The full line-up for the Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home has been announced and it is epic!  Below you will find all the information you need to take advantage of the incredible six day virtual festival...

  • The Festival will be streamed live 2-7 June 2020 from 10am to 8pm
  • You can expect 65 FREE online events and activities for people of ALL AGES via the Cheltenham Festivals YouTube Channel
  • Follow along on social media via #cheltscifest@home @cheltscifest  

Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home will feature six days of free online events, live Q&As, family shows and interactive workshops from some of the top science names in the world. The Festival will be hosted by the world’s first AI Festival Curator, AIDA.

Highlights will include:

  • Famous physicists explain what we know about the cosmos: Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw in an exclusive live-only event (Tuesday 2 June 7pm); Brian Greene from the World Science Festival; Astronomer Royal Martin Rees; and Jim Al-Khalili.
  • Liz Bonnin, Helen Czerski, Mark Miodownik and experts from UK Research and Innovation join host Greg Foot to take part in a daily investigation into six UN Sustainable Development Goals. They will show how UK science is contributing towards global efforts to achieving the SDGs.
  • Director of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming gives an exclusive insight into the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to our national security.
  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Stefan Gates, Jamie Gallagher, Katie Steckles and Nate Adams present fun Family Shows.
  • There are interactive workshops for all ages on making and drawing, including a vulva bunting workshop from the Vagina Museum (workshops have limited availability and must be booked in advance).
  • Nine of the finest new science voices from across the country battle to represent the UK in FameLab – the world’s foremost science communication competition.
  • Scientific bartenders Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella explore the perfect cocktail daily at 5pm; there are unique online editions of funny, thought-provoking show I Am Echoborg and anarcho-nerd pub quiz UniverSilly Challenged; and a Festival Finale with Robin Ince and Josie Long’s Cheltenham Shambles.
  • Mind and Body events include the benefits and risks of DNA testing; personalised diet plans based on genetics; the science of language; the brain; our desire for possessions; and canine companions. Suzi Gage investigates the science behind recreational drugs and the hugely popular Very Short Introduction series looks at Smell, Intelligence, and Superstition.
  • There will be a Virtual Discover Zone with online activities from Festival partners including computer games design challenges from the University of Gloucestershire; codebreaking challenges from GCHQ; the future of medicines from the British Pharmacological Society; and a virtual tour of EDF’s nuclear power plant.

Brian Cox & Jeff Forshaw will lead an exclusive live show event

Stefan Gates - The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory

Amit Patel will lead the session on Canine Companions

Maggie Aderin-Pocock will discuss her Grand Tour of the Solar System

Head of Programming Marieke Navin said: “We have put together the next best thing to our amazing tented village in the heart of Cheltenham - six days of exciting free events for everyone to enjoy at home and for 30 days after the Festival ends. It’s been wonderful to have the support of so many speakers as we’ve found new ways to present events and expand our digital and worldwide audiences.”

“We are enormously grateful to all our partners for supporting us in developing the Festival at such a challenging time: our in association Partner: EDF Energy; Major Partners: DeepMind and UKRI; Festival Partners: ABPI, British Pharmacological Society, GCHQ, Intel, Mira Showers, Northrop Grumman, Rosalind Franklin Institute, The Summerfield Charitable Trust. University of Bristol, University of Gloucestershire and Waterstones; Media Partners Cotswold Life and SoGlos; and in-kind partner: Willans.

Matt Sykes, Managing Director Generation at EDF said: “EDF is delighted to continue our partnership with Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home to embrace technology and continue in a virtual space. In these unprecedented times, we are passionate to maintain interest in STEM and a digital festival provides the opportunity to reach a wide audience from the comfort of their homes.”

Six day programme for Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home

Tuesday 2 June 

10am - Family Show: The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory

Stefan Gates' Wonka-esque, snack-based science show has loads of demos you can try at home, plus a few you really can’t! 

11am - Mental Health Mates 

Join walk leader Abby for a virtual discussion group and chat with new people. 

12pm - A Very Short Introduction to... Smell 

Matthew Cobb shares the latest research into the surprisingly complex sense of smell, involving the brain as much as the nose. 

1pm - The Idea of the Brain 

Matthew Cobb gallops through centuries of wild speculation and anatomical investigation to unveil the secrets of the human brain. 

