Manchester's Science Festival Explores a Better World with FREE Online Events

Science and Industry Museum hosts Manchester Science Festival online with tonnes of free events, workshops and talks.

By Alex Watson | 15 January 2021

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A staple in Manchesters cultural calendar since 2007, Manchester Science Festival is set to go online for a 10 day digital celebration focused on climate and solutions to the urgent challenges facing the world.

This year’s event will be slightly different as the festival hosts a week-long line up of digital activities with a special event programme to follow later in the year as part of Manchester’s cultural, economic and skills recovery.

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As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester was a catalyst for scientific innovation and unprecedented global change. Now, while city planners envision a carbon-neutral Manchester by 2038, the festival sets out to support this feat and encourage communities, scientists and activists to advance ideas for a better world.

There will be a programme of free online talks as well as exhibitions, debates and activities to enjoy from the comfort of your own home throughout February.

One event includes the Royal Photographic Society’s Science Photographer of the Year competition. The very first online exhibition of this event will showcase how science, technology and engineering are addressing the urgent issue of climate change through pictures.

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Viewers can expect incredible photos from both amateur photographers and experts from with some photographers as young 17 submitted photos.

The event is part of the scientific competition for young people and will showcase exhibit stunning images from over 1,000 submitted.

Credit Alex Brenner

University of Manchester’s 101-year-old alumni, Dr James Lovelock’s provocations will be responded as part of the expert panel ‘Earth, but not as we know it: Lovelock’s legacy and our future’.

The panel will be made up of a range of expert and different voices including writer and broadcaster Gaia Vince who is responsible for research in the influential and controversial ‘Gaia Hypothesis’.

The Gaia Hypothesis is the theory that organic and inorganic components of the Earth have evolved together as a single living, self-regulating system.

Gaia will be joined by climate activist and scientist, Professor Chris Rapley, CBE and Manchester-born Zamzam Ibrahim who is now Vice President of European Students Union.

Credit: Alex Brenner

Also on the line up is Manchester-born physicist, oceanographer and BBC broadcaster, Dr Helen Czerski who will be asking ‘How can I be a good citizen of the world?’ through three lively discussions on transport, food and social justice.

A team of budding young researchers and curators aged between 14 and 24 will take part in the Manchester Science Festival’s Young People Panel as part of the one-off online event ‘Let’s talk about eco-anxiety’.

James Lovelock – Credit Science Museum Group Collection

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said: “The vital role museums play in providing fun, welcoming and engaging spaces, both physically and online, has never been more important. Although these are extremely tough times for everyone, we are taking the opportunity to create a digital offer that will continue to bring the joy of the museum directly into people’s homes.

“Our museum is home to ideas that change the world and continues to reflect and inspire innovators of the future and we’re working hard to find new ways of igniting curiosity while our doors remain closed. Manchester Science Festival is a major part of this, supporting communities, scientists and activists to explore and advance ideas for a better world.

“As we all continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic, Manchester Science Festival will look and feel different this year, but we have created a compelling digital programme that will deliver memorable experiences to audiences across the city and beyond.”

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

There are tonnes more events to pick from like Our Hydrogen Future, A Liveable Earth: Climate change and faith community, The Electricity Revolution – Our Zero Carbon Future and Royal Society’s You and the planet: air and bookings are taking place now.

All events are free and donations are welcome to support the museum’s continued work.



Manchester Science Festival
Friday 12th to Sunday 21st, February 2021