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Cheltenham Science Festival reveals superb line-up for unique hybrid event

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Asking the most important questions about the world today, Cheltenham Science Festival returns from 10-13 June with a unique hybrid four-day event.

The UK’s leading scientists, presenters, writers, artists and activists make their way to Cheltenham for one of the first post-lockdown festivals of 2021. The line-up includes Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw, Hannah Fry, Adam Rutherford, Gina Martin, Paul Nurse, Camilla Pang, Pushmeet Kohli, Robin Ince, Claudia Hammond, Helen Czerski, Martin Rees, Helen Pilcher, Adam Hart, Ella Al-Shamahi, Cosmic Shambles Network as well as the next generation of STEM professionals and a diverse range of voices who will inform and inspire.

As lockdown eases, audiences will be welcomed in person for socially-distanced talks and workshops at Cheltenham Town Hall and the Apollo Free Stage in Imperial Gardens. People at home can watch the events streamed online for free on Cheltenham Festivals website and catch up until 14 September 2021 by subscribing to the CheltSciFest Player. A schools and family programme of more than 50 events will be available online to watch for free at any time between 13 May and 13 September 2021. The Discover Zone moves online with lots of activities at each virtual stopping off point, opening on 13 May as a warm-up to the Festival.

Guest Curators are Nobel prize-winning geneticist and Director of the Francis Crick Institute, Paul Nurse; scientist, award-winning author of Explaining Humans and autism advocate Camilla Pang; and campaigner and author Gina Martin who will explore the Festival theme Be The Change with a panel of young activists.

The Festival’s Head of Programming Marieke Navin said: “We’ve gathered an exceptional line-up of speakers across everything from the climate crisis to cocktails. In a year where science has taken centre stage, we hope Cheltenham Science Festival will spark conversations by taking the temperature of the biggest issues affecting our lives today, as well as entertain through spectacular live shows. We’re ready to celebrate as we welcome audiences back into our venues.”

AI Guest Curator AIDA returns for a third year and will host the Festival’s digital stream with her usual reserves of energy and incessant curiosity. Having previously won Gold at the 2019 Data and Marketing Association in the Best Use of AI, she has dedicated her machine-learning talents since featuring at the 2020 online festival to growing and evolving. Promising a radical and rather remarkable transformation, AIDA will be interviewing Festival speakers and interacting on social media.