Norwich Science Festival

12th October 2017

Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 October 2017

The second Norwich Science Festival brought together hands-on activities, demonstrations, talks and events to celebrate science and its contribution to all of our lives.

Over 9 days, from Saturday 21st to Sunday 29th October, The Forum’s Atrium became The Explorium, and a hub for events there and across the city. A mix of drop-in events, family activities and talks from household names as well as local scientists meant there is something for everyone.

The website is the place to go to explore the full programme.

The Norwich Science Festival was also a chance  to meet some of the scientists from the Quadram Institute and find out about our research into food, microbes and health.


Past Events

Carmen Nueno-Palop

From the Lab to your Local: the Science Behind Beer

Monday 23rd October, 7:30pm, The Forum

Scientist Carmen Nueno-Palop is joining up with brewers from Adnams and the British Science Association to help us understand how beer is made and the importance of different yeast strains. Alongside these talks, there will be an opportunity to taste a range of beers and learn about their various characteristics and flavours. (£6, 18+).

This is your life- Bifidobacteria!

Friday October 27th 12-12.30, The Cabaret Stage in The Forum

Ian O’Neill, Zoe Schofield and Melissa Lawson will be giving a talk on the Cabaret stage in the forum. In the talk, “This is your life- Bifidobacteria” they will be discussing the role of bifidobacteria at different stages of life.

My first day as a microbiologist

Saturday 28th October, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, The Forum

Learn about the wonderful world of microbiology with scientists from the Quadram Institute. Pop on a lab coat and goggles and have your photo taken with our cuddly microbes and colourful chemicals. Take a look down a microscope and peer into the invisible bacterial world all around us – the baddies, the goodies and even those in our food! Light up the bacteria on your hands and learn how to wash them properly to help stop the spread of diseases. (free, all ages). Resources from this activity are available to view here:

Tummy Time! – Meet your microbes

Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October, 10am-4pm, The Forum

Inside us all lives an amazing community of microbes.  In fact there are at least as many bacterial cells as human cells in your body, including 2kg of bacteria in your gut alone!  We call this community our gut microbiota or microbiome and scientist Lindsay Hall and her team at the Quadram Institute are investigating the different types of microbes that live there and the important roles they play in keeping us healthy throughout our lives.  Come and take a journey through your digestive system, meeting important microbes along the way and get hands-on with science activities to learn what they do, how antibiotics can affect their growth and how your diet can influence their success! (free, all ages)

Mucus and gut microbes: a sweet relationship to keep us healthy

Saturday 28th October, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, The Forum

The word ‘mucus’ may turn the toughest of tummies, but don’t be put off – mucus is actually a friend to our digestive system! It lines our gut and provides both a home to our ‘good’ bacteria, and a barrier to stop bacteria causing us harm. Discover how this sugary, sticky mucus can do all this with a hands-on experiment, and meet the scientists from the Quadram Institute investigating how it helps keep us healthy. (free, all ages)

Mark WebberMarch of the Superbugs – How Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Evolve

Saturday  28th October, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm The Forum

Antibiotics have revolutionised medicine and saved countless lives across the world. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are however now a huge threat to human health and we are losing our capacity to treat infections. Development of resistance is a perfectly natural process which pre-dates humans.

In this talk Dr Mark Webber from the Quadram Institute will give a brief overview of the history of antibiotics and explain how Superbugs come about and give some examples of how different pathogens have evolved antibiotic resistance. (Free, booking essential, Age 12+)

What’s in your food?

Sunday 29th October, 10:00am – 4:00pm, The Forum

Join our Food Databanks team to find out more about what’s in your food, and the science behind food labels. As part of Food and Agriculture Day, we’ll be exploring how the data behind the composition of foods, compiled in by the Quadram Institute, is used by everyone from consumers to food companies to dietitians to policy makers. (free, all ages)

Fibres: Good for your Bacteria and for you!

Sunday 29th October, 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm, The Forum’s Atrium

We’re told to eat a diet rich in fibres, but there’s more to fibres than just helping with bowel movement. Britt Blokker, PhD student in the research group of Prof Michael Muller, looks at why we aren’t capable of digesting fibres, and how the bacteria living in our gut (the microbiota) are using these fibres as food. Recent research shows the importance of a healthy microbiota for our own health, and argues the case for feeding our microbiota with fibres. (Free, Age 14+)

Related Targets

Targeting the understanding of the microbiome

Understanding the Microbiome

Targeting food composition

Food Composition

Targeting antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance

Related Research Groups

Juge group

Nathalie Juge

fruit and vegetables

Paul Finglas

Hall Group

Lindsay Hall

Webber group

Mark Webber

Related Research Areas