Cute dog alert! Attendees will discover how man's best friend really thinks


Also announced today was the news that global consumer health, hygiene and home company, RB, has become a Principal Partner of this year’s Festival. RB - which is known for brands such as Durex, Dettol, Nurofen and Strepsils - joins fellow locally-based international employer, Ørsted, as a key supporter of the event and the legacy it is seeking to create in the region. 

Partners are invaluable for helping the BSA engage people with science through the interests and topics which matter to them. This year, we are collaborating with a range of local organisations including The Deep, Freedom Festival, The Warren, Ferens Art Gallery, The Ropewalk, Hull Truck Theatre and Absolutely Cultured.

The BSA’s Ivvet Modinou, Director of the British Science Festival, said: “We are really proud of this year’s programme. It highlights local stories, explores issues of national relevance and celebrates the breadth and creativity of the cutting-edge research taking place across the UK. We’re looking forward to engaging our festival goers with discussions, ideas and immersive experiences that surprise, delight, and challenge.”

Dr David Richards, Pro-VC (Research and Enterprise), University of Hull, said: “We’re really pleased that RB is joining us, along with Ørsted as Principal Partners, to help showcase science and technology in the region. The festival programme is incredibly diverse and aims to simplify what can seem to be very complex subjects, so the audience can appreciate the value to society of the science and engineering on show. By applying scientific theory to familiar situations and environments the programme reflects the University’s goal of using first-class research to solve real world problems.”

Clare Walker, R&D Category Group Director, RB, said: “RB has over 150 years’ heritage in Hull, where it leads science and innovation for some of its biggest brands.

We’re delighted to be a Principal Partner in the British Science Festival. It’s a fantastic way for us to engage with the community, inspire people through science and raise awareness of the careers available at RB. The partnership complements our existing outreach programmes with schools, colleges and universities.”

The full programme, revealed at an official launch reception at Sadler’s Wells in London, is now online. All tickets are completely free, although space for some events is limited, so booking is recommended: