If you are a science freak who likes to attend various festivals related to science, then read our list of 6 biggest science festivals around the world.
Can you imagine what life would be like without science? Probably not because most of the things we now have or know of wouldn’t be here without science. Although the term „scientist“ is relatively new (dates back from the 19th century), science has existed for a long time as people have always felt the need to investigate the natural world. Sometimes, throughout the history, these scientific discoveries were very misleading, false, and silly but mistakes are natural, and however misleading they were, they still represented progress. They brought us one step closer to the truth. If you want to find out which countries make the biggest progress in science then take a look at out list of 15 Smartest Countries in Science, not Math.
Without science, we wouldn’t be able to understand the human body and the life around us. We wouldn’t be able to examine fossilized remains which tell a magnificent story of Earth; we wouldn’t have vaccines (which despite the controversy around them, do save lives), and we wouldn’t be able to cure diseases. Without microscopes, we wouldn’t be able to observe and examine a great part of the world. To make it short, without science, we wouldn’t be able to understand the universe at all.
The first science annual meetings where scientists gathered to discuss their work with one another and with the public, were held by the British Science Association established in 1831. This is where all major scientific advances were presented and discussed. The British Science Association later grew into a science festival we know today and this event has inspired countless other events across the globe, from very small ones to great ones. Nowadays, there are science festivals taking place all around the world. Some of them are pretty new, and small, and some of them host more than 100,000 people. However, the concept of modern science festival comes from Edinburgh when the Economic Development Department decided to include a new type of event to the famous autumn arts festival. Ian Wall, a member of the development team then coined the phrase „science festival“. This is when science festivals started to develop everywhere. In Sweden, there was The International Science Festival in Gothenburg, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science included a number of public events to their annual meetings. The first statewide festival in the United States as of 2010 is the North Carolina Science Festival with over 400 events which take place across the state and last for two weeks.
We have compiled a list of major science festivals in different parts of the world and we ranked them according to the number of visitors. We considered Eusea and the British Science Association when compiling the list. Check out our list of 6 biggest science festivals around the world.
6. British Science Festival
The British Science Association, the next one on the list of biggest science festivals around the world has a long tradition. It was founded in 1831, and it used to be known as the British Association for the Advancement of Science until 2009. Their goal is to develop and promote science and they have annual meetings. This annual meeting is now called the British Science Festival, and it is the largest public science event in the United Kingdom. The festival lasts for a week in September, and it’s held at different universities across the UK. Apart from this festival, the British Science Association also organizes the British Science Week, when people of all ages can participate in all kinds of science, technology, maths, and engineering activities. According to the University of Brighton, about 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year.
5. Cheltenham Science Festival
The Cheltenham Science Festival, the youngest among the Cheltenham Festivals, started in 2002, but it quickly became one of the most important science festivals in the United Kingdom so we decided to include it on our list of biggest science festivals around the world. The aim of the festivals is to challenge and engage in discussions about controversial topics with Discover Zone as the main feature. Discover Zone is a free exhibition space in Cheltenham’s Town Hall. The festival also includes Fame Lab, a competition in which contestants have 3 minutes to present a topic from science, engineering, and technology in an engaging way that everyone can understand. This competition was first held in 2005 and it was started by Cheltenham Science Festival, but it soon spread to include international contestants, and it became a model for successfully training scientists to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with the public. Over 27,000 people visited this festival in 2016.
4. International Science Festival Gothenburg
We are continuing our list of biggest science festivals around the world with The International Science Festival in Gothenburg that is one of Europe’s leading science events with over 70,000 visitors, according to their website. The festival includes hundreds of activities and it first took place in April 1997. Similar to other science festivals, the purpose is to communicate science to the public in an easy and interesting manner. This is the most popular science event in Sweden and one of the largest science festivals in Europe.
3. Edinburgh International Science Festival
The Edinburgh International Science Festival, the next one on the list of biggest science festivals around the world was first held in 1989, and it features hundreds of talks and exhibitions in different locations across the city. The events are aimed at children, families, and adults and according to the Convention Edinburgh, with over 90,000 visitors this is one of the largest science festivals in Europe. The festival lasts for two weeks and aims to inspire people to explore the world by providing them with innovative events.
2. North Carolina Science Festival
The North Carolina Science Festival, the next one on the list of biggest science festivals around the world was first held in September 2010. This festival features hundreds of events across the state of North Carolina and events, which are meant for all ages, include talks, exhibits, lab tours and other activities. The first North Carolina Science festival was attended by 89,494 participants. According to the final report for 2016, 136,139 people attended the public events. The festival was moved from September to April the next time, offering the same range of interesting activities in 2012.
1. World Science Festival
World Science Festival is held in New York and it first took place from may 22 to June 1 in 2008. The festival was founded by Brian Greene, a professor at Columbian university and author of several science books, and Tracy Day, an award-winning journalist. He is now a Chairman of the World Science Festival, while she is the CEO. The first World Science Festival was comprised of 46 events and a street fair. There was also a World Science Summit on the first day of the festival. Many speakers were Nobel Prize winners and there were more than 120,000 people in the audience. According to their website, the festival now has over 1.5 million visitors collectively, which makes it the first on our list of 6 biggest science festivals around the world. The World Science Festival includes events such as discussions, interactive explorations, debates as well as musical performances and many other. Among past participants are some amazing names such as Stephen Hawking.