2pm - SDG 2: Zero Hunger 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Zero Hunger with Greg Foot and UKRI CRF Researcher Claire Heffernan. 

3pm - The AI Solution: Fighting Climate Change 

Sims Witherspoon explains how the application of AI to projects like energy-saving and renewables can tackle climate change. With Phil Dolling. 

4pm - Canine Companions 

Jacky Colliss Harvey and Amit Patel (with his guide dog Kika) reflect on our evolving relationship with dogs and their superhuman abilities. With Julia Wheeler. 

5pm - The Science of... Cocktails 

Join bartenders extraordinaire Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella to find what makes the perfect cocktail. Today: Gin Fizz 

5.30pm - The future of supercomputing for science

Joseph Curley introduces the fascinating field of high-performance computing – once reserved for global superpowers but now available to science, academics and industry.

6pm - Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control 

Stuart Russell explains why super-intelligent machines could represent an existential threat to our species and how we can change course before it’s too late. 

7pm - Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw: Black Holes 

LIVE SHOW ONLY. Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw explore black holes: the most exotic objects in the universe, and why they turn our knowledge of physics on its head. 

Wednesday 3 June 

10am - Family Show: Colourful Science 

Katie Steckles, Jamie Gallagher and Nate Adams explore what colour means to them and how colours can even help us understand the universe. 

11am - Connect Café

Age UK Gloucestershire’s virtual Connect Café is a chance to chat with others and find out how shared activity and communication can unite people. 

12pm - A Very Short Introduction to... Renewable Energy 

Nick Jelley explains the basics of renewable energy in this fast-changing and world-changing energy sector.  

1pm - Wildlife Under Lockdown 

It might appear that wildlife has never had it so good as when COVID19 struck, but globally, the picture is much more complex. Adam Hart explains why. 

2pm - SDG 14: Life Below Water 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Life Below Water with Greg Foot, Helen Czerski and UKRI GCRF Researcher Elisa Morgera. 

3pm - Rosalind Franklin: A Celebration  

Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute James Naismith joins Vivienne Parry to explore how Franklin’s legacy continues to inform scientific research today. 

5pm - The Science of... Cocktails 

Join bartenders extraordinaire Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella to find what makes the perfect cocktail. Today: Champagne Cocktail 

5.30pm - Confidential computing

Simon Johnson discusses confidential computing, the emerging technological capability concerned with the secure processing of data whilst “in use”.

6pm - Bella Lack meets Liz Bonnin 

Young conservationist Bella Lack meets Liz Bonnin to discuss fast fashion, big industry and throw-away culture and explore how we might help save the planet. 

7pm - FameLab UK Final 

Nine of the finest new science voices from across the country battle to represent the UK in FameLab – the world’s only international science communication competition. 

Thursday 4 June 

10am - Family Show: Dr Maggie's Grand Tour of The Solar System 

Maggie Aderin-Pocock leads an epic adventure through the Solar System.  

11am - Mental Health Mates 

Join walk leader Abby for a virtual discussion group and chat with new people. 

12pm - A Very Short Introduction to... Intelligence  

Ian Deary describes what psychologists have discovered about how and why people differ in their thinking powers. 

1pm - Say Why to Drugs 

Suzi Gage investigates the science behind recreational drugs - debunking common myths and misconceptions, as well as containing the most recent scientific research 

2pm - SDG 15: Life on Land 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Life on Land with Greg Foot, Bella Lack and UKRI GCRF Researcher Federica Di Palma. 

3pm - DNA Testing: All in the Genes? 

Joanne Hackett and Munir Pirmohamed consider the benefits and risks of DNA testing and how it could pave the way for personalised treatments for diseases such as cancer. With Vivienne Parry.

4pm- Artificial You  

Susan Schneider proposes ways to test for machine consciousness and asks whether consciousness is an unavoidable by-product of sophisticated intelligence. 

5pm - The Science of... Cocktails 

Join bartenders extraordinaire Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella to find what makes the perfect cocktail. Today: Margarita 

6pm - GCHQ: Intelligence and Cybersecurity Today

Director of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming gives an exclusive insight into the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to our national security. 

