Newcastle will come alive with a celebration of its world-class science, engineering and technology when Europe’s largest and longest-running public science event sets up in the city from 7-12 September. It will bring innovation and creativity together in one of UK’s stand-out cultural destinations.
It welcomes hundreds of the UK’s top scientists in a programme that offers everything from lectures, debates and hands-on activity for schools and families, to comedy and theatre.
British Science Festival facts and figures:
- Six days
- 200+ events
- Around 100,000 attendees
- Over 350 world-leading scientists
- Over 100 members of the world’s media
- 62 million people reached through media coverage
The Festival is to be hosted by Newcastle University with Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council as associate partners. The British Science Festival will bring together families, academics and school groups with the UK’s top scientists, science presenters and journalists to enjoy an exciting programme of activity featuring exhibitions, science shows, comedy, drama and science street buskers – plus debates and lectures on the latest scientific breakthroughs. Be the first to find out about Festival news by signing up for newsletters at www.engage-ne.org.uk
Ideas Take Flight (www.ideastakeflight.org) is a Newcastle University led campaign to enthuse and involve people regionally to help shape the British Science Festival ahead of its arrival in September 2013. The campaign will encourage the public to send back questions they want answered, ideas for events, and issues they want to discuss. The campaign design has been delivered by Roots and Wings, a local design Community Interest Company and former graduates of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. #ideastakeflight
Speaking on the year-ahead, Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “NewcastleGateshead is the perfect place for science and culture to come together. We have a strong heritage in both, and creativity is often at the heart of life-changing scientific innovation, it’s especially significant that British Science Festival has chosen Newcastle in the anniversary year that Armstrong became president of the Association, 150 years ago.
“NewcastleGateshead is responsible for the world’s first locomotive engine thanks to Robert Stephenson; Joseph Swan invented the incandescent light bulb and demonstrated it for the first time to Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society; and most recently, Centre for Life has been at the forefront of stem-cell research. With many famous inventors having lived, worked and studied in the city – leading to some of today’s favourite technologies including the iPod – it’s fantastic that scientists, inventors, and artists continue to flock here to showcase their sometimes wacky, and always wonderful, ideas to colleagues, peers and the public.”
Year-round the city is home to several major science attractions, with highlights including the award-winning Life Science Centre, Discovery Museum and the Great North Museum. Events in the city throughout 2013 such as The Late Shows (May), a special ‘culture crawl’ returning for its sixth year, will give visitors a unique chance to experience these inspiring attractions after dark when the city’s museums, galleries and entertainment venues reopen their doors after closing time.
Heritage Open Days (September) will also give visitors a chance to bring local engineering history to life as they experience some of NewcastleGateshead’s most important and influential spaces not ordinarily open to the public. Venues such as the Stephenson Works, the original locomotive works opened by Robert Stephenson in 1823, will open their doors for four special days, allowing visitors to stand in the very spot where history was made 190 years ago, with the invention of the first steam powered locomotive engine.
As well as showcasing it’s scientific credentials, NewcastleGateshead’s annual programme of festivals and events will animate and inspire the place throughout the course of the year, featuring an enviable line up including the Evolution Festival (May) and BUPA Great North Run (September), as well as EAT! NewcastleGateshead (August), Juice Festival (October), and NewcastleGateshead’s Winter Festival (December) – all of which are produced and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative.