Manchester Science Festival 2017: Preview

The programme for this year’s Manchester Science Festival has been announced and that little lad from Dexter's Lab, err..Dexter will be buzzing over what's going on including a library of fake news, an exploration of the human voice and an immersive insight into forensic science.

By Ben Brown | 5 September 2017

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Running from Thursday 19th October to Sunday 29th October, the Festival features more than 100 events at venues across Greater Manchester including Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport and Bolton as well as the city centre, making it the most bold, creative and ambitious science festival in the UK. Here’s a look at just some of the events to expect:


The Music Of Proof: What Does Maths Sound Like? @ RNCM
Wednesday 4th October, 7.30pm
Join PRiSM (the Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music) at the RNCM to explore the eternal connection and differences between the art of music and the science of maths. With composer Emily Howard and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy.


Robots @ Museum of Science and Industry
Thursday 19th October – Thursday 19th April 2018
Headlining the festival will be the blockbuster exhibition which explores humans’ quest to recreate themselves in robotic form and our harness of the power of robotics for more than 500 years. Get close to a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 17th century dancing wine goblet and an animatronic baby, to Maria from 1927 film classic Metropolis and a news-reading android from Japan.
Go behind the scenes and glimpse recent developments in robotic research, and discover how robots are being built to resemble us, interact with us and think like us. Robots explores our obsession with recreating ourselves in human form, and what it truly means to be a human in a robotic world.

Tape @ Museum of Science and Industry
Thursday 19th October – Sunday 29th October
Tape, by award-winning artists Numen/For Use will transform the 1830 Warehouse at the Museum of Science and Industry into a giant spider’s web made from sticky tape, where visitors can climb through a translucent “stretched biomorphic skin” strung above the ground and crawl along winding networks of cocooning passageways. Inspired by the incredible engineering properties of spider silk, you can clamber into the rafters and get an arachnid’s-eye view of the webbed world according to our eight-legged friends.

Sentinel @ Waterside Arts Centre
Thursday 19th October
Sinewy synths, ethereal vocals and electro rhythms meld seamlessly with lasers and cutting-edge lighting and data visualisation for this captivating live performance inspired by climate change and forced migration. Written and performed by Richard Evans, this inspiring show will be followed by an in-depth panel discussion on the show’s compelling, challenging and thought-provoking themes.

Under Glass @ The Lowry
Wednesday 18th October – Saturday 21st October
Equal parts medical laboratory, museum exhibit and living art installation, Clod Ensemble’s Under Glass presents a series of human specimens within glass containers.
Encounter a shy ‘wallflower’, a couple negotiating their space in a bed-like petri dish and much more in this award-winning examination of the different ways we see and understand the human body.

Hip Hop Science Stop @ University of Salford, MediaCityUK
Friday 20th October, 5.30pm
Pop along to MediaCityUK and meet Josh Award winner Jon Chase, as he explains all about science through science fiction, the technology powering hip-hop and how rap can help people to engage with science. Plus find out how you can do your own experiments with items bought from your local pound shop.

Library of Fake News @ University of Salford, MediaCityUK
Saturday 21st October – Friday 27th October
With fake news making fake headlines over the last (very real) 12 months, how do we sort fact from fiction? Pay a visit to MediaCity’s Library of Fake News, and discover what fake news actually is, how the truth popped its clogs, and why misinformation could mean that now more than ever, seeing is no longer believing.

Science in the House @ University of Salford, MediaCityUK
Saturday 21st October – Sunday 22nd October
House music meets live-mixed 3D visuals in this incredible audiovisual experience. You can enjoy graphics and images from the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs boson flying around on-screen, plus the science of particle and accelerator physics, all set to a soundtrack that harmonises both sight and sound.

Robots Playground @ Museum of Science and Industry
Saturday 21st October – Sunday 22nd October
Complementing the headliners will be the Robots Playground – with sessions for families plus a very grown-up adults only late event – take part in a fun-filled day of playing around with the latest robot technology featuring Miro the RoboDog, Nao the dancing robot and a host of other metallic friends.

Aeon: Patient X @ University of Manchester
Saturday 21st October
Aeon: Patient X is an immersive theatre experience that uses real science, augmented reality and a smartphone app to show you all about the science of contagion. A new theatre experience blending real science, augmented reality and a smartphone app to guide participants through the event, uncovering viral traces and working their way towards the source of the contagion: Patient X.

AquAIRium @ University of Salford, MediaCityUK
Saturday 21st October – Sunday 22nd October
An immersive dry aquarium experience that brings every sound, scent and surface of the ocean to life. Discover marine biology, how the ocean works, the ethics of aquaria, conservation, and how digital and virtual displays are revolutionising our experience of the deep blue seas.

Tomorrow’s World Live @ Museum of Science and Industry
Monday 23rd October, 7pm
Tomorrow’s World was the show that introduced the nation to mobile phones and laser eye surgery – and now it’s returned as a new live and digital interactive vision of
the future. With the help of special guests, the audience at the museum and around the world online and Facebook Live, will be asking – how will robots impact our lives and shape our future?

Born to Sum @ Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
Monday 23rd October, 7.30pm
Ever noticed popstars are all secret maths nerds? FameLab 2016 champion Kyle D Evans has. Join the maths muso/guitar-slinging geek as he takes you on a comedic romp through pop, pointing out the maths hiding in your favourite music, from Beyonce’s song titles to Kate Bush’s fondness for pi. Perfect for nerds and novices alike, it’ll open your eyes. And your ears.

The Science of Happiness at Morning Gloryville @ The Wonder Inn
Wednesday 25th October
The trick to happiness is all in your head. That’s what the shiny, happy people from Morning Gloryville want to show you. Beginning at 6.30am in the morning, the pioneers
of sober morning raving invite you to be bold and try an innovative approach to wellness. So set your alarm and rave your way into the day.

Musical Cosmos @ Manchester Museum
Wednesday 25th October
Did you know that pulsars can sing? Sound artist Gary Fisher invites you to join him as he creates soundscapes made from deep space recordings captured by the listening devices of Jodrell Bank and Manchester Museum.

A Grand Exposition @ Talbot Mill
Friday 27th October – Sunday 29th October
With a nod to The Great Exhibition of 1851, the festival presents A Grand Exposition, a three-day celebration of the region’s diverse community of artists, makers and creative technologists. Blending art, entertainment and science, the event spans everything from artworks to maker workshops, illuminated talks and live performances.

Away from the city centre, the University of Bolton hosts Messy Science, Gallery Oldham showcases its amazing collection of taxidermy in Stuffed, audiences in Rochdale can learn how to Build a Bug a Home and then take part in a Bat Safari, while in Stockport venture into the air raid shelters in Going Underground.

Antonio Benitez, Director of the Manchester Science Festival, said: “From an early-morning science rave to a science rap jukebox, this year’s programme is as bold, creative and ambitious as ever, and we can’t wait for you to join us for another city-wide celebration of science.

The festival is produced by the Museum of Science and Industry. Museum director Sally MacDonald said: “Created with our valued partners from across Greater Manchester and beyond, this annual festival is a fantastic platform to test out new ideas in science communication and offers opportunities for audiences of all ages to explore science in the most creative, inspiring ways.

For more information and details on the wealth of exhibitions and events, visit