Festival of discovery

A fascinating Festival of Discovery is set return to Bath later this month offering a host of engaging, interactive and fun virtual activities to help lighten the dark wintery days.  

FUTURES2020, hosted by the University of Bath and Bath Spa University, will take place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November 2020.  

Part of European Researchers’ Night, an annual event taking place in 300 cities across 24 countries, FUTURES2020 will offer people the opportunity to meet and chat with researchers, and take part in activities that showcase the innovative research taking place in the city.  

This is the third year that FUTURES has been hosted by the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Bath Spa University, and the first year that they have been joined by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter, bringing the festival to people across the South West for the first time.

In Bath events include Never Explain, a night of side-splitting comedy, with some science know-how thrown in, as the hilarious Steve Cross hosts a science comedy gameshow like no other. It promises to be a brilliant Friday night out from the comfort of your armchair. 

On Friday and Saturday evening head over to social news website Reddit for a very special FUTURES2020 I’m a Researcher Ask Me Anything session between 7-9pm.  Put researchers to the test and ask those burning questions you’ve always wanted to ask!

There are also a huge number of events on offer from the other universities taking part in FUTURES2020, including the Curiosity Carousel Knowledge Fair hosted by University of Bristol and the Big Family Quiz organised by the University of Plymouth. 

A programme of Discovery talks, panel discussions and Q&As are also planned for the two-day event.  

Tune into local radio stations Bath Radio, St. Austell Bay Radio, Phonic FM and SoundArt to hear local communities tackle some big issues with researchers from across the South West with FUTURES on Air. 

Finally, budding scientists are being encouraged to try out FUTURES2020 ‘Do try this at home’ challenges. Hosted on the website www.futures2020.co.uk there are a plethora of exciting and hands on activities to try out at home. 

Many of the FUTURES2020 events are targeted at families, with the aim of inspiring young people to consider a career in research, but there promises to be something to inspire all those that are curious of mind.   

A full programme of events taking place in Bath and the rest of the South West can be found at: www.futures2020.co.uk Some events are ticketed but all are free. 

Helen Featherstone, Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath, said:

“We’re thrilled to bring together lots of events for people to engage with some varied and exciting research taking place at the University of Bath. You could chat to environmental scientists over on Instagram or listen on some of the region’s community radio stations to researchers in shows created with communities from across the South West. We’re also making the most of being a digital festival this year, meaning people from across Bath and North East Somerset can also join in with FUTURES2020 activities from the other cities.” 

Dr Joel Morley, FUTURES2020 project co-ordinator, University of Bristol said: “After two successful years of FUTURES in Bristol and Bath we are delighted to bring European Researchers’ Night to an even bigger audience. Working with researchers across all five universities has allowed us to offer a much wider range of activities.

“And whilst the event might look a little different this year, with many of the activities taking place online, there are still plenty of ways that people can get actively involved whether that’s pitting their wits against other families in our quiz, challenging our researchers with mind boggling questions at Q&A sessions or trying out some of the brilliant  activities as part of our Do try this at Home event.  We hope that everyone who comes along to a FUTURES2020 event leaves feeling that they’ve learnt something new, experienced something different and above all had a great time.”

Follow European Researchers Night on:  Facebook: www.facebook.com/futuresern  Twitter & Instagram: @Futures_ern 

Futures2020 is funded by the EU Commission as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.