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One month to go until the British Science Festival 2023 lands in Exeter: Celebrating local voices and venues

  • The British Science Festival is completely free and will bring over 70 events, installations, talks and activities to Exeter.
  • The Festival, which is one of Europe’s largest annual science festivals, will take place from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 September 2023, hosted by the University of Exeter.
  • The Festival promises something for everyone, from mind-bending virtual reality to magic and musical performances! With just one month to go – book free tickets now

All eyes are on Exeter as the British Science Festival, one of Europe’s largest annual science festivals, heads to the city one month from today (Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 September), offering over 70 entirely free interactive events, installations, talks and activities.

Hosted by the University of Exeter, Festival events will be held over four days on the University’s Streatham Campus, as well as venues across the city, including Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Cathedral and Maketank creative hub.

Free tickets can be booked on the British Science Festival website:

One month to go!

Fancy entering a killer fungus escape room, or sipping on cocktails inspired by the sea floor? Experiencing live performances designed to leave you pondering the wonders of the universe, or finding the perfect fitting trainers? Explore the future of science at the British Science Festival.

With one month to go, the Festival is showcasing the very best Exeter-based researchers, entertainers and venues to celebrate the people, stories and ideas at the heart of science. Highlights include:

Get involved in the University of Exeter’s pioneering research

The University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus will welcome a buzz of discovery and curiosity by bringing together cutting-edge research, interactive events and hands-on workshops right at the heart of campus. Visitors can expect the ultimate festival feel. Events include:

  • One size does not fit all (activity)
    Visitors will step into the future of footwear with Jo Reeves from the University of Exeter. They’ll get to experience the revolutionary approach of personalised shoe design, tailored to the unique shape and size of each person’s feet. Plus, the opportunity to get measured and try out the cutting-edge equipment! 10.30 – 17.00 drop-in anytime, Thursday 7 September and Friday 8 September at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus.

  • Killer Fungus (escape room experience)
    Experts from the Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Exeter have created an escape room experience combating a deadly fungus outbreak! Visitors will solve clues, implement treatments and work out how to save lives in this real-life clinical scenario. 11.00 – 17.00 drop-in slots available, Friday 8 September at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus.

Guildhall: more than shopping! Friday night takeover

A truly unique Friday-night experience – the first-of-its-kind night-time takeover at Guildhall Shopping Centre will allow visitors to stay after-hours to experience an evening of art, science and climate action. Some of the events on offer include:

  • Shame in medicine: The Lost Forest podcast (exhibition)
    Accompanied by stunning illustrations, visitors will be able to pop on some headphones and listen to episodes with the Nocturnists and Luna Dolezal from the Shame and Medicine Project at the University of Exeter. They’ll discover the untold stories of healthcare workers and learn about the connections between experiences of shame, and the wellness of clinicians and patients. 11.00 – 22.30 drop-in anytime, Friday 8 September.

  • Spit Game (musical performance)
    Visitors will experience the power of artistic expression with Benjamin Turner and The Spit Game crew through their live performances, tackling societal issues and celebrating creativity while highlighting challenges faced by young Black artists. 20.30 – 22.00 Friday 8 September.

Nikki Fairclough, Marketing and Customer Experience Manager at Guildhall Shopping Centre, says:

“We are delighted to host the first-of-its-kind nighttime takeover of the Guildhall Shopping Centre – immersing visitors in a truly unique evening of art, science and climate action.

“The stage is set for the vibrant line-up of live performances, virtual reality experiences, and interactive activities. We hope visitors enjoy exploring the events on offer as much as we have enjoyed working behind-the-scenes with the Festival team to get them ready!”

A weekend of science and creativity at local Exeter venues

The fun continues across the weekend with Exeter Cathedral hosting the city’s first-ever ‘science market’ filled with stalls of interactive experiences, such as learning how to fix broken garments, or delving into the world of seaweed through art, poetry and song. There will also be talks from star speakers, including wildlife cameraman, Hamza Yassin; and climate campaigner Mya-Rose Craig. Other event highlights include:

  • Sing a song of tiny (musical performance)
    This musical performance will provide a choral journey through the microscopic world with the South Devon Singers and David Haines – the world’s first science festival songwriter-in-residence. Visitors will leave pondering the wonders of the universe. 14:00 – 15:00, Saturday 9 September.
  • Fixing our broken planet (exhibition)
    Visitors can get up close and personal with specimens from the Natural History Museum as it tours its incredible ‘Our Broken Planet’ exhibition for the first time. The exhibition will guide visitors through our relationship with our world, and what we must do to fix it. 13.00 – 19.00 drop-in anytime, Saturday 9 September and 11.00 – 17.00 drop-in, Sunday 10 September.

Catherine Escott, Chief Operating Officer at Exeter Cathedral, says:

“On behalf of Exeter Cathedral, we are delighted at the opportunity to be a venue host for the British Science Festival, welcoming visitors from across Exeter, and beyond, through our doors.

“We’re looking forward to being a part of Exeter’s first-ever ‘science’ market – jam-packed with interactive exhibits, workshops and cutting-edge science through art, poetry and song. It will be an unmissable weekend!”

The Exeter Pheonix will also be hosting events across the weekend, with the unique line-up of talks, activities and workshops bursting at the seams with creativity and fun. Highlights include:

  • The magic of everyday (magic show)

The art of magic is based on deception, sleight of hand and illusions that exploit blind spots, psychological biases and social conventions. Brian Rappert and Gustav Kuhn from the University of Exeter will demonstrate these illusions first-hand. 18.00 – 19.30, Saturday 9 September

  • Mudder on the seafloor (interactive experience)
    Under the surface of the sea lies a weird and wonderful world that we call the benthic layer. Visitors can get their hands dirty with a team from the University of Exeter and play around in the mud which is full of sea life. They’ll explore the relationship between marine fauna and carbon – whilst sipping on cocktails inspired by the seafloor! 15.00 – 16.30, Sunday 10 September

Anna-Ruth Peel-Cusson, Visitor Services Manager at Exeter Phoenix, says:

“The team at Exeter Phoenix are bubbling with excitement as we gear up to welcome guests attending the British Science Festival.

“It’ll be a thrilling opportunity to see how the intersection between science and creativity will be brought to life at Exeter Phoenix, and we welcome the opportunity to host the celebrations, ensuring visitors create unique memories that will leave a lasting imprint.”