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Vice-Chancellor hails 25th Anniversary of Cambridge Science Festival

“The University of Cambridge is known around the world for its extraordinary contributions to scholarship, discovery and innovation.  Our reach is global, but we are firmly rooted in our local community. We see it as a central part of our mission to share the remarkable work that goes on, often unseen by the wider public.

The Cambridge Science Festival was born twenty-five years ago. It was a simple idea that has since developed into a beacon of public engagement, admired and often replicated elsewhere. The Festival aims to provide opportunities for researchers and the public to explore and debate issues of scientific interest and concern; to promote research conducted in the University and its partner organisations; and to give the local community the chance to explore University buildings and labs that are not normally open.

Crucially, it also aims to encourage young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and hopefully to consider careers in these areas.

Over the years, the Festival has been an outstanding success. This year we will stage more than 370 events aimed at everyone from toddlers to pensioners. It will involve more than 1,000 researchers from all disciplines of science and technology, and audiences running into the tens of thousands taking part over a fortnight.

The 2019 Festival is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, which began the serious study of science at the University. We are also marking the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table drawn up by Dmitri Mendeleev. A first edition of the Table will be on display at St Catharine’s College, and we are privileged to have as a speaker Professor Yuri Oganessian – the only living scientist with an element named after him.

Among other highlights will be Professor Greg Winter, recently honoured with a Nobel Prize, who will present the Gravity Lecture; Professor Giovanna Mallucci on new treatments for dementia; Professor Mary Dixon-Woods on improving quality in healthcare; and Lord Martin Rees on the future of humanity.

My sincerest thanks to the University’s Public Engagement team, to the many Departments and Institutes, and to the very generous sponsors who make it all possible.

I am confident that as we celebrate its 25th year, this Festival will go from strength to strength.”

Professor Stephen J Toope