Theme: Explorations in Science and Technology

From artificial intelligence to environmental DNA, cryptocurrency to sustainable electronics, learn how developments in science and technology are changing our world.

What's on

Sun
17
Jun

Space: The final frontier?

Join the University of York Astronomy Society for a journey to the furthest reaches of space as we celebrate astronomy and space science. Our packed day of talks, exhibitions and hands-on activities offers something for all ages and interests: explore the Universe in an inflatable planetarium, the Cosmodome; try solar observing from the Astrocampus (weather-permitting); and learn about galaxy evolution, supernovae and cosmic explosions.

Sat
16
Jun

The Future of Work

In the near future, an increasing number of autonomous systems will be placed in roles and given functions that were previously the domain of skilled humans. What are the implications of this for the world of work?

Sat
16
Jun

Artificial Intelligence for Health

Would you choose to be looked after by a robotic carer? How about using autonomous systems to help give early diagnoses by analysing health records? Could AI be used to support those with mental health issues? Join us as we discuss what AI might mean for our future health. Is the potential for AI to revolutionise healthcare overhyped or could it transform the NHS?

Sat
16
Jun

Driverless Vehicles

Driverless vehicles have been hitting the headlines – autonomous cars, crew-less tankers and parcel delivery by drones. They promise improved freedom and efficiency, but how do we live safely in a world of AI?

Sat
16
Jun

Artificial Intelligence: Exhibition

Do you know what artificial intelligence (AI) is? Would you like to find out more? Join us for an exploration of AI, robotics and autonomous systems: Have a chat with a chatbot; try out the Turing test and see whether you can distinguish between a human and an AI; see robots in action and have a go at programming your own; play noughts-and-crosses against the computer and watch its ‘thought processes’ as it decides what move to make; and watch excerpts from a play with a robotic lead actor.

Sat
16
Jun

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Do you know what artificial intelligence (AI) is? Would you like to find out more? What should and shouldn’t we be worried about? Our keynote address is by Alan Winfield of the University of the West of England.

Fri
15
Jun

Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the building of Britain

Few people have done more to shape our nation than Thomas Telford. A stonemason turned architect turned engineer, he built churches, harbours, canals, docks and the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales. Join Julian Glover, author of Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain, to learn more about the man who created the backbone of our national road network and some of the most dramatic and beautiful bridges ever built.

Fri
15
Jun

Ripples of Gravity, Flashes of Light: The dawn of multi-messenger astronomy

Join LIGO scientist Martin Hendry as he explores the amazing technology behind the detection of gravitational waves, and what their discovery might soon tell us about some of the biggest unsolved mysteries in physics and astronomy.

Thu
14
Jun

Imprisoned, Erased, Repressed, Innovative: Hidden stories of LGBT+ scientists

Diverse scientists are ideally placed to use their unique experiences to 'imagine the impossible' and solve challenging problems. Join David Smith of the University of York as he explores the stories of LGBT+ scientists, highlighting cutting-edge science and the politics of diversity.

Thu
14
Jun

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Rationality and magic in 18th-century science

Ben Russell, Curator of Mechanical Engineering at the Science Museum, London considers the ‘impossible’ in the Age of Reason - unimaginable new technologies, mind-blowing scientific discoveries and revolutionary new ideas.

Thu
14
Jun

The Future Starts Here: Exploring the power of design in shaping the world of tomorrow

The world of tomorrow is shaped by the emerging design and technology of today. Join Rory Hyde, co-curator of The Future Starts Here exhibition at the V&A in London, to find out about a landscape of possibilities for the future.

Thu
14
Jun

Facing the Impossible in Physics

Scientific progress is sometimes portrayed as a smooth and logical process, uncovering the next jigsaw piece of some eternal and abiding Truth about the world we live in. In fact it's a sequence of hypothesis, observation and new improved hypothesis. Join Alice Courvoisier and Carolyn Dougherty of the University of York and writer Jacqueline Saville as they discuss the history of physics and astronomy in the context of prevailing contemporary views.

