British Science Festival heads to Chelmsford

Published: 29 September 2018 at 00:30

Marconi statue in Chelmsford

Anglia Ruskin shows ‘2020 vision’ as major science event will come to Essex for first time

The British Science Association and Anglia Ruskin University are pleased to announce that the British Science Festival in 2020 will take place on the University’s Chelmsford campus, as well as at venues across the city.

Working in partnership with Anglia Ruskin, the British Science Association will bring the flagship event to the region for the first time in its 189-year history. The British Science Festival is one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which each year travels to a new part of the UK, bringing a vast array of events, performances and installations with a scientific twist.

Joining forces with Anglia Ruskin and other organisations across the county of Essex and beyond, the British Science Festival will shine a light on the cutting-edge innovation taking place in the region.

The announcement today coincides with the 13th anniversary of the renaming of the university to incorporate the surname of John Ruskin, who gave the inaugural address of the Cambridge School of Art back in 1858 – the college that later evolved into the university we know today.

Professor Iain Martin, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin, said:

“We are thrilled to be selected as hosts of the 2020 British Science Festival.

“Our Chelmsford campus is home to a number of world-class research facilities, including the new £20million School of Medicine which opened earlier this month.

“We are very much looking forward to showcasing these facilities, and the brilliant staff who work within them, to fellow scientists, journalists and of course members of the public from across the UK.”

The British Science Festival moves to a different location each year, the first meeting having taken place in York in 1831, and is one of the British Science Association’s leading engagement programmes. This is the first time in the Festival’s history that the event will be hosted in the city of Chelmsford, and its first visit to the county of Essex as well.

Ivvet Modinou, Director of the British Science Festival, said:

“I am delighted that the British Science Festival will be heading to Anglia Ruskin University in 2020. The University has built a fantastic reputation for its research and scientific excellence over recent years, and it’s incredibly exciting to know that we will be working with the world-class researchers and academics based there to produce the event.”

The British Science Festival is aimed at an adult audience with a broad but non-specialist interest in science, and usually includes around 100 events, all of which are specially curated by the British Science Association in collaboration with partners and stakeholders.

World-leading academics from Anglia Ruskin and other institutions and organisations across the UK will present, discuss and debate cutting-edge science from across the scientific disciplines together with its impact on wider society, at a range of different events, talks and performances. The dates for the 2020 British Science Festival are still be announced but over the next 18 months, the British Science Association and Anglia Ruskin will work together to refine and develop the programme of events.

The Festival has been the stage for many iconic moments in history – such as the famous debate on Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution between Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford in 1860. It also saw the first use of the word ‘scientist’, in 1834. 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.