AS PART of Manchester’s year as the UK’s first European City of Science, a free week-long festival, Science in the City, will celebrate the wonders of science from 22-29 July with more than 40 free pop-up events in unusual places across the city.

Manchester is a city built on science, it is the place where the industrial world began

Designed to engage and inspire everyone, from the next generation of scientists to those with but a fleeting interest the world in which we live, the festival will include discussions, debates, experiments, tastings, workshops and whizz-pops.

Highlights of the festival include Royal Society talks, the Allotment of the Future (main image) and the Manchester Robot Orchestra.

Professor Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Communication Engineering at The University of Manchester and currently leading the Manchester Robot Orchestra project, said:

“Manchester is a city built on science, it is the place where the industrial world began. Manchester is now building itself, once again, as a global city of science and this summer’s Science in the City festival – taking place during the EuroScience Open Forum – is a fantastic opportunity to promote this message.

"The festival programme is packed with activities to make people look, listen and learn about science and, for me, it will be an exciting opportunity to see young people inspire and be inspired by the ideas and discoveries that are changing our world for the better.”

Event listings

Allotment of the Future

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 July

St Anne’s Square

Visit the Allotment of the Future to explore how we could make the most of our urban spaces to grow food in the future and what kind of menus we might be choosing from in years to come.

Ever wondered what it might be like to have bugs for breakfast, algae for lunch, or grow crops from used coffee grounds? Find out how technology might change domestic growing and discover what's so important about soil.

Human Sensor

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 July

Various city centre locations

Witness the Human Sensor by artist Kasia Molga - a unique new design for hi-tech clothing that lights up dramatically in response to the wearers breathing and air pollution data. Developed by Invisible Dust - a commissioning organisation that works with leading artists and scientists to produce new and exciting works of contemporary art.

Performers modelling the hi-tech clothing will reveal the presence of invisible pollutants to audiences during walks around Manchester city centre. Each walk will culminate in a choreographed performance in Sadler’s Yard at NOMA.

Petri Parlour

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 July

Various city centre locations

Sit down in conversation with an incredible array of talent from across the scientific, literary and arts communities in the Petri Parlour - the place where ideas grow.

Science @ Number 70 Oxford Road

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 July

Number 70 Oxford Road

At Number 70 Oxford Road, a much-loved Manchester landmark, you will be able to find out about the events happening across the city during the festival, ask questions, and learn about all the activities you can get involved in.

It is a place for learning, debate and discussion, playing host to public lectures and debates throughout the festival, which will be both informal and interactive, covering a range of scientific issues, big theories, and possibilities for the future. It will also be home to the Sonic Soundpit, a central point for a number of events as part of Human Sensor and will host Royal Society talks.

Sensory Soundpit

Saturday 23 – Friday 29 July

Number 70 Oxford Street

Science in the City festival presents the Sonic Soundpit – a developing audio-visual experience by European City of Science Artist in Residence Di Mainstone.

Inspired by Di’s own research into the ways in which the brain responds to sound, the Sonic Soundpit is an ambitious project which will utilise an immersive environment where sound is represented by shape, touch, motion and image.

Come down to the Science in the City base at Number 70 Oxford Street to help test and shape Di’s work ahead of its official outing at the Manchester Science Festival in October.

Tiny Science: Platform for Investigation (Pi)

Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 July

Manchester Arndale

Over the opening weekend of the festival Exchange Court at the Manchester Arndale will be transformed into an exciting setting for live experiments.

For the first time Pi: Platform for Investigation leaves the Museum of Science and Industry to bring the thrilling experience of impossibly small science on to the streets of Manchester. Discover ‘really small science’ alongside expert engineers and scientists who will help you explore the world of tiny particles.

Fancy trying a nanojelly? No problem! Want to move around like nanoparticles in gases, liquids and solids? You got it! Take part in hands-on, interactive experiments alongside other curious minds and discover your inner scientist! You will also get a chance to explore how Manchester scientists produced graphene, the world’s first 2D material, and have a try yourself.


Tiny Science: the elephant in the room

Monday 25 July

Manchester Cathedral

Did you know that elephants are recognised as being among the most intelligent creatures on Earth? In fact, some enthusiasts believe that their intelligence rivals that of human beings. This is why it is so important to protect these already endangered species!

Come and find out more about this much-loved animal as Chester Zoo comes to Manchester Cathedral for a one-off day of discovery.

HOME: Science Friction

Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 July


Following the successful screenings of science-themed films as part of Al and Al’s Incidents of Travel in the Multiverse exhibition, the city’s new multi-art form centre presents Science Friction - a collection of films for all ages that explore science and scientific discoveries.

Behind the Scenes of Manchester Science

Tuesday 26 – Wednesday 29 July

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester will be opening up their labs, many of them, for the first time to the public at Behind the Scenes of Manchester Science.

Science of Me

Tuesday 26 – Thursday 28 July

Manchester Arndale

In the age of the selfie, where we constantly assess the way we look, we invite you to take a glimpse of yourself in the future though science. Have your photo taken, select a point in the future and see what you might look like. Or find out how you compare to professional athletes with our human performance experts. It's all about me, me, me, me, me.

Science Lates: Science Meets Poetry

Tuesday 26 July

John Rylands Library

In this celebration of Science and Poetry, we have paired together some of Manchester’s finest young poets with researchers from across the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) programme. Following the ESOF Science Meets Poetry daytime event, these poets will perform their collaborative pieces in the setting of the John Ryland library. Biology battles balladry, physics pairs with pentameter, and chemistry confronts cadence in a celebration of the creative similarities between science and the performing arts.

Science Lates: Women in Science

Tuesday 26 July

Various city centre locations

Join us for an evening where women debate important questions, celebrate the careers of female scientists, innovators and educators, and inspire women to become leaders in their field. Featuring a series of informal social events, the evening will encourage new dialogue between women from across Greater Manchester as well as those visiting for the EuroScience Open Forum.

Science Lates: Ada Sketches

Wednesday 27 July

Royal Northern College of Music

Dr Emily Howard, Tutor in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, performs Ada Sketches; a dramatic and interactive vocal piece linked to her interest in the inner world of Ada Lovelace, the pioneering mathematician and daughter of Lord Byron.

Science Lates: Museum of Science and Industry

Wednesday 27 July

Museum of Science and Industry

Visit the Museum of Science and Industry after hours for an adult-only special which will bring a number of the Science in the City festival themes to life. Following a four-day artistic residency, acclaimed composer Anna Meredith and a team of young musicians will premiere The Hexagon Experiment, a new commission with Brighter Sound inspired by graphene and the museum’s Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond exhibition. Treat yourself to a science feast with 3D printed chocolate and insect sushi then discover tiny science with graphene-inspired jewellery making, and perhaps the tiniest science of all: quantum theory.

Science Lates: Manchester Museum

Wednesday 27 July

Manchester Museum

Climate change is happening all around us, but this isn't the time to ignore it, it's the time to get really, really, creative.  Join scientists and artists for an evening of creativity exploring a zero carbon future.


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