Issue date: 08 March 2002

Professor Frank Burnet, MBE, has been appointed to the UK’s first chair in Science Communication at the University of the West of England. He is also currently co-directing activities for Cheltenham’s first week long Festival of Science which starts on 22 May 2002.

UWE’s Chair in Science Communication has been created for Professor Burnet in recognition of his pioneering work. Recent projects receiving national and international recognition include Science on the buses, a project that raised awareness of scientific issues amongst young people by using club imagery to communicate scientific messages on buses. Dr Burnet also was one of the brains behind the Explore @ Bristol Science attraction. On a local level Frank has brought the fascination of science into pubs through his pub genius show.

Cheltenham’s Festival of Science is arguably one of Frank’s most ambitious projects. With co-Director Dr Kathy Sykes an exciting programme of events has been devised to appeal to all ages and aimed at engaging and challenging children and families as well as including debates of interest to scientists.

International figures from the science community including Richard Dawkins, Helen Storey, Robert Winston, Steve Jones, Adam Hart-Davis and Simon Singh will all contribute to the festival which takes ‘pleasure of science as its theme.

Controversial issues will be debated such as ‘Should we develop GM crops?’ ‘Who should decide the shape of the countryside?’ ‘Should cloning humans be banned?’ and ‘Should recreational drugs be legalised?’

Frank said, “This is an exciting time for science communication. I’m obviously delighted to be appointed to the Chair and the opportunity to co-direct the festival is the icing on the cake. It will be an immensely exciting and enlightening week. We have many leading scientists who will provide an entertaining and challenging programme as well as a Hands-on-science interactive exhibition and workshops and demonstrations including Kitchen Konjuring, the BIG Bug Show (insect eating included) and the chance to pit yourself against famous athletes in an exhibit that measures sporting prowess.”


Editor’s notes

 With more than 75 events and prices ranging from £2.50 - £20 the 2002 Science Festival aims to cater for adults, children and families alike.

 The festival uses 5 different venues over 5 days. Events start from 10am in the morning and run until late. Brochure release date is 25 February.

 The Cheltenham Festival of Science is the only Science Festival to be co-ordinated by an arts organisation on this scale. It is hoped that it will join Cheltenham's already established Festivals of Literature, Music, Folk and Jazz to take its place as the leading Festival of its kind in the UK.

 The programme includes talks and lectures; a science café, events for children and families, business breakfasts; a free hands-on interactive science exhibition; educational projects and a festival bookshop.

 The following members of the Festival Team are available for comment

Frank Burnet & Kathy Sykes - Festival Directors
Tel 0117 344 3756 (Frank)
Tel 07903 932 866 (Kathy)

Photographs/Transparencies– are available for a range of images, including:
i) the Cheltenham Festival of Science logo ii) colour/black & white publicity photographs of attending speakers.

Useful numbers Box Office: 01242 227979 Brochure Hotline: 01242 237377 www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk

Festivals Press Office • Cheltenham
Press & Publicity Officer · Jane Eggleton · Press & Publicity Assistant · Charlie Webb Tel: 01242 775856 · Email: JaneEg@cheltenham.gov.uk · Fax: 01242 573902

Box Office 01242 227979 www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk
Festivals & Entertainment · Cheltenham Borough Council, Town Hall, Imperial Square. Cheltenham, Glos, GL50 1QA.

Back to top