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Star speakers and partners announced for 2019 British Science Festival

The British Science Association (BSA) and the University of Warwick have announced some of the big names taking part in the 2019 British Science Festival. Revealed at the Festival launch held in Coventry city centre yesterday evening, they will bring the best of British science to the region when the annual event arrives this September.

BBC presenter, academic and the BSA’s incoming President, Professor Alice Roberts, will be giving her Presidential Address at the Festival to officially mark the start of her term. She will succeed current BSA President, Professor Jim Al-Khalili.

Angela Saini is a journalist and author who wrote the critically acclaimed Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story.Angela will be giving the annual Women in Science keynote speech, where she will discuss equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM and her new book Superior: The Return of Race Science.

Parliamentarian and gold medal Paralympian Lord Chris Holmes will be participating in the Huxley Debate, exploring the issue of ‘smart cities’, discussing how artificial intelligence and smart cities can be made to work for everyone.

Finally, in a first for the world’s longest-running science programme, the BBC’s The Sky at Night will be recording a special called The Sky at Night: Question Time, live from the Festival. There will also be a panel discussion with the presenters Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott, along with the rest of The Sky at Night team.

British Science Festival Director Ivvet Modinou said:

We’re really proud to bring the British Science Festival to Coventry and Warwickshire this year, the first time in its history. We’ve enjoyed working with our hosts, the University of Warwick, to plan a rich and varied programme for the thousands of expected visitors.

“The Festival will connect people with scientists, engineers, technologists and creatives, giving them a flavour of the research and innovation happening in the world today. The events span a diverse range of subjects and formats, encompassing science in the broadest sense, promising something for everyone.”

Each year, the British Science Festival brings a diverse programme of over a hundred talks, debates, performances and activities to a different host city and region. Between Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 September 2019, the public will be able to attend events across the city of Coventry and on the University of Warwick campus, all for free. It will be immediately followed by a Family Day on the University of Warwick campus on Saturday 14 September.

Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said:

Bringing this prestigious event to our region is a great way to celebrate the world-leading research that takes place at the University of Warwick, and more broadly across Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.  We are delighted to be working with the British Science Association to shine a national spotlight on the strengths of our region, in sectors such as energy, transport, healthcare and digital innovation.”

The following partners have also been announced:

Professor Croft added:

We are extremely grateful to industry leaders Cadent and Lubrizol, and to our regional Local Enterprise Partnerships, who are supporting us in putting on a must-see event, and to build a legacy for public engagement with science and engineering across the region.”