Guest Curators announced for 2018 Cheltenham Science Festival

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Broadcasters Maddie Moate and Olly Mann and cyber security experts Jessica Barker and FC will be Guest Curators for the 2018 Cheltenham Science Festival (5-10 June 2018), exploring the theme Connected : Divided.

The Festival will look at what connects and divides us – from personal relationships, health and language to the law, global politics and the universe. It will examine significant anniversaries connecting us to the past and look forward to what’s in store for future connectivity.

With more than 80 free activities in the interactive zones attracting upwards of 23,000 people, visitors of all ages will be invited to create, invent, play and explore. This year there’s a brand new Cyber Zone and the return of the Maker Shack by popular demand. Over 6,500 pupils and teachers will take part in the schools programme and tens of thousands of people across the globe will watch the live-streamed final of the world’s leading science communication competition FameLab International.

BAFTA-award winning television presenter Maddie Moate is one of the few female “Edu-tubers” in the UK, amassing over 20 million views on her YouTube films across multiple science and technology channels. Her popular CBeebies series ‘Do You Know?’ explores how everyday objects work and are made.

Maddie said: “I’ve been working with the Cheltenham programming team to help develop new and exciting events for the Festival’s youngest fans. I’ll be sharing my passion for beekeeping with school groups and taking part in lots of shows and workshops. And it’s always a fantastic time to meet other science communicators and watch and learn from others in action.”

Presenter, columnist and media commentator Olly Mann is host of Radio 4’s Fourthought and The Male Room. His podcasts, including The Modern Mann, The Media Podcast, The Week Unwrapped and the Sony award-winning series Answer Me This!, have achieved over 40 million downloads.

Olly said: “I’ll be asking about the unintended consequences of our dependence on consumer technology and trying to get to the truth behind the subject. It’s incredibly revealing when a broad range of experts who are completely immersed in their individual topics can be challenged by the audience and each other.”

Dr Jessica Barker is a leader in the human nature of cyber security and advises organisations of all sizes, from multi-national firms to SMEs. She is frequently called on by the broadcast media for her clear and engaging communication of technical subjects and is passionate about encouraging young people to become more engaged with cyber security. She is a winner of the TechWomen50 Awards 2017.

FC is a well-known ethical hacker and social engineer. Having worked closely alongside intelligence agencies, he has helped steer governments to take correct courses of action against national threats and ‘broken into’ hundreds of banks, offices and government facilities to assist organisations to improve their security.

FC and Jessica Barker are Co-Founders of Redacted Firm – one of Europe’s only privately owned and vendor agnostic security consultancy firms. They said: “At the Festival, we are hoping to de-mystify cyber security with some live hacking demonstrations making this exciting subject accessible to people of all ages and abilities. We are also helping to put together the Cyber Zone and keen to inspire children and young people to consider a career in cyber security – it’s a fast-paced and rewarding industry with lots of varied opportunities.”

Cheltenham Science Festival

5-10 June 2018
Cheltenham Science Festival
#cheltscifest @cheltscifest

Cheltenham Science Festival’s Science for Schools year-round programme offers inspirational and interactive opportunities for over 6,500 school children including science communication competition FameLab Academy, LabLive touring science shows, hands-on workshops and a careers day for young people aged 14+

Festival Partners

In Association Partner: EDF
Principal Partners: GE; University of Gloucestershire