British Science Festival

British Science Festival

The British Science Festival comes to Hull! Featuring a diverse programme of over 100 talks, debates, performances and activities, all happening for free across the University campus and Hull city.

How will the universe end? Do plants get jet lag? Are you a liar? How much does Facebook know about you?

These are just four of the questions that will be answered by experts from the University of Hull, when some of the biggest names in science visit the city as the University hosts this year’s British Science Festival.

The diverse programme reveals science in a different light, bringing it out of the laboratory and making it hands-on, accessible and truly fascinating. Illuminating important issues and sparking debate, our experts will inspire people and bring new perspectives on the meaning of science in the modern world.

Here’s a flavour of the University’s experts illuminating important issues and sparking debate.


What do we do about plastic waste?

Over the last 50 years, plastic has revolutionised the way we live and is now an essential part of our lives. But today, we generate a staggering amount of plastic waste, with an estimated 10 million tonnes* entering the oceans each year. What are the challenges and next steps for us to tackle this problem and change behaviours? See Professor Dan Parsons of the University’s will be answering questions at the Huxley Debate, plus Cath Waller will delve into the scale of the problem at the south pole.

Discover our research


Have you ever considered how your strawberries get from the farm to the fridge?

Modern slavery is rife and often in plain sight. From car washes to nail salons, how do we identify and break the chain of labour exploitation? Meet Cristina Talens who is working with businesses to spot modern slavery in their supply chains, both in the UK and overseas.

Discover our research

Trauma and resilience in the Hull blitx

Trauma and resilience in the Hull blitz

During World War II, Hull was the second most blitzed city in Britain. How much of this could its people withstand? In 1940, the city became a unique government case study for resilience and survival beneath the bombs. David Atkinson describes the secret science used to pinpoint when Hull’s population would collapse.

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You’re a liar!

When recalling the past, we often create false memories. Based on philosophical principles and the latest research, Giuliana Mazzoni explores why we lie to ourselves and how this impacts our everyday life.

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Fear of childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are an exceptionally vulnerable time for a woman’s mental health. Anxieties are normal, but sometimes extreme pathological fear can take hold and affect daily functioning. This panel discusses research on tokophobia – the fear of childbirth – and supporting women post-partum.

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How can we improve the immune systems memory and survive a deadly germ attack?

What drugs already exist that could cure the big viral killers like HIV? Come and join the discussion as Stefano Caserta and Cheryl Walter share their latest research on viruses, bacteria and other deadly germs.

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Is it 'game over' for dementia?

Is it ‘game over’ for dementia?

Contribute to the largest dementia study in history with Jason Hayhurst, who will show you how virtual reality and augmented reality games can be used to improve the quality of life for those suffering with dementia. How will we approach the future design challenges of these live-saving games?

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Vaccines for cancer

Cancer treatments have come a long way in recent years, to the point where eradicating the disease using a patient’s own immune system is on the horizon. Join Barbara Guinn, who at the forefront of cancer research, is developing a vaccine against cancer to prevent relapse and save lives.

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Our inspiring academics

From ancient rain to the apocalypse, experts from the University of Hull are hosting a range of mind-expanding lectures, talks and demonstrations throughout the British Science Festival. Here's who you can look forward to hearing from.