The British Science Association (BSA) is pleased to announce that the British Science Festival 2016 will take place in Swansea, hosted by Swansea University next year. 

Swansea University was announced as the 2016 hosts at the Festival Dinner, which took place on Thursday 10 September, the final day of the British Science Festival 2015, hosted by the University of Bradford and supported by Siemens.  Representatives from Swansea University were joined on stage by the BSA's Presdient, Dame Athene Donald.

Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the British Science Association, said: “We are delighted to be taking the Festival back to Swansea, for the first time since 1990. Swansea University has really strong Science and Engineering Colleges, and a Medical School; the University performed really well in the REF 2014, and so we are looking forward to exploring the cutting-edge work going on there.

“What’s more, there’s an exciting new campus development and the University is right on the beach, which will add an extra element for programming and creating a ‘Festival feel’.”

The British Science Festival 2016 will focus on an audience of non-specialist adults with a broad interest in science, delivering 100 events, specially curated by the BSA in partnership with Swansea University. World-leading academics from Swansea University and other institutions and organisations across the UK will present, discuss and debate cutting-edge science (across the scientific spectrum including technology, engineering and social sciences) at a range of different events, from talks to performances.

A Fringe festival for families and community audiences will take place at the weekend (10, 11 September), coordinated by the University, BSA and local partners across the city.

Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard B. Davies said: “We are delighted that the British Science Festival has chosen Swansea to host its vibrant celebration of science, technology and engineering.  Swansea University is driving knowledge economy growth and hosting this iconic festival will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the power of science to deliver social and economic transformation.

Swansea University is on a strong upward trajectory, and is recognised as one of the top 30 UK research institutions in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).  The university is opening its spectacular £450m science and innovation Bay Campus later this month, which will support the expansion of our collaborations with industry and with leading research institutions across the world. We are thrilled that the British Science Festival has recognised this success and is heading for Swansea in 2016.”

First held (as the inaugural and then annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science) in 1831, 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 annual meeting has been previously held in Swansea four occasions: 1848; 1880; 1971 and 1990.  2016 will be the first time the city has held the Festival in its current format.

The British Science Festival 2016 hosted by Swansea University will take place between Tuesday 6 and Friday 9 September and the Festival Fringe will take place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, and will feature a diverse programme of talks, debates, performances and activities.