Be Curious

Saturday 10 – Friday 23rd October 2020

Be Curious 2020 will now run in a virtual format in October 2020 and we’ve been pulling out all the stops to make it a not-to-be-missed online extravaganza! With live family events, fun activities, challenges and inspiring evening talks… there’s something for everyone to enjoy, so why not join us and Be Curious? See the programme below for full details. (All events are free; please note that some events require registration).  

Be Curious Goes LIVE!

A day of free virtual events for all the family Saturday 10th October

Deep Ocean Lab with Greg Foot
Saturday 10th October, 11am – 12noon

What happens as you dive further and further into the dark ocean?

Join YouTuber and BBC TV & Radio presenter and host of Let’s Go Live!, Greg Foot, for the story of his scientific adventure to the deep. With experiments and stunning videos, Greg will show you the high-tech submersibles that took him down a crazy 1000ft into the twilight zone. He’ll explain the importance of our oceans and – thanks to Greg’s work with the Blue Planet II team – uncover the effect we’re having on them.

This is a live virtual event and you will have the opportunity to ask Greg questions about his adventures. Suitable for all the family!

Register for your free ticket

Everything you ever wanted to know about ultrasound, but were afraid to ask…
Saturday 10th October, 10 - 10:45am

Always thought that ultrasound was just used in pregnancy? Think again! Want to know what ultrasound means in the animal kingdom? Curious to see how and why ultrasound works and when it does not, using some unusual "body parts"?

Join the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre to have all these questions answered and more At this live, interactive, online event for Be Curious 2020. Suitable for ages 6-12.

Register for your free ticket

A Tour of Earth from Space!
Saturday 10th October, 2 – 2:45pm

Take a guided tour of your planet from space with scientists from the University of Leeds and British Antarctic Survey. Using Google Earth, we’ll show you where the continents are colliding and being pulled apart, and how to identify this from satellite imagery. Using images from the past you can witness glacier calving events and deforestation. Finally, take part in the SENSE challenge, to identify these incredible places on Earth. Suitable for all the family.

Register for your free ticket

Be Calm: Let music soothe your mind
Saturday 10th October, 4 - 5pm

After a busy day, get comfy and join music and well-being platform Brain Beats for an interactive music session to introduce you to music and relaxation through calming sounds. The minds behind Brain Beats, Michelle & Crissie, are music psychology researchers, radio hosts and DJs who specialise in music and well-being. You can find out more on the Brain Beats website. Suitable for all.

Register for your free ticket

Be Curious with us! 

Join us on Twitter, where we’ll be encouraging you to Be Curious with us. Every day from 10-23 October, we’ll be sharing 2min wow-demonstrations, try at home activities and amazing research-related digital jigsaws to give you an idea of just some of the exciting things we get up to at the University of Leeds.

We’re also challenging our academics to tell you all about their fascinating areas of research… in the length of just one Tweet. Is it even possible?! Give us a follow to find out!

Follow along with the fun on the @UniLeedsEngage Twitter account and by using #BeCurious20

Family activities and competitions

Saturday 10th October (and beyond)!

Have a go at creating your own art prints inspired by the placenta and learn more about the science behind it in the process. Follow along from home with our PlacentART video tutorial, which will premiere on YouTube at 12 noon on Saturday 10th October, and be available to watch during Be Curious.

Sign up to receive one of a limited number of free PlacentArt kits with all the equipment you need to take part. If you miss out on a kit, don’t worry. The video tutorial will also show you how you can take part using paints and a household items.

Register for a free kit

The video tutorial will be available to view via our YouTube Channel from 12noon on Saturday 10th October.

DNA Decoding Challenge: Learn how to decode the protein messages hidden in your DNA 
Launching on Saturday 10th October (winner announced on Friday 23rd October)

You are made of billions of cells, and each cell contains a set of DNA instructions to build proteins. Join the Aspden Lab to find out how these instructions are decoded and use your new skills to take on our DNA Decoding Challenge for the chance to win a prize! You'll decode a DNA string into a piece of RNA art, and discover the hidden protein word.

The DNA Decoding Challenge video will be available to view via our YouTube Channel from 1pm on Saturday 10th October.

Share your entry with us on Twitter using #BeCuriousDNA or via email


Meet (and make!) the #LOOminaries! The #LOOminaries are people who inspire or influence others, crossed with the humble loo roll. Check out the growing gallery of #LOOminaries and why not make your own to add to the bunch?

After an appearance at this year’s Be Curious, the #LOOminaries are heading to Bradford Science Festival. Can you help us to create a gallery of inspirational LOOminaries in the fields of water, climate and sustainability for Bradford Science Festival’s ‘Sustainability in the City’ theme?

Share them with us on Twitter using #LOOminaries or via email

Campus Tree Trail

Use our interactive map to explore the University of Leeds campus from home, through its trees! Researchers from Leads Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest Centre (LEAF) and the United Bank of Carbon have mapped all 1450 trees on campus. Click on each tree to learn its species, size, carbon stored and the pollution they remove from the atmosphere.

Talks, podcasts and evening events

#ResearchNightsIn Tuesday 13th October, 6 – 7pm

Get a taste of some of the inspiring and exciting research being done at the University with #ResearchNightsIn. We’ll have lively short talks from three of our postgraduate researchers, where you can find out what they’re getting up to and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Keep an eye out for registration, which will be open soon.

Quantum Sauce
Wednesday 14th October & Wednesday 21st October

Supercharged sauces of fascinating facts from awesome academics! Join Quantum Sauce for 2 very special Be Curious vid-casts. No tickets required, just tune into the Quantum Sauce YouTube channel to catch the latest talk!

The Climate Press presents: The power of collective climate action
Tuesday 20th October, 6:30 – 8pm

Feeling overwhelmed about the looming threat of climate change? Tired about the inaction and indifference of political leaders? Join your neighbours, take local action against climate change.

The Climate Press would like to invite you to a special, live online event with 3 very special guests: Professor Paul Chatterton (University of Leeds), Ergon Theatre Company (Manchester) and Zero Waste Leeds. We will discuss local community initiatives taking action against climate change from the perspective of sustainable city planning, performing arts, and fashion consumption.

Collective action to face the current climate emergency has proven invaluable in recent times, and there are many local initiatives within everyone’s reach. Our guests will discuss their motivation, work and challenges and will take questions from the audience.

Register for your free ticket

Priestley Centre podcast – Moving society to net-zero 
Thursday 22nd October 

This special episode of the Climactic podcast tells the stories of the Leeds researchers helping to bring about a carbon neutral, socially just future. Simon Moore, from the Priestley International Centre for Climate, talks to three academics about their work in forest restoration, air quality in our cities, and a wellbeing economy. Featuring Dr Cat Scott, Dr Kirsty Pringle and PhD researcher Jefim Vogel. 

You can also hear about the progress being made by the University of Leeds Sustainability service, to reach the institution’s own target of net-zero emissions by 2030.

No tickets required, just search for ‘Climactic’ on your favourite podcast provider!


If you have any questions, you can contact the Be Curious organisers at, or 0113 343 1149.

Be Curious goes virtual - June 2020

In June 2020, Be Curious went virtual while the country was in lockdown.

We shared three weeks of exciting and inspiring family friendly resources and video content to help you explore just some of the world-leading research happening at the University of Leeds.

Catch up with all the content from Demonstration Week, Arts and Crafts Week and Question Week on the Be Curious Virtual padlet. You can download the Be Curious activities designed by our researchers to try at home or check out the hashtag #BeCuriousGoesVirtual on Twitter.