Wed
13
Jun

Impossible futures? Environmental utopias for the 21st century

Using examples from science fiction and popular nonfiction texts, Lisa Garforth of Newcastle University explores how visions for a more sustainable future have changed since the 1970s and what green hopes for the 21st century might look like.

Tue
12
Jun

Bones: Imaging prehistoric and modern women

Join biological anthropologist Alison Macintosh of the University of Cambridge as she explains how scientists are using cutting-edge imaging technologies and the study of living athletes to better understand variation in women's bone strength, as well as body size, muscle, and fat.

Mon
11
Jun

Guinea Worm Disease: Using DNA detection to break the life cycle

Guinea worm disease, also known as Dracunculiasis, is a debilitating condition contracted by drinking unfiltered water containing tiny crustaceans infested with Guinea worm larvae. Jenny Tomlinson of Fera Science Limited will explain how to break the life cycle, people need to avoid drinking contaminated water - which is where Fera comes in.

Mon
11
Jun

The Shape of Things to Come? Life in the quantum age

Our panel of experts will introduce the current state of affairs in quantum technologies and offer a glimpse of tangible applications that will transform everyday life including driverless vehicles, cameras that see around corners and through solid walls (and inside the human body), and supercomputers that can develop and test new drugs outside the lab.

Mon
11
Jun

Imagining Sustainable Electronics

Join University of York scientists for an interactive workshop investigating a technology we are all reliant on, if not addicted to - mobile phones. Dismantle phones, inspect their component parts and discuss where the materials are sourced and where they end up at the end of the phone’s life.

Sat
9
Jun

Cryptocurrency: Hype or technological revolution?

Featuring a keynote speech by the internationally-recognised World Wide Web pioneer Bebo White, our event explores the past, present and (possible) future of these phenomena from both a technological and social perspective. Is this all just hype or the precursor to a new technological revolution?

Sat
9
Jun

Soapbox Science

Come and listen to top female scientists as they take science to the streets of York – standing on a soapbox! Now in its eighth year, Soapbox Science promises a summer of excitement, fun and fantastic science with events across the world.

Fri
8
Jun

How Science Made the Victorian Future

Professor Marmaduke Salt of the Royal Panopticon of Popular Science (Iwan Rhys Morus of Aberystwyth University) performs spectacular electrical experiments onstage. Find out how people in Victorian times thought about the future and how they thought it would come about.

Thu
7
Jun

What’s Been in my Pond?

Eleanor Jones of Fera Science Limited discusses the emerging area of research called ‘environmental DNA’. Find out how it has been used to identify whether a particular animal or plant lives in a pond from a water sample, or what plants are in an area by trapping the pollen in the air.

Thu
7
Jun

Outnumbered: Exploring the algorithms that control our lives

Join author David Sumpter for a journey to the dark side of mathematics, from how it dictates our social media activities to our travel routes.

Tue
5
Jun

Child’s Eye Virtual Reality View of a Hospital Visit

Learn about a free award-winning app designed to help children who are scared and anxious about having an MRI scan. Developed by MRI physicists Jonathan Ashmore and Cormac McGrath, the app prepares children for scans via a 360° virtual reality video of the entire MRI journey.

Tue
5
Jun

A Dinosaur Called Alan: Virtually

A past resident of Yorkshire, a huge dinosaur nicknamed Alan, takes pride of place in the Yorkshire Museum’s new exhibition, Yorkshire’s Jurassic World. Only one of Alan’s bones remains, but through virtual reality (VR) technology, visitors can meet a fully rendered relative, walk around in his world and even feed him – all within the confines of the gallery space.

Throughout the Festival

Behind the Scenes of Science

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at world-leading research centres at the University of York? Here is your chance to find out. As part of the Festival they are throwing open their doors for guided tours, demonstrations and talks. From air quality to energy, and next generation electronic materials to cancer therapies, find out how research carried out in York is improving the world we live in.

Festival themes