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Cheltenham Science Festival from your own home

Star names, free online events, interactive workshops and live Q&As will feature in a Cheltenham Science Festival with a difference next month.

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home will run online from June 2-7 with Professor Brian Cox, GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming and TV presenter Liz Bonnin among the star attractions.

Festival events will run from 10am-8pm each day and be screened on YouTube with AIDA - the world's first AI festival curator.

Head of programming Marieke Navin said: "We have put together the next best thing to our amazing tented village in the heart of Cheltenham - six days of exciting free events for everyone to enjoy at home and for 30 days after the Festival ends.

"It's been wonderful to have the support of so many speakers as we've found new ways to present events and expand our digital and worldwide audiences."

Among the highlights of the 65 free events are:

  • Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw hold a live-only event (June 2, 7pm) as part of a series in which physicists explain what we know about the cosmos which also features Brian Greene from the World Science Festival, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees and Jim Al-Khalili.
  • Liz Bonnin, Helen Czerski, Mark Miodownik and experts from UK Research and Innovation join host Greg Foot to take part in a daily investigation into six UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Jeremy Fleming
  • Director of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming gives an insight into the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic to our national security.
  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Stefan Gates, Jamie Gallagher, Katie Steckles and Nate Adams present fun Family Shows.
  • Interactive workshops for all ages on making and drawing which must be booked in advance.
  • Nine of the finest new science voices from across the country battle to represent the UK in FameLab - the world's foremost science communication competition.
  • Scientific bartenders Mark Miodownik and Andrea Sella explore the perfect cocktail daily at 5pm with online editions of thought-provoking show I Am Echoborg and anarcho-nerd pub quiz UniverSilly Challenged
  • A festival finale with Robin Ince and Josie Long's Cheltenham Shambles.
  • Mind and Body events include the benefits and risks of DNA testing; personalised diet plans based on genetics; the science of language; the brain; our desire for possessions; and canine companions.
  • A Virtual Discover Zone with online activities from festival partners including computer games design challenges from the University of Gloucestershire, codebreaking challenges from GCHQ, the future of medicines from the British Pharmacological Society and a virtual tour of EDF's nuclear power plant.

You can watch the festival at on the Cheltenham Festivals YouTube channel  and find a full programme at 

Robin Ince and Josie Long

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