Aerial shot of the Streatham campus

University of Exeter, Streatham Campus

University of Exeter to host British Science Festival 2023

  • British Science Festival to take place in Exeter between 7–10 September 2023
  • Myriad of free events, installations and exhibitions on campus and in city centre will bring science to life
  • University of Exeter will showcase pioneering climate science research

The British Science Association (BSA) and the University of Exeter are pleased to announce that the British Science Festival will take place in Exeter across four days next September.

The Festival will be held between Thursday 7 and Sunday 10 September 2023, with events located across the city centre and university campus. A myriad of free events will be on offer for visitors from Exeter and beyond to attend.

Celebrating the 192nd anniversary of the Festival, and working in partnership with the University, the BSA will bring its flagship event to the South West for the first time since 2004, when it was last hosted by the University of Exeter.

The British Science Festival is one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which travels to a different part of the UK each year. It brings science to the wider public in the form of installations, exhibitions, talks, panel discussions, performances and more.

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a hub for transformative research and innovation in the region. The University is also home to the top five most influential climate scientists in the UK, all in the top 21 in the world[1].

University of Exeter researchers will be on hand to showcase its pioneering work towards a more sustainable, healthy and socially just future. The University also aims to further its support of local communities and organisations through the Festival’s legacy.

Hannah Russell, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, says:

“We’re really looking forward to bringing the British Science Festival to the South West in 2023. The University of Exeter’s commitment to public engagement and pioneering work in climate and environmental science will make for some exciting events on the programme, and we look forward to welcoming and inspiring visitors from the city, the region and beyond.

“The University’s community partnerships will play a significant role in the Festival’s development and legacy, something that chimes strongly with the BSA’s mission to make science more relevant, representative and connected to society and the Festival’s ethos.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter, says:

“We are absolutely delighted to host the British Science Festival 2023 in Exeter. At the University of Exeter we believe in the power of science and knowledge to change lives and communities for the better. We will focus on showcasing how research can help provide solutions to the biggest challenges of our time.

“Our aim will be to engage and excite people of all ages in cutting edge research and put on a festival of science that is accessible and inspiring for people across the South West, the UK and the world. Working in partnership is in our DNA and we look forward to collaborating across our community to deliver an outstanding British Science Festival programme.” 

For more information about the British Science Festival 2023 and to stay up-to-date with events as they’re announced, visit the British Science Festival website or follow the Festival on Twitter and Facebook.

If you are an academic, local venue or regional business looking to get involved in the Festival, please contact the British Science Festival team on festival@britishscienceassociation.org.

More about the British Science Festival

The first British Science Festival meeting took place in York in 1831. The Festival last visited the city of Exeter and the South West region in 2004.

The British Science Festival provides a setting for people who may not necessarily have an interest in science to find out more about subjects from space and food, to wildlife and health, and much more.

The programme will be curated by the BSA, University of Exeter and Festival partners over the next year with a goal to engage audiences with world-class research in an accessible and digestible manner. Researchers from around the UK will discuss what their work means to society and its impact on people’s everyday lives.

The Festival has been the stage for many iconic moments in history – such as the famous debate on Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution. It also saw the first use of the word ‘scientist,’ in 1834. The Festival has featured famous names in science communication such as Professor Brian Cox, Professor Alice Roberts, Sir David Attenborough and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock as well non-scientists including chef and author Jack Monroe, choreographer Wayne McGregor and broadcaster Lauren Laverne.

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. In 2022, the Festival was hosted by De Montfort University in Leicester.

Date: 28 November 2022

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