An aerial view of the Piazza on Streatham Campus

Exeter has retained its position as number one in the world for its pivotal research, actions and commitment towards clean water and better sanitation in the latest influential rankings.

The British Science Association (BSA), in partnership with the University of Exeter, has revealed the programme for the British Science Festival 2023. Ticket bookings are now open for the annual Festival which celebrates the people, stories and ideas at the heart of science.  

Between 7–10 September, the British Science Festival will be taking over the city of Exeter and the University’s Streatham campus with over 70 free events including interactive activities, talks and workshops on the best of British research, art installations and exhibitions, and live performances. 

The Festival is aimed at visitors aged 16+ and there’s no need for any knowledge of science to join in the celebrations. All tickets for the British Science Festival are completely free, but spaces are limited at some events so booking is advised. Ticket bookings and the full programme line-up can be found on the British Science Festival website

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University of Exeter, said: “I am so proud that the University of Exeter is hosting this year’s British Science Festival, an event that brings people of all ages and backgrounds together to experience the wonder of science.  

“Speakers from our University will be showcasing some of their most exciting research and innovation that is having global impact.  Everyone is thrilled to be sharing their work with the wider community, fellow colleagues and students. 

“We’re delighted to be welcoming partners from across the UK to join this wonderful festival, and with such a vibrant mix of creativity and science we’re certain this will be one of the best events in Exeter in 2023.” 

James Brown, Director of the British Science Festival, added:  “We’re delighted to announce this year’s British Science Festival programme, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Exeter and the South West to get involved with cutting-edge science, exciting technology and intriguing arts projects. 

“This year’s line-up, put together with the support of the University of Exeter, features some fantastic research institutions, organisations and creatives who will share stories of their work, bringing it to life and showcasing a side of science that the public may not have previously experienced.  

“Festival-goers will be able to interact with researchers, ask questions and immerse themselves in awe-inspiring activities, workshops, performances and more. The Festival truly celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of the people, stories and ideas at the heart of science, and we hope visitors will take part in as much of it as they can!” 

On Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September, the Festival will be taking over The Forum on the University of Exeter’s Streatham campus with a whole host of interactive activities including the opportunity to test out AI and find the perfect fitting trainers

On Thursday evening, visitors can attend a special live recording of the BBC’s The Sky at Night, Question Time programme at the Roborough building on the University campus. Come and join the presenters, including the BSA’s past-President and renowned British space scientist, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, for an evening of stargazing and wonder!  

Head back to the University of Exeter campus on Friday for a day of unmissable experiences, including the Killer Fungus Escape RoomStories from our Skeletons, and a chance to try out your hand at being an air traffic controller

Then from 7pm, the British Science Festival will be heading to the city for a first-of-its-kind nighttime takeover of the Guildhall Shopping Centre.  

Live music will soundtrack the night and visitors will be treated to exclusive performances by The Spit Game, a London-based rap collective, and The Matt Palmer Band who are taking inspiration from climate science to tell the story of sea levels rising through song. 

Drop in on a virtual reality activity which allows users to experience how animals navigate the world without sight from local scientist, Dr Luke Smith, from the University of Exeter. 

Get up close and personal with specimens from the Natural History Museum as they tour their incredible ‘Our Broken Planet’ exhibition for the first time. The exhibition will guide visitors through our relationship with our world, and what we must do to fix it. 

Over the weekend (Saturday 9 and Sunday 10), the city of Exeter will be front and centre at the British Science Festival.  

Head to Cathedral Square as it hosts Exeter’s first ‘Science Market’. Stalls include: 

  • An interactive exploration of fast fashion which challenges visitors to mend broken garments. 
  • A chance to explore the wonderful world of seaweed through art, poetry and song.  
  • A test of your hearing with scientists who research animals who use echolocation – discover if you’d succeed in finding food out in the wild!  
  • ‘The Happy Shop’, inside which you will find a dream selection of your thoughts and emotions. 

The intersection between science and creativity will also be brought to life at the Exeter Phoenix arts centre. Here, the Festival will screen ‘The World Turned Upside Down’, a documentary about dementia and communication, taking the viewer behind the scenes of an original play which drew on evidence from the Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) research programme

Exeter local and professor at the University, John Plunkett, will walk us through the history of 3D imaging using Victorian era devices and images from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, allowing Festival-goers to create their own 3D picture

Headline speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. The British Science Association’s incoming President will also give their inaugural address at the Festival. 

Ticket bookings and the full programme line-up can be found at: britishsciencefestival.org.  

Follow the British Science Festival on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for all the latest on #BSF23