The British Science Festival gets underway at DMU as a celebration of The Queen's support for UK research and education

The British Science Festival gets underway today at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with more than 100 events showcasing some of the most exciting, impactful and inspirational research happening in the city and across the UK.

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The Compass is open every day in Jubilee Square

DMU and the British Science Association, which has run the festival since 1831, have decided to go ahead with the event after carefully considering their position during the UK’s official period of mourning for The Queen.

It was felt the festival should continue as The Queen was patron of the British Science Association since her Coronation in 1953 and a supporter of university research.

Professor Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “Little has been written in the last few days of the Queen’s relationship with Higher Education. She is known to have been a keen advocate of research and its potential to affect lives.

“She was patron of the Commonwealth Universities Association and the British Science Association, which organises the British Science Festival (BSF). This week we are proud to host the BSF which, after carefully considering the official guidance for the period of national mourning, the British Science Association and ourselves have decided to go ahead with.

“We hope it will act as a celebration of the Queen’s support of research and education.”

From today, until Saturday 17 September, events will put in the spotlight some of the most innovative, dynamic and impactful science the country has to offer.

Activities include immersive installations and river excursions, creative explorations of stargazing, dinosaurs, AI and body illusions, with many of the events led by lecturers and researchers from DMU.

All events are free and many will be held on campus at DMU

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Part of the Compass illuminations in Jubilee Square last night

To look through the full programme visit the main site here and, to book on to any events, please visit the Events page.

As one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which each year travels to a different part of the UK, the British Science Festival brings a vast array of events, performances and installations with a scientific twist, celebrating the people, stories and ideas at the heart of science.

Highlights this week include:

  • The centrepiece of the festival The Compass – an interactive, immersive, light and projection installation taking place on Jubilee Square that will take you on a journey across British research.
  • The team from the long-running BBC programme the Sky at Night will be holding a Question Time session at The Venue at DMU on Wednesday at 5.45pm to answer anything and everything about space.
  • Dr Farouk Farouk will talk about the creation of artificial limb joints he makes from recycled plastic which is a ground-breaking, sustainable way of creating a life-changing piece of equipment that could save the NHS millions of pounds
  • James Andean is a sound artist, and believes passionately that the role sound has in our perception of the world often goes unrecognised. He will be running a talk which looks at how music has an extraordinary capacity to transport us to memories of times and places in our life
  • John Shaw will reveal research which is the first to examine the role of social media use and sleep quality in pre-teens
  • There is also an insight into the unexpected medicines growing in DMU’s own herb garden, a talk about research into tribalism in football, interactions with a robot, original DMU research into child homelessness and a look at the positive effect of arts on mental health
  • President of the British Science Association Dr Anna-Marie Amafidon who was appointed in June, will give an address on Friday, exploring her ambitions to engage more women and non-binary people in the technology sector, reflecting on her own experiences in STEM

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Another view of the Compass in Jubilee Square last night

A spokesperson for the BSF said: “It is with great sadness that the Trustees and staff of the British Science Association (BSA) heard the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“The BSA was deeply honoured to have Her Majesty as its Patron since her coronation in 1953 and it has greatly valued her enduring support throughout her reign.

“The British Science Association is indebted to Her Majesty for her many years of patronage and support. On behalf of the Association’s colleagues and trustees, De Montfort University and our festival partners and sponsors, we offer our condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family at this time.

“We will put in place appropriate opportunities for speakers, staff and attendees to pay their respects throughout the week.”

Posted on Tuesday 13th September 2022

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