Manchester Science Festival 2021

Part of our Online events guide

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Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
© Manchester Science Festival

Manchester Science Festival at Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield and online, 12–21 February 2021 - Visit now

Always a highlight of our cultural calendar, we’re delighted that Manchester Science Festival is back this February to explore how science and technology can help combat climate crisis with ideas for a better world. Taking place digitally while the museum remains temporarily closed, the online programme will feature free talks, exhibitions, debates and activities to enjoy from home.

Running 12 to 21 February, 2021 marks the fourteenth anniversary of one of the biggest science festivals around and, while the Science and Industry Museum is temporarily closed due to government restrictions, you can quench your thirst for knowledge with a choice of livestreamed and recorded events. Here are our picks…

Launching the digital festival this February is the opening of an online exhibition showcasing the winning, shortlisted and stand-out entries from the Royal Photographic Society’s prestigious Science Photographer of the Year competition, including the first-ever climate change subcategory. The stunning images will challenge audiences to see climate change through a different lens.

The first weekend features a series of festival talks entitled “How Can I be a Good Citizen of the World?”, led by physicist Helen Czerski, one of the three 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lecturers. Sign up in advance to the three free events when Helen discusses the future of transport, looks at equality in the context of climate change, and chews over the ethical and climate costs of the food we buy.

On 14 February, climate expert Professor Myles Allen invites you to join him with your questions as he offers possible directions to “The Road to Carbon Zero”, then on 20 February members of the Manchester Science Festival Young People Panel focus on how the urgent issue of climate change affects young people and their mental health in “Let’s Talk About Eco-anxiety” (these talks are suitable for ages 14 and older).

Innovative music producer and renowned climate campaigner Brian Eno is a Trustee of ClientEarth and will be joined by ClientEarth’s CEO and founder James Thornton to talk about the London-based environmental organisation’s pioneering legal activism to bring about systemic change that protects life on Earth. Booking is essential for the “Changing the System” talk on 15 February.

Manchester Science Festival consistently satisfies and provokes new curiosity in both science superfans present and future and those just interested in the world around them and keen to try new things. MSF2021 promises even more live activities later in the year when the Science and Industry Museum’s doors reopen, including a future of fuel panel discussion in June, led by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed, and a dedicated special events programme for families. In the meantime, book tickets now for the events being broadcast online in February; you will be sent a link by email that will allow you to join the event on the day. All virtual event tickets are free, but do consider adding a voluntary donation when you book to help the Science and Industry Museum as it remains closed to the public.

Online events are free for this year's Manchester Science Festival, but do consider making a donation.

Manchester Science Festival at Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield and online

12–21 February 2021