7pm - Brian Greene: Until The End Of Time  

Brian Greene leads a spellbinding journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe’s beginning to the closest science can take us to the very end. 

Friday 5 June 

10am - Family Show: Sound of Science 

Join Nate Adams for an extravaganza of fiery, colourful and explosive science demonstrations. Featuring original electropop with incredible visuals from the Sound of Science band.  

12pm - A Very Short Introduction to… Superstition 

Stuart Vyse explores the nature and surprising history of superstition from antiquity to the present including a look at the new superstitions surrounding COVID19. 

1pm - Don’t Believe a Word: The Truth About Language 

David Shariatmadari speaks about the mindboggling journey through the science of language, in a myth-busting account of how languages influence the way we think. 

2pm - SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Responsible Consumption and Production with Greg Foot, Rae Stanton-Smithson from LUSH and UKRI GCRF Challenge Leader Jaideep Gupte. 

3pm - Martin Rees: Being A Scientist 

Martin Rees investigates the role of scientists in policy and politics and presents his hopes and fears about the longer-term future. 

5pm - The Science of... Cocktails 

Join bartenders extraordinaire Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella to find what makes the perfect cocktail. Today: Gin & Tonic 

6pm - Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need  

Psychologist Bruce Hood considers what drives our need for ownership and questions the extent to which we’re controlled by our possessions with Julia Wheeler. 

7pm - UniverSilly Challenged with Jonny Berliner and Simon Watt 

The anarcho-nerd pub quiz moves online for pun-based science frivolity. 

Saturday 6 June 

11am - Vulva Bunting Workshop 

The Director of the Vagina Museum leads a craft workshop with a difference. Learn about this hushed-up body part whilst making a string of bunting.  

12pm - The Big Composting Experiment 

Mark Miodownik and Danielle Purkiss with Lesley Greene reveal the results of the Big Compost Experiment, a nationwide citizen science experiment testing whether biodegradables are really the answer to the plastic waste crisis. 

1pm - Shape & Symmetry: Mathematical Art Workshop 

Katie Steckles and Hana Ayoob show how to design your own mathematical artwork, incorporating design ideas from traditional mandala shapes and patterns. 

2pm - SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Good Health and Wellbeing with Greg Foot, Giles Yeo and UKRI Director of International Development Helen Fletcher.

3pm - Personalised Diets 

Giles Yeo and Tim Spector explore the influence of genetics on our food and eating habits, and consider how the key to a healthy diet is more individual than you might think. 

4pm - Helen Czerski: Our Oceans 

Helen Czerski voyages into the depths of our blue planet, exploring the scale of influence humans have on the oceans. 

7pm - I am Echoborg 

Negotiate the future of humanity with an Artificial Intelligence. In this high-stakes Zoom meeting you are challenged with discovering the best possible outcome for the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.  

Sunday 7 June 

11am - The World According To Physics  

Jim Al-Khalili and Sumit Paul-Choudhury explore where theoretical physics stands at the dawn of the third decade of the 21st century. 

12pm - Dancing With Drones 

Andy Miah investigates how drones will affect the future of our species as they gradually replace the need for humans. 

2pm - SDG 13: Climate Action 

Our daily investigation into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals looks at Climate Action with Greg Foot, young activist Daze Aghaji and UKRI GCRF Researcher Mark Stutton. 

3pm - Sketching Skulls Workshop 

Tim Pond brings his own mini natural history museum to show how complicated anatomy can be broken down into easier-to-capture functional shapes and mechanisms.  

4pm - MOSAiC: The Biggest Polar Expedition In History 

Ian Brooks, Allison Fong and Julienne Stroeve have recently returned from the largest polar expedition in history. They speak with oceanographer Helen Czerski about their ground-breaking research and life in the shifting ice. 

5pm - Playing With Proofs 

Katie Steckles reveals what mathematicians do all day exploring visual proofs, simple algebraic proofs and stories of how things have been proven in the past. 

6pm - Lego Lates: Build the Universe Workshop 

Be the architect of your own universe, assembling atoms on a historical journey of creation with Lego.  With Ben Still.

7pm - Robin Ince and Josie Long’s Cheltenham Shambles 

Hosts Robin Ince, Josie Long and very special guests present a fabulous variety night of science, comedy and music to close the Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home 

For more details visit - Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home

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