The world’s first, and still Europe’s biggest, science festival – The Edinburgh Science Festival – kicks off its hybrid, 33rd edition tomorrow, Saturday 26 June, with a theme of One World: Science Connects Us with Cirrus Logic as its Headline Sponsor.

Featuring over 220 in-person exhibitions & installations and a wide range of walks, tours and trails (mainly outdoors), it is a perfect opportunity for people to safely get some live science this summer. Its ambitious digital programme of talks, workshops and downloadable resources for people of all ages means that this year’s Festival truly connects sci-curious people around the globe.

And with over 80% of its overall programme free it has something for everyone, from fun family activities to though-provoking discussions.

Exploring science of all sorts – from the depths of the oceans via Pale Blue Dot at the National Museum of Scotland which celebrates Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2021 to the vastness of space and everything in between – the Festival’s fantastic live interactive events in and around Edinburgh turn the city into a science playground and kick-start a wider summer of science offerings from many of Festival’s partners.

Programming for the Planet as Scotland prepares for COP26 and celebrating women in STEM are two key focuses of the 2021 Festival which champions and leads the way to gender balance in science events with 60% of the participants in this year’s Festival women. And in a year that couldn’t pass without some focus on the pandemic, the 2021 Edinburgh Medal is awarded to Prof. Heidi Larson for her work on vaccine confidence.

The ambitious online programme is packed with inspiring speakers such as young climate activist Maya-Rose Craig, environmentalist and explorer Sacha Dench and sustainable food author Annie Bell, among many others.

Artists Shona Hardie and Kelly Wilson bring us a Women in STEM Street Art Trail and the team at Bright Side Studios deliver Elemental a new multimedia experience on the theory of the elements.

Festival Director Amanda Tyndall said: “At heart we are deliverers of inspirational live experiences, and we are delighted that – while it won’t look quite the same as in a normal year – we are back in the live game, with a focus on getting out and about, connecting safely with science this summer and having some much-needed fun.”

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “This year’s Science Festival offers online and in person experiences that will connect audiences to an excellent line-up of speakers and events highlighting the urgency of taking action to combat the climate crisis. I urge everyone to get involved.”

Edinburgh Science CEO Simon Gage and Festival Director Amanda Tyndall

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events said: “Now that the industry is taking its tentative steps back towards live events, EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Edinburgh Science Festival as it kicks off this weekend, complementing their digital programme with fantastic in-person elements that are sure to educate and entertain budding scientists and casual spectators alike.”

On from 26th June to 11th July, to explore the full Festival offer – just bursting with ideas – visit

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