6 Reasons to Visit the Cambridge Science Festival

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Find out what’s on at the Cambridge Science Festival. Key speakers, highlights and events.

ExoMars: rover

Predictive policing, mini organs, growing food underground, global mega-fires and the limits of human endurance. These are a few of the topics explored during the 26th Cambridge Science Festival, which is set to host 390 events between 9 – 22 March at venues across the city.  The theme this year is ‘vision’. 

The programme is extensive, we’ve picked our top five events taking place at Cambridge Science Festival:

ExoMars rover: engineering the red planet, 9 March

ExoMars is Europe’s first Rover mission to Mars, a mission in search of life, past or present, to answer one of humankind’s oldest questions: are we alone in the Universe? Abbie Hutty, Platform Delivery Manager for the Rover, discusses the mission’s aims and objectives, the major challenges and design drivers of a mission to Mars, and how the team are engineering solutions to meet those challenges.


Walking on Thin Ice, 10-22 March, Tuesday to Sunday

Taking place at The Polar Museum, experience the vision of 12 teenagers selected from around the UK to work directly with polar researchers. ‘Walking on Thin Ice: co-operation in the face of a changing climate’ is a co-curated exhibition about climate change as they see it. This exhibition has been specially extended for the Science Festival, so don’t miss out!

Climate change and Biodiversity: time for action, 12 March

Lord Martin Rees, Baroness Bryony Worthington, Dr Emily Shuckburgh and Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta discuss the urgency of our predicament and explore options for action. Chaired by science writer and editor Oliver Morton.

The Chemistry of Light, 14-16 March

Department of Chemistry, BMS Lecture Theatre

Festival favourite, Dr Peter Wothers returns for another loud, action-packed talk showcasing the elements involved over the centuries in mankind’s quest to light his way. Limited tickets will be available on the door. Don’t miss out by booking at www.ch.cam.ac.uk/outreach

In addition, the first weekend of the Festival sees hundreds of events for families, including talks on the fastest animals on earth, and weird, mind-fizzingly awesome and funny science facts; hands-on demonstrations with Microsoft HoloLens; robotic workshops; and a virtual reality cycle ride. Further events explore what animals see, the science of snot and magical maths tricks.

Family Gaming Night, 21 March

The second weekend is aimed at families. On Saturday evening, the Centre for Computing History hosts the ‘Family Gaming Night’. With games from retro classics like Pac-Man and Space Invaders through to modern examples like Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Over the weekend, visitors can discover what it takes to be a Polar explorer, study the skies through telescopes, see developments in medical implants, discover why robots are not going to take over the world, immerse themselves in Virtual Reality, and much more.

2020 annual WiSETI lecture: You could die of infection, 11 March

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the newly appointed first female Master of Trinity College and former Chief Medical Officer, discusses the continuing rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs and what is being done to tackle it.

Run by the University of Cambridge, the 2020 Festival examines our past and suggests a vision for the future. Some of the world’s greatest scientists, alongside the stars of the future, examine how science is changing our world. Climate features heavily as do health and new technological advances alongside fun science quiz events, comedy and theatre.

You can download the full programme via Cambridge Science Festival.

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