TV and radio stars lead extravaganza of science

Published: 25 September 2023 at 16:54

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

Adam Rutherford and Maggie Aderin-Pocock to speak at Chelmsford Science Festival

Television and radio presenters Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Adam Rutherford will be heading to Essex to deliver fascinating talks at this year’s Chelmsford Science Festival.

The festival, which runs from 18-24 October, will also showcase world-leading research from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) academics during talks and exhibitions at venues across the city.

Booking is now open for events at the free festival, which features two family days at ARU’s Chelmsford campus on Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 October. These will feature fun, hands-on activities for all ages covering topics ranging from how the human body works to how AI robots can save lives, and from video games to drumming.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a former President of the British Science Association and presenter of Out Of This World and The Sky At Night, will host an evening of discovery on Thursday, 19 October, where she will delve into issues such as how to engage young people in space science, and the ongoing challenges of equality and diversity in science.

Geneticist, radio presenter and writer, Adam Rutherford, will give a talk on Tuesday, 24 October entitled The Invention of Race, a discussion about how modern genetics has dismantled the biological concept of race, and can – and should – be used as a weapon to combat bigotry, racism and prejudice.

The week-long festival will feature a host of fascinating exhibitions and events taking place across the city, many hosted by academics and scientists from ARU. These include a workshop by ARU’s pharmaceutical research team about how nano-medicines are delivered into cells.

Dr Dan Gordon, a former Paralympian, will give a talk entitled Mastering the Marathon discussing the science and secrets of endurance running, and Dr Clive Boddy will delve into the rise of 'corporate psychopaths' within organisations and politics.

Professor Viren Swami will discuss whether science can decode the enigma of love on 19 October, and the immeasurable possibilities of AI and how to unleash the power of ChatGPT, is discussed at a talk on 23 October.

An exhibition running from 19-22 October at the Shire Hall called The Art of Decision Making will reveal how emotions, art, and decision making intertwine, while you can learn about Chelmsford’s industrial innovators, Hoffmann and Marconi, and their legacies during a week-long exhibition at the Library on the ARU campus.

And those who would like to test their own knowledge of all things science can take part in the Big Science Quiz on Thursday, 19 October from 7.30pm.

All events are free to attend, but places must be booked. The full programme, and links to booking, can be found at

The festival is supported by Teledyne e2v, Willmott Dixon, Chelmsford City Council and Chelmsford For You.