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British Science Festival postponed until 2021

Published: 17 April 2020 at 12:30

British Science Festival talk

Festival will be hosted by ARU in Chelmsford from 7-11 September 2021

The British Science Association (BSA) and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have today announced that the British Science Festival 2020, due to take place from 8-12 September in Chelmsford, will be postponed until 2021.  

Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said:

“We are disappointed to have to postpone the British Science Festival at a time when the topic of science in society has rarely been higher up the public and media agenda. However, the safety of everyone in our community is paramount and – due to the ongoing social distancing measures – it is impractical for ARU and BSA colleagues to plan and execute an event on the size and scale of the Festival at this challenging time. 

“We had a terrific programme of discussions, installations, workshops and performances planned for across campus and the city centre, and we will continue working closely with our partners at ARU and across the city to further develop those ideas and content in the months to come. We look forward to bringing a celebration of cutting-edge science, research and innovation to Chelmsford next autumn.” 

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said: 

“Although it is disappointing that this year’s event has had to be postponed, we are delighted that the county of Essex will still be hosting the British Science Festival for the first time in its 189-year history, albeit a year later than planned.

“An enormous amount of work has already taken place within ARU and across Chelmsford, and much of this can be carried forward to September 2021. Sustainability and resilience are key themes running through the talks and events being planned, and it will be particularly timely to showcase cutting-edge research in these areas next year as the nation recovers from the current crisis.”

The British Science Festival 2021, hosted by ARU Chelmsford will take place from 7-11 September 2021. Further updates will follow in due course, and the full programme will be launched in June 2021.

In its 189-year history, the Festival has only been postponed on a handful of occasions – during some of the years of the Great War and Second World War in 1917, 1918 and 1940 to 1945 respectively. The Festival was at that time known as the ‘Annual Meeting’ of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (the former name of the British Science Association).

Further information on the history of the British Science Festival can be found here: https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/the-history-of-the-festival