Science festivals were invented in Scotland when the Edinburgh International Science Festival began in 1989. It's still going strong and has grown to be one of Europe's biggest celebrations of science, engineering and technology.
Scotland's science festivals are usually based around a single city or town, but some have a more regional feel. They provide an annual, local focus for activities and events, giving a wide audience the chance to explore and find out more. Many take place in areas that don't have a local science centre.
Most festivals have a mix of events, including:
- a schools programme for primary and secondary schools;
- public events, from tours where you can find out about the science in a particular workplace, to talks by well-known scientists and science writers, or debates on topical science issues; and
- a family weekend or similar programme, giving parents and children a chance to explore science together.
The Scottish Government recognises the role that science festivals play in making science accessible to a wide audience and strengthening young people's science learning. Funding from the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser is currently supporting a number of science festivals.
A list of the Scottish science festivals funded by OCSA in 2015-16 (support for 2016-17 events has yet to be announced)
If your area isn't covered by the festivals above and you'd like to set up your own event please email Science_Engagement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk for further advice.