The Norwich Science Festival is back and bigger than ever.
The Festival offers inspirational exhibitions, sensational shows and an abundance of hands-on science activities for all ages and all levels of knowledge, plus a dedicated learning programme for schools, youth groups and home educators.
As well as bringing the biggest names in science to Norwich, the event showcases the world-class scientific research happening in Norwich. Check out the programme online or pick up a brochure.
Researchers from the Quadram Institute are taking part in talks, hands-on activities, trails and dialogue events and we’ve highlighted where you can meet our scientists below.
Hidden Elements Fringe Trail
Sat 5th October – Saturday 26th October
As part of the celebrations of the International Year of the Periodic Table, posters have been placed around Norwich City Centre and the Norwich Research Park.
The Fringe Trail features 8 element posters on the Norwich Research Park involving its six Park Partners, including the Quadram Institute. Find out more about the ground-breaking research taking place there! Head to Centrum for the start of the fringe trail.
Track down all the hidden elements to collect a certificate and enter a prize draw.
Art of the Gut
Sat 19th to Saturday 26th in the Forum
Art and science meet in an exhibition exploring new research into microbes, food and health, created by Jennie Pedley, artist in residence at the Quadram Institute.
Jennie worked with scientists, with d/Deaf and hearing children at Colman School and families at St Williams Way Library, supported by the SAW Trust.
Food is More Clever than you Think
Saturday 19th October
The Forum Explorium
Join PhD student Gemma Beasy exploring the science behind bioactives – the natural compounds in fruit and veg that scientists believe are behind their health benefits. They also give many fruits their vibrant colour, but can you identify them by smell. Follow the Clever Food Trail and learn about healthy food choices.
The Last Days of Smallpox: Triumph and Tragedy
Sunday 20th 12pm – 1pm
The Forum – Gallery Stage
Forty years after its eradication, the horror that was smallpox is largely forgotten. In this talk, the Quadram Institute’s Prof Mark Pallen will describe the triumphant eradication of smallpox through a worldwide vaccination campaign and the tragic 1978 Birmingham smallpox incident, which led to two deaths after the virus escaped from a research lab in that city. He will place these events in the context of continuing debate as to the risks and benefits of research and public health interventions focused on dangerous pathogens.
Saturday 19th – Saturday 26th
The Engaging Images exhibition is a display of inspiring scientific photographs that tell the story of the ground-breaking research being carried out across the Norwich Research Park. Research that is solving some of the biggest challenges we face on a global scale including how we feed a growing population, prevent and treat chronic diseases and take our planet back from the brink of irreversible climate change.
Engaging Images – Meet the Scientists
Tuesday 22nd 6pm – 7:30pm
You can ‘meet the scientists’ on 22 October in The Forum, where you’ll hear about the latest discoveries and research behind the images on show, including Raffaele Colosimo from the Quadram Institute.
Dragon Hall Debates: Guts
Monday 21st 7pm – 9pm
National Centre for Writing
Can you stomach a debate? UEA and the National Centre for Writing invite you to join journalist and presenter Tim Hayward, Dr Lindsay Hall from the Quadram Institute and UEA’s Prof Tiffany Atkinson at Dragon Hall to have your say and hear from this diverse line-up of gutsy experts. Dr Lindsay Hall is interested in the interactions between the host and its microbiota in early life. Her research group at the Quadram Institute seeks to understand the role that the early life microbiota plays in regulating immune responses, during health and in diseases such as IBD, to help in the design of new therapies.
Norwich Research Park Day – I Am Quadram
Wednesday 23rd October 10am -4pm
The Forum Explorium
Meet some of the researchers working in the new Quadram Institute and find out how thorough our science we’re helping to deliver healthier lives through innovation in gut health, microbiology and food. Through interactive art, hands-on activities you can find out more about the microbiome, the population of trillion of microbes that live in our guts. Explore how food affects the microbiome and health, and see how it links to health conditions. Find out why it’s so important to know exactly what’s in our food.
Understanding these complex problems needs the very best evidence, which means working directly with you. The Clinical Research Facility in the Quadram Institute is a state-of-the-art unit for research studies into a range of health conditions, involving patients and volunteers. The results of these trials will lead to new strategies and treatments for improving health and preventing related disease. Find out about some of these studies and how you might be able to take part.
