University of Leicester brings space back down to Earth for British Science Festival

Image: Space Park Leicester

The sky’s the limit in Leicester as the University of Leicester brings some astronomical science to this week’s British Science Festival.

The University will be contributing to six events exploring the latest insights and issues in space at the Festival, which takes place in Leicester from 13-17 September. The national science showcase will feature more than 100 free, engaging and off-the-wall installations, performances and activities.

As a principal partner of the festival, the University of Leicester is behind a series of events, which cover topics including space, skeletons, DNA and genes.

Our trek through the world of space begins with Unveiling the hidden cosmos on Tuesday 13 September. By sharing some of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, Piyal Samara-Ratna from Space Park Leicester at the University of Leicester will use his Physics and Astronomy Section Presidential Address to highlight some of the major projects that are bringing space closer to home. It takes place at 11am in the Queen's Building, Lecture Theatre 1.10, De Montfort University.

In Humanising Space on Wednesday 14 September, Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Head of the College of Social Science Arts and Humanities, will bring together a panel of experts to discuss cosmic sociology; a subject that unpicks the growing issues of space exploration and how space politics is needed to consider its consequences. It will be held at 2pm in LT 1.12, Queens Building, DMU.

On Thursday 15 September, Professor Richard Ambrosi, Executive Director, Space Park Leicester, and Dr Sarah Casewell from the School of Physics & Astronomy will discuss what the future has in store for the UK’s space economy in Future of UK Space Science at midday at The Venue, DMU.

Expertise from the University of Leicester has also contributed to two drop-in events at Leicester Museum on Thursday 15 September from 6pm to 10pm: See through the eyes of the James Webb Space Telescope in The hidden universe, and join researchers from the Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) space mission for a series of hands-on activities in SMILE-ing at space.

To round-off the week on Saturday 17 September, take a trip to the red planet with the Mars team from University of Leicester and find out more about the alternative ways being considered to deliver the ExoMars rover to the surface of Mars! Exploring Mars and the Search for Life takes place from 11am – 4:30pm at Humberstone Gate, Leicester City Centre.

The British Science Festival is one of Europe’s largest science festivals and regularly attracts hundreds of the UK’s top scientists and speakers to discuss the latest developments in science with the public. 

The British Science Festival is hosted by De Montfort University.

The full British Science Festival 2022 programme line-up, including more events run by the University of Leicester, can be found on the website.