Celebrating science with songs and surgery


Leeds Festival of Science is back, offering a range of events from songs about science to a chance to have a go at keyhole surgery.

The festival – now in its twelfth year – runs from now until 31 March across the city, including the on campus, at Leeds City Museum, the Carriageworks Theatre and St James’s Hospital.

Running alongside a schools programme, public events offer a fun look at the key fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

University researchers will open their doors and give the public a chance to see their work up close. At the Be Curious event on Saturday 25 March, Parkinson Court will be filled with a range of stalls, giving visitors a chance to discover some of the exciting research that goes on in the university.

The festival is all about engaging people with science in new and fun ways. We want to fuel everyone’s enthusiasm for science, especially children's.

Dr Ruth Holland, Festival of Science organiser

Dr Ruth Holland, one of the festival organisers from the University, said: "The festival is all about engaging people with science in new and fun ways. We want to fuel everyone’s enthusiasm for science, especially children’s. The festival’s wide range of activities should have something for everyone."

A festival highlight this year is The Ensonglopedia of Science. Multi-award-winning writer and performer, John Hinton will be performing his new show at the Carriageworks Theatre with a song about science for every letter of the alphabet. This family-friendly event takes place on Saturday 11 March at 7.30pm.

St James’s Hospital is offering the public the chance to get hands-on with keyhole surgery, with training equipment used by surgeons.

There will also be a talk from Dr Ryan Matthew, a brain cancer surgeon who is doing research which involves growing ‘mini-brains’ from patient tumour samples. This event is on Monday 27 March at 2pm in the LIMIT/LISTA surgical training unit at St James’s Hospital.

Leeds Festival of Science public events: 

  • Multi-sensory morning – As part of Disabled Access Day, under-5s and their carers are invited to have a play in the pop-up sensory room, and try multi-sensory crafts. (Friday 10 March, Leeds City Museum, 10am-12pm)
  • The Ensonglopedia of Science – A new show by John Hinton, multi-award-winning writer and performer of the Scientrilogy of musical comedies about Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. (Saturday 11 March, Carriageworks Theatre, 7.30pm)
  • Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society’s Science Fair – From the wonders of astronomy to the chemistry of chocolate and DIY sherbet, this year’s science fair will be packed with interesting and interactive displays for all age groups to enjoy. (Saturday 18 March, Leeds City Museum, 11am-4pm)
  • CafĂ© Scientifique: Science Slam – Funny but True – An evening of science and humour – involving a panel show game similar to Radio 4’s The Unbelievable Truth, with jokes and stories sharing a scientific theme.(Tuesday 21 March, Seven Arts, 8pm)
  • Be Curious – An opportunity to see the University of Leeds’ research up close. Parkinson Court will be filled with a range of stalls allowing everyone to immerse themselves in five zones about Leeds and Yorkshire: science and engineering, culture, cities, climate and water, and health. (Saturday 25 March, University of Leeds campus, 10am-4pm)
  • Get hands-on with keyhole surgery – Join the surgical training unit and have a go. Plus find out what brain surgery is really like and how growing 'mini-brains' in a lab is helping research. (Monday 27 March, St James's Hospital, 2-4pm)
  • How to solve equations – Learn some of the strategies that mathematicians use, with Dr Vicky Neale from the University of Oxford. (Wednesday 29 March, University of Leeds campus, 2.30-3.30pm)

To see the full list of Festival of Science events and for booking details, visit the festival website.

The Festival of Science coincides with British Science Week, which runs from 10-19 March and is organised by the British Science Association to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities across the UK to all ages.

Further information

Image: John Hinton

For any additional information contact the University’s press office on 0113 343 4031 or email a.martinez@leeds.ac.uk.