Art of the Gut Activities
Meet Quadram’s artist in residence Jennie Pedley and explore the Art of the Gut exhibition in the BBC Foyer at the Forum. Try the following activities:
- make your own Wish for Wellness for yourself or a friend
- use handmade templates of body parts and microbes to make a rubbing to add to the exhibition, with local sculptor, Chris Jackson.
- take the Veg Pledge – improve your health by eating veg! Feed the microbes that help you get the most out of your food. Guess the veg from beautiful slices of vegetable papyrus!
- make a felt microbe to wear as a sign of your pledge, with local artist Rach Anstey-Sanders.
British Sign Language interpreter available between 1pm–4pm.
A mystery illness: Have you heard of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis?
Also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ME/CFS affects around 250,000 people in the UK. Meet the researchers trying to find out what causes this debilitating condition, and explore how it affects every aspect of life.
Katharine Seton and colleagues, thanks to funding from the charity Invest in ME Research, are working with ME/CFS patients to explore the links between the microbiome, immune system and ME/CFS.
Puzzling out digestion
Can you find your way through the digestive system, dropping off different types of food along the way? Join Marina Corrado and colleagues who are studying how the structure of food affects how its digested, and how this changes how it affects our health.
Marina is particularly interested in resistant starch, a type of fibre, and developing future foods. The health benefits of these will be assessed with the help of participants taking part in trials in the QI’s Clinical Research Facility
Play Your Carbs Right & Food Data Top Trumps
Join the Food Databanks team from the Quadram Institute with some fun ways of exploring food data. Scientists, dietitians and the food industry all rely on the food composition data produced by the QI team, and it also helps consumers make informed choices about their diets. But how well do you know what makes up different foods? Test your knowledge against the team with food data Top Trumps, or take on the Play Your Carbs Right board and win a prize.
Bacteria in the Gut? The Good, the Bad and the Protective
2:15pm – 3pm
The Forum Gallery Stage
Dr Clémence Frioux from the Quadram Institute will give an overview of the role of our commensal bacteria and how they can help prevent infections, but how they often also suffer under the invasion of pathogenic bacteria, just as we do.
Opening Up – Using animals in research at UEA
Wednesday 23rd October 5:30pm -6:30pm
Cancer and cardiovascular disease researcher Dr Stephen Robinson is part of a panel of researchers from the University of East Anglia who will discuss the importance of animals in their work and how animal welfare is a priority, and will be followed by an audience Q&A.
Food and Health: What Matters to You
Thursday 24th 10am – 4pm
Food that can cure diabetes? A drink that can clean your teeth? Drop in (12pm–5pm) for a hands-on exploration of the food and health research that happens in Norwich.
Beginning with a hands-on look at research in Norwich, participants will then work directly with our scientists on their vision of the future of food and health research through a fun, interactive experience. At the end of the workshop, we will all have a chance to present our vision for the future, which we will summarise with a piece of artwork that will be distributed to each of the participants after the event.
6pm – 8pm
From 6pm, meet Norwich Research Park scientists and work together with them to solve the problems that you see, and inspire the science of the future (booking required).
An Update on Research and Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
Friday 25th October 5pm – 7:30pm
The Assembly House
Also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME affects around 250,000 people in the UK. This event, organised by the charity Invest in ME Research, will provide an update on ongoing and future research on the Norwich Research Park into this debilitating condiotn. Professor Simon Carding from Quadram Institute will be providing an update on research as well information on a planned clinical trial.
Also speaking at the meeting Richard Taylor from NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Groups will give an overview of a new Clinical Fellowship Scheme specialising in ME in Norwich Research Park. This exciting new opportunity for a GP in the first 5 years of general practice to undertake a GP fellowship was created specifically to join high quality biomedical research with clinical expertise, thus benefiting patients.
QI PhD students funded by the charity will be on hand to answer questions. If you are interested in clinical trials for ME or want to hear of the research strategy for ME then come along to this event and listen to the plans for developing the Centre of Excellence for ME and high-quality biomedical research and treatment for ME.
Saturday 26th October 11am – 2pm
The Teacher Scientist Network (TSN) brings some remarkable female scientists onto the streets of Norwich. Come and listen to them, and discover what these scientists get up to when they are not stood on a Soapbox. No PowerPoint, no lecture theatre, just a wooden box and some science storytelling.