University of Birