Cheltenham Science Festival (4 – 9 June) will bring together the best scientists, writers and thinkers to explore big ideas and answer big questions over six extraordinary days. Highlights include:
- Rick Armstrong, remembers his father Neil Armstrong’s 1969 mission to the moon. Part of a series of events marking 50 years since the Apollo moon landing, including an appearance by Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman.
- Bestselling author Matt Haig and CBBC’s Operation Ouch presenter Dr Ronx are Guest Curators for the theme of Wellness featuring 30+ events.
- The Festival’s first A.I. Guest Curator AIDA presents ‘Introvert Narwhals’ having analysed 10 years’ worth of Cheltenham Science Festival programmes.
- Nobel prize-winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan.
- Danielle George delivers the Royal Society Michael Faraday Lecture.
- Hundreds of free activities for all ages in the free-to-enter Festival village.
Ronx Ikharia (Image: Christa Holka), Matt Haig (Image: Kan Lailey), Helen Sharman
High-profile campaigners and leading researchers will examine the evidence and shed light on the hotly-contested topic of Wellness. Bryony Gordon, Kate Humble, Claudia Hammond, Louise Minchin, Olympic coach Steve Ingham and Angry Chef Anthony Warner are joined by leading experts in sports science, medicine and mental health to reveal evidence-based life hacks and the latest research findings. And there are active events from mental health meet-ups to ‘forest bathing’.
Uniquely curated events which can only be seen at Cheltenham include the International FameLab Final which will crown the world’s best new science communicator; a look behind the scenes at Britain’s Cyber Security agency (part of GCHQ); live demonstrations of cutting-edge sports performance tests used on elite athletes; Tim Hawking discusses his father Stephen Hawking’s final book: Brief Answers To The Big Questions with a panel of physicists; Carol Vorderman commemorates 50 Years of Concorde, and for time-travellers there’s an after-hours rave at the Dr Who Party.
Carol Vorderman, Kate Humble (Image: Clare Richardson), Louise Minchin
Cheltenham Science Festival’s free-to-enter Festival village in Imperial Gardens is a magnet for people of all ages to explore, discover and be inspired by science through hundreds of free hands-on activities. Over 9,000 school children will visit the Festival and bring their families back for more.
New on site this year is Apollo – an early evening Free Stage running from 6-9 June with music, comedy and turns from International FameLab finalists; there’s an outdoor Cinema, supported by DeepMind, with free drop-in short films and ticketed feature films. The Huddle becomes the central point on site to meet, eat, hear a stimulating talk in the Very Short Introduction series, try a board game or join a science-themed book club.
The Festival continues to support talented young science communicators through FameLab and numerous university, science, technology, engineering and maths-based partners who provide free activities in the interactive zones. The Discover Zone – a place to get hands-on with the latest exciting research and technology – moves into Imperial Gardens alongside the Festival’s In Association partner’s EDF Energy Zone; the GCHQ CyberZone, MakerShack, GE Pavilion and Hartpury Science Hub. Two science trails celebrate the Year of the Periodic Table and the natural sciences plus events from Loughborough University, The Woodland Trust, BHF Big Top and The Chatterbox.
Friday 7 June sees Late Night Opening for Adults in the interactive zones. For one night only will be found the 360-degree fully-immersive Chromatouch Dome and the GameLab for experimental gaming, virtual reality and old-school games consoles.
Urban Astronaut presented by Highly Sprung Performance is a street performance combining storytelling, dance and a unique travelling flying machine. It will appear in Cheltenham High Street on 7 and 8 June. And there’s free Stargazing In The Gardens with the Cotswold Astronomical Society.
Cheltenham Science Festival
4 – 9 June
- Members’ Priority Booking is from 10am, Wednesday 17 April 2019
- 16 – 25 Booking open 10am, Thursday 18 April 2019
- General Booking open 10am, Wednesday 24 April 2019