Festival Week

Final arrangements are being made for the 2018 Otley Science Festival, which will run from 5th – 10th November. We will once again have a wide range of events, for schools and early years during the week days, a Science Lunch, evening events from Monday to Saturday and the Science Fair on the Saturday.

The details will be published here in July, when tickets will also go on sale.

In the meantime, here’s a look back to last year:

Festival 2017

The 10th Science Festival ran from Monday 6th to Saturday 11th November 2017. The programme of events is laid out below. All the events can be booked directly at Otley Courthouse and most on line through the accompanying link

Monday 23rd October – Thursday 9th November

Otley Molecule Trail

In addition to this week of events we have an extra feature this year, the Molecule Trail, a “treasure hunt” for molecules which can be found in shop windows around Otley from 23rd October to 9th November. There will be a prize draw for 3 winners who have submitted correct entries at the Science Fair on Saturday 11th. Find out about the Molecule Trail here.

Mon 6 Nov 11.00 – 12.00 noon

Silly Science Toddler Time – Families

Our scientific extravaganza of fun filled activities for toddlers returns once again to the Courthouse. Let your child explore with their senses the scientific world around them. Laid on especially for the Courthouse by the Otley Children’s Centre, this is a very popular ticketed event with limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Supported by Otley Town Council.

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

Mon 6 Nov 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Silly Science Toddler Time – Groups (sorry, sold out)

A science fair specifically aimed at groups of under 5s from nurseries, play groups and childminders only. This is a ticketed event with limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Supported by Otley Town Council.

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

Mon 6 Nov 7.30pm

Stefan Gates – The Utterly Revolting Science Showstefan_gates_1

Embark on a hilarious, high tech and utterly disgusting journey through the body with BBC Gastronaut Stefan Gates. Expect robots, remote-controlled humans, mindblowing video footage of our guts, digestive chemistry and a very noisy fart machine. You’ll never look at your own body in the same way again! This hilarious show based on rock-solid science will amaze both kids and adults.

Age 7 and upwards; Tickets £10/£8


Tue 7 Nov 7.30pm

Prof. Robert Winston – Modifying Humans: Where does genetics stop? (sorry, sold out)

robert_winston_1Professor Winston has been responsible for making science understandable to generations and is one of our leading specialists on fertility and IVF. In this talk he addresses the subject of genetics, and the progress made with screening for genetic defects and disorders before a pregnancy has even begun. However the same methods could be used to modify genes. Is this a wonderful new world or a very risky and frightening Frankenstein monster? Supported  by Otley Carnival.

For adults and young people. Bar; Tickets £20


Wed 8 Nov 7.30pm

Festival Science Caféotley-science-cafe

This 40th Otley Science Café promises to bring the usual eclectic mixture of scientific topics delivered in bite-sized chunks for your entertainment. We will have our traditional trio of speakers, each given a quarter of an hour with plenty of time for you to quiz them afterwards. Join us for a relaxed and fun evening of science suitable for all ages and all interests.

For adults and young people. Bar; Tickets £5, 18s and under free (but ticket required)


Thu 9 Nov 7.45pm

hidden-figuresHidden Figures (2016) – Otley Film Society

Especially for Otley Science Festival, the Otley Film Society brings you Hidden Figures. The true life story of a team of African American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space programme. Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe. Followed by discussion of the film and the book on which it is based in a local hostelry. Duration 127 minutes.

Certificate PG. Bar; Tickets £5 / Film Society members £4


Fri 10 Nov 12.30 to 2pm

Science Lunch –  A Glimpse into the Future of Technologyrashik-parmar

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch then sit back and listen to Rashik Parmar MBE, the IBM Technical Executive for Europe, as he discusses how Technology seem to be in all parts of our daily lives, from ensuring we have clean water through to providing entertainment. IBM’s Research Division has identified five technologies that will change our lives in the next 5 years. This talk will discuss the 2017 predictions and explore the likely impact.

Tickets are limited and pre-booking is essential. £7 including buffet lunch

Fri 10 Nov 7.30pm

marty_jopson_1webMarty Jopson – Dangerous Equations

Join Marty Jopson, Otley resident and the BBC One Show’s science bloke as he places himself in grave personal danger for your entertainment and amusement. Will his steely nerve and a set of equations save him from a broken hand and third degree burns? Can physics alone protect you from Mr. Spiky and the Pendulum of Doom? Only one way to find out. Note, some fully risk assessed audience participation will be sought.

Age 11 and upwards. Bar; Tickets £10/£8


Sat 11 Nov 10am to 4pm

Otley Science Fair

Get down to this year’s Science Fair for stalls, demonstrations and great experiments to try out. The Courthouse will be alive with local and regional groups showing off the best science Yorkshire has to offer. Build yourself a molecule, have a go with the robots and play with some physics. Cakes, teas, coffees and lunch available in the café all day. Supported by Otley Carnival.

Free event with something for everyone.

Sat 11 Nov 7.30pm

Prof. Monica Grady – An Evening with a Space Scientist

monica_grady_4webJoin Professor Monica Grady CBE, a world expert on meteorites, for a journey through her scientific career and interests. From Martian meteorites, to the Rosetta space probe and appearing on Desert Island Discs, this is your opportunity to listen to and ask questions of one of the leading British Space Scientists.

For adults and young people. Bar; Tickets £8

Otley Science Festival is supported by a number of sponsors whose help enables us to put on this great event. Our thanks go to all of them.

Otley Science Festival sponsors

Further information and tickets:

The events are held at Otley Courthouse

You can buy tickets:

  • In person from Otley Courthouse box office, 10am – 4pm Mon-Sat
  • On line from www.otleycourthouse.org.uk
  • On the door (as long as the event is not sold out)

Otley Courthouse Arts Centre
Courthouse Street
West Yorks
LS21 3AN

01943 467466

You can email Otley Science Festival here: info@otleysciencefestival.co.uk
or follow us on Twitter @otleyscience