Otley Science Festival 2015: Monday 9 Nov – Sat 14 Nov

We have a fabulous week lined up for you. See below for the full line-up,  printed programmes will be available from the Courthouse in September:

Tickets are available now – have you got yours yet?

Click here for details of Schools Events

Otley Science Festival is Supported by:

Otley Town Partnership – Otley Town Council – Needham Geoscience – Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society – Institute of Physics – Rotary Club of Otley MICE Money given by Cllrs Colin Campbell, Ryk Downes and Sandy Lay.


Silly Science Toddler Time – Families

Mon 9 Nov 9.30 – 10.30 amSilly-1

It’s never too early to start having fun with science! Join us for a special under 5s science fair and let your child investigate with their senses and explore the scientific world around them.

Laid on specially for the Courthouse by the Otley Children’s Centre, this is a ticketed event with limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

£3 per child, accompanying adults free.     Children 5 and under

Buy tickets >

Silly Science Toddler Time – Groups

Mon 9 Nov 10.45 – 11.45 amSilly-1

A science fair specifically aimed at groups of under 5s from nurseries, play groups and child minders only.

Laid on specially for the Courthouse by the Otley Children’s Centre, this is a ticketed event with limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

£3 per child, accompanying adults free.     Children 5 and under

Bubblology with Marty Jopson

Mon 9 Nov 7.30pmBubblology_1

Join Marty Jopson, the science expert on the BBC1 One Show as he peers into the slippery, soapy world of bubbles on a quest for the perfectly polyhedral bubble. What’s really going on in a bubble, where do the colours come from, how long can a bubble last and why do they burst?

There will be flaming bubbles, smokey bubbles, exploding bubbles, square bubbles and gargantuan monster bubbles – all in the name of science.
“You just made a scientist!”                                   Lancashire Science Festival, U.C.Lan

 £10/£8            Families and children aged 7 upwards.

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Science Festival Logo 2011 Festival Science Café

  Tues 10 Nov 7:30pm

The Otley Science Festival’s most popular event returns once more to bring you three speakers each with their own bite sized scientific speciality. Join us for a relaxed and fun evening suitable for all ages and all interests – here are the topics:

  • Science of the Past: A life & death in the Bronze Age
    – Cathy Batt, Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Sciences, Univ. of Bradford
  • Fishing for clouds: Searching the oceans for ice nucleating particles
    – Theo Wilson, Research Fellow, School of Earth & Environment, Univ. of Leeds
  • Up, up & away (and hopefully back again)
    – Phil Robertson, Head of Science, Otley All Saints School

With each speaker given a quarter of an hour to talk there will be plenty of time afterwards for you to further grill them with questions and mingle over a drink.

£4/£3 Adults and young people. Bar.

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Graphene and the Unexpected Science in a Pencil Line – Science Festival Lunch

Weds 11 Nov 12.30pm – 2.00pmgraphene

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch then sit back and listen to Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Lecturer in Nanomaterials at the University of Manchester, as he introduces you to graphene, the world’s first 2-dimensional material. Discover the superlative properties of graphene, its strength, conductivity, flexibility and transparency. Find out how it can be made, even by you, using a piece of pencil lead and a roll of sticky tape and crucially, hear about the exciting future prospects for this wonder material.

Tickets are limited and pre-booking is essential.

£6 including buffet lunch.

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Darwin’s Brilliant Blunder: A Guided Reading with Prof Gregory Radick

Wed 11, Thur 12, Fri 13 Nov, 6.30pm each evening  Charles Darwin

In 1868, Charles Darwin published his hypothesis of “pangenesis”.  Intended by Darwin to explain inheritance and related topics, it has gone down in history as one of Darwin’s biggest failures.  So what was pangenesis and why did Darwin back it?  This group, meeting three evenings in a row, will be a chance to read and discuss one of Darwin’s least understood but most fascinating ideas. One ticket covers attendance to all three, one hour long sessions.

Tickets are extremely limited, so please book early.

£10 . Adults and young people.

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The Element in the Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy about the Death and Life of Marie Curie

Wed 11 Nov 7.30pmMarie Curie_2

A new musical comedy about Marie Curie and her scientific research. Tangram Theatre’s John Hinton and Daniel Goldman bring their trademark irreverence, comedy songs and interactive on-stage experiments to explain radioactivity, X-Ray technology and the on-going search for a cancer cure. With an emphasis on making big ideas exciting, fun and accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The show explains the science behind Curie’s ground-breaking work, bringing her research right up to date, and exploring some of the most important scientific challenges of the modern day.

£12/£10                               Age 7 and upwards. Bar.

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The Theory of EverythingTheory of everything

Thur 12 Nov 7.45pm

A special Science Festival screening of The Theory of Everything by Otley Film Society. The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen’s body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives.

£4 / Film Society members free. Certificate 12A. Bar

Limited Tickets available in advance from The Courthouse

Bat Based Biology and the Bat Man of LeedsBats_2

Fri 13 Nov 7.30pm

Join Prof. John Altringham from Leeds University on a journey from Wharfedale to the Western Ghats, and many places in between, to look at the fascinating biology of bats, the most successful and diverse of all mammals. How does echolocation work? Why do tequila drinkers love bats? What does the island of Krakatau have to do with bats? Why are some bats so ugly? Why is one species of bat worth 20 billion dollars a year to the US economy? Just some of the questions that will be answered.

£6/£4 Age 7 and upwards. Bar.

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Otley Science Fair

Sat 14 Nov 10am – 4pmScience-Fair

From physics to biology and engineering to wildlife, come along to the Otley Courthouse for this year’s even bigger science fair. With stalls, demonstrations, workshops and experiments to have a go at, there really is something for everyone. Join local groups, regional museums and national organisations showing off the best of hands-on science in Yorkshire.

Free Event.    Something for everyone.


The Science of Game of Thrones

Sat 14 Nov 7.30pm

Gamne_of_ThronesJoin us for an evening of Ice and Fire (though if we’re honest about it, mostly Fire). Award-winning comedian Helen Keen and explosive science communicator Ian Simmons from Newcastle’s Centre for Life present experiments and demonstrations exploring some of the burning issues raised by George R R Martin’s epic adventure. Are fire breathing dragons likely? What really happens when royal families inter-breed? Could real world pyromancers create green wildfire and destroy a fleet of ships? And can you actually, really, crush someone’s skull with your bare hands? Think you know the answers? Or, do you know nothing (Jon Snow)?

Come along either way, in costume if you want, we would love that!

£10/£8 Age 14 and upwards. Bar.

Buy tickets >

Further information and tickets:

Tickets from www.otleycourthouse.org.uk

Box office 01943 467216 10am-4pm Mon-Sat inclusive

Where Concessionary Ticket prices are shown these apply to:

  • under 16s
  • those in receipt of benefits
  • those in full time education
  • Senior Citizens who are 60+ and retired

Buy in person from Otley Courthouse 10am-4pm Mon-Sat or on the door.

All events at Otley Courthouse

(unless otherwise specified):

Otley Courthouse Arts Centre,

Courthouse Street,


West Yorks

LS21 3AN

Tel: 01943 467466

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