Loading ...

British Science Festival - Marconi Dates and Times

Marconi Plaza Festival Takeover

Celebrate the last day of the British Science Festival with us at Marconi Plaza.

Situated right next to the Civic Theatre, we're transforming this spot into a hub of activity on Saturday 11 September.

Have your lockdown story drawn live in ink by artist Sophie Herxheimer, try your hand at predicting the climate, get a taste for Neolithic food or bring your partner for a comedic couples counselling session with 'Doctor Love' - plus much more!

Booking a timeslot guarantees admission to Marconi Plaza Festival Takeover, where you can drop-in to any or all of the following drop-in activities. Booking is encouraged but we may be able to accommodate non-ticket holders on the day.

A Journey with Absent Friends

Step inside this vintage caravan, with artworks hidden in every cupboard, drawer, nook and cranny. It collects stories from you - the public - on its travels, about people we have loved and lost.

You are invited to explore at your own pace, alone or with company. Add your own memories to the audio archive and embroidered maps. Fill out a recipe card and open any drawer you fancy- - the caravan rewards the curious.

Outside the caravan there are suitcases of 'emotional baggage' to explore, a micro grief library and giant Connect Four.

Couples counselling with Doctor Love

Are you brave enough to invite a comedian into your love life?

Drawing on her research into the psychology behind attraction and years of experience as a comic, author and podcaster Rosie Wilby (aka Doctor Love) cannot wait to delve into your romantic relationship for a five-minute, satirical couples therapy session.

These intimate, one-on-two comedy performances will combine ancient love poetry, the plotting of personalised relationship graphs and draw on ideas from Rosie's critically acclaimed book Is Monogamy Dead? and The Breakup Monologues.

You'll laugh, you'll learn something and you'll hopefully leave a little more in love?

In the meantime, check out Rosie's new book The Breakup Monologues: The Unexpected Joy of Heartbreak.

Can you predict the climate?

Try your hand at predicting the future climate.

Join mathematic and climate researchers from the University of Bath to get hands on with computer climate modelling.

Find out how different actions may affect the future of our world and the importance of these kinds of models on helping fight climate change.

Bluestockings and Ladders

Play this historical update to snakes and ladders.

Engineer and Magnificent Women creator Dawn Bonfield shares this fun and interactive game to celebrate one hundred years of British women working in engineering.

On this journey, discover the stories of the amazing women who pushed boundaries, made new rules and led the way since 1920 - code breakers at WWII's Bletchley Park to aviatrix Amy Johnson.

Much progress has been made, but it's not always been easy, and there have been many ups and many downs, so come and play the game to discover the milestones, and the women, that paved the way.


Food creates a personal link between people and the past. When you can start to imagine what pre-history may have smelt, looked and tasted like suddenly it doesn't seem so distant.

Jump back 4500 years and pop-in to Stonehengebury's, a pop-up Neolithic supermarket, where you'll experience the flavours enjoyed by our ancient ancestors and how they made them.

Medicine and folklore in seventeenth-century sleep

Before we had sleeping tablets and meditation apps, what did people use to aid slumber?

Step into the seventeenth-century apothecary. Discover the kitchen ingredients used in sleep medicines in this time and find out how the pharmacists of the day went about mixing a cure.

Historians Elizabeth Hunter from Queen Mary, University of London, and Frances Long from the University of York will show you what was on the table - fragrant and savoury or otherwise. Practical to strange, find out how to recreate remedies that were used to help with insomnia, cure sleep disorders, and even ward off ghosts.

Judging the mood of the crowd, virtually

How do we know a crowd of people is a happy gathering or a mob?

Peer into a virtual reality where you can practice judging the mood of the crowd.

Created by Xun He and Fred Charles from Bournemouth University, this VR experience is unravelling how we perceive the emotions of a crowd by replicating life-like scenarios in the lab. This enables researchers to monitor brain activity in real time as we rapidly assess and summarise facial expressions.

With this information, we can better identify crowds at risk of a dangerous event, such as a potential terrorist attack, and create measures to diffuse the situation. You'll see for yourself how we process complex social environments through the mood of the crowd.

Seeds of tomorrow

Crisps, chips, roast potatoes. Baked and fried foods we all know and love, but at what cost?

These types of food contain a cancer causing compound called acrylamide. In an attempt to keep our favourites on the menu scientists from Rothamsted Research have used genome editing to develop a type of wheat that is less likely to produce acrylamide when baked.

Visit their stand to find out which foods are high in acrylamide, what changes you can make at home to reduce the amount of acrylamide in your diet and hear all about our new field trial to grow this wheat outdoors for the first time in Europe.

Hot Box Live Pop-up Club

Hot Box Live will be providing the soundtrack to our Festival finale at Marconi Plaza. Grab a drink from their bar (located just around the corner from Marconi Plaza), have a boogie and chill out in between exploring what the last day of the Festival programme has to offer. Cheers!

There are no dates currently available.