That was 2020, now on to ’21

Like so much this year the 2020 Science Festival was different, but we were pleased that we were able to go ahead with a full schedule of on-line events. We really appreciate the support of all our presenters who worked with us to enable this to happen. Some were well practiced in on line presenting and for others it was a first, but every session went out as planned and the power of the internet meant that we reached much further afield than ever before.

Thanks also to our audience, wherever you were, for joining us and making the event a success and extra thanks to those who were able to add a donation to Otley Courthouse, without which none of this would happen. This has been a massively challenging time for all live performance locations and every donation has helped us towards still being here next year.

Otley Science Festival 2020 on-line: Marty Jopson performing our opening show “Zap” from his own home.

Writing this post on 27th December, the new year is just around the corner and we have already begun planning. The dates for Otley Science Festival 2021 have been selected as 15th – 20th November and additionally we are planning to hold Science Cafés on March 18th, June 17th and 16th September. We have already made the decision that the March Science Café will once again be on-line only but we are, of course, hoping that by June we will be able to be back to tables in the Courthouse for that Café.

We look forward to you joining us at as many of our events as possible!

Festival 2020 Covid latest : lockdown update

Updated 1st November

With the news of a national lockdown coming into place on 5th November we are moving the Science Festival to be a wholly on-line event.

Fortunately we were already planning to stream all our events (with the obvious exception of Saturday’s films) so these will continue as scheduled but without any audience in the Courthouse. The films will, regrettably, be cancelled.

So, if you have not done so already, check out the schedule and join us for as many events as you can.

There is no charge for joining any event on-line, but it is necessary to book in order to receive the joining instructions. Booking will close 90 minutes before the start time.

If you have already booked to attend an event in person you will be provided details for the streamed event and your ticket cost will be refunded.

We hope this provides the information you need to be able to plan to join us with confidence. Looking forward to seeing you, if only digitally.

All the week’s details are on the Festival 2020 page

Tickets for joining on-line are available from the Otley Courthouse Science Festival page –

Festival 2020 tickets are available now

Otley Science Festival 2020 runs from November 9th – 14th with a mix of “blended” and on-line only events running from Otley Courthouse, plus a Science Film Day on Saturday 14th, instead of the usual Science Fair.

There are more details on the Festival 2020 page.

There will be a charge for attending in person in the Courthouse. For on-line participation in any events there will be no charge, but it will be necessary to book to join.

Tickets for joining in person or on-line are available now from the Otley Courthouse Science Festival page –

Otley Science Festival 2020 is go!

We have worked to put together a full set of Covid friendly events which will run, as scheduled, over the week of November 9th – 14th.

There will be some on-line only events and some “blended” with a mixed live and on-line audience (subject to regulations still allowing this) plus a Science Film Day on Saturday 14th, instead of the usual Science Fair.

You can find all the details on the Festival 2020 page, which will be updated as further information is available and tickets go on sale.

Progress… update

So, we didn’t manage to go ahead with the June Science Café as we had hoped however we have regrouped and have moved ahead with plans for both the September 17th Science Café and the November Science Festival week.

Both will necessarily be different this year, but we want Otley Science Festival 2020 to happen and look forward to returning to a more familiar form in 2021.

The September Science Café is now in hand, as an on-line only event, but also a test of our capabilities to deliver a blended event in November. We have two great speakers for you to enjoy. Check out the details on the Science Café page.

For the Festival week we are building our plans and hope to soon announce as full a week of activities as we can.

Keep watching this space!

So, what’s happening…

Our first event directly impacted by the coronavirus is our June 18th Science Café. The Courthouse is closed and this event will not be going ahead in its traditional format. We are however investigating whether we can go a head with an on-line version.

This is still in consideration at the moment. We will update here and on the Science Café page when we know more.

Planning of the November Science Festival week is still going ahead although there are, of course, unknowns about exactly what we will be able to do. If we can do it there will be a Festival, although it is likely to have some difference from previous years.

Stay safe and looking forward to meeting you again as soon as possible.

2019 behind us and so on to 2020

Below is a small composite of a few moments from the 2019 Science Festival.

OSF 2019 composite image

We had another really successful year with many sell out events and Saturday’s Science Fair packing out Otley Courthouse and spreading to other locations in Otley with our new “Fringe” events. Thanks to everyone who came to support us, all those who worked to enable the Festival to take place and, of course, our wonderful range of presenters.

Thanks also to the Wharfedale Observer for their coverage which you can read on these links:

‘Storming start’ for Otley Science Festival

Hundreds turn out for ‘amazing’ Otley Science Fair

But now planning for Otley Science Festival 2020 gets under way. Mark the dates:

  • Festival week will be November 9th – 14th
  • Plus, of course Science Cafés on March 12th, June 18th and September 17th

See you there!

It all kicks off on November 11th…

Otley Science Festival 2019 poster

And more we couldn’t fit on the poster:

  • Wednesday 13th November the Festival Science Café
  • Thursday 14th November Otley Film Society presents: APOLLO 11
  • Friday 15th November the multiply fulfilling Science Lunch: Black Holes, Quasars and the violent fate of the Milky Way
  • Friday 15th November An Evening with Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics

Get the details for everything on the Festival 2019 page and not forgetting the Science Fair on Saturday 16th, which also has its own page here