Credit: British Science Association

Social media star to headline British Science Festival this September

Social media sensation and science content creator Big Manny will headline this year’s five day British Science Festival in Stratford this September.

The annual events programme released on Tuesday also revealed there will be a panel of ex-Olympic athletes as women’s health and performance in the world of sport takes centre stage this year.

The festival takes place from 11 to 15 September across Stratford and the Docklands and will be delivered in partnership by the British Science Association (BSA) and the University of East London.

James Brown, director of the British Science Festival, says: “We’re excited to bring the British Science Festival to East London this year. 

“We’re really lucky to be in a part of the country where so much has happened over the past few years – there’s so much innovation, creativity and passion.

“We can’t wait for Festival go-ers to be able to celebrate the people, ideas and stories at the heart of science.”

This will be the first time the festival has been held in London in 24 years and will see pioneering researchers share their work with the local audience through talks, activities, interactive events, installations, performances and more.

Brown said: “You can explore an augmented reality installation championing Black scientists, get hands on with a gigantic spider inspired musical instrument (Sonic Spider), immerse yourself in live recordings of the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast and the BBC’s Sky at Night, go to a genetics-themed Bingo night, and so much more.”

Immerse yourself: The Festival offers augmented reality and more activities to enjoy.

Headliner Big Manny, also known as Emmanuel Wallace, has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and has amassed over 30 million likes on TikTok by showcasing science experiments and making science relatable with his conversational tone. 

News of his involvement comes just as he has published his first book for children ‘Science Is Lit’.

At the festival he will be teaming up with the Royal Institution, the organisation at the forefront of science demonstrations for the public since the 1800s, to demonstrate explosions at Stratford Old Town Hall on 15 September.

There will be a special focus on women’s sport in the UK with the headline panel event including three-time Olympic Heptathlon medallist, Kelly Sotherton; Olympian & Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Diane Modahl MBE; and 2012 Olympic gold medallist world champion rower, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE.

This panel discussion takes place on the opening day of the British Science Festival at the University of East London Docklands campus.

Since the success of the Lionesses at Euro 2022 more attention has been shifted to the disparities between the pay, infrastructure and research dedicated to men’s and women’s sport.

These athletes will delve into challenges they have faced, their journey to success, and their hopes for the next generation.

Moderating will be Ali Donnelly, CEO at More than Equal, an organisation dedicated to levelling the playing field for women in motorsports, founded by Karel Komarek and former Formula 1 driver, David Coulthard.

Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of East London, says: “The Festival is a culmination of our own months-long tribute to a “Year of Science”, and I can think of no better way to celebrate science and how it affects every part of our lives than by facilitating engagement and connection among our communities.”

The Festival has been the stage for many iconic moments in history – such as the famous debate on Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution between Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford in 1860. It also saw the first use of the word ‘scientist,’ in 1834.

All events are free to attend but there is a range of ticketed and drop-in events. 

For further information and to book tickets visit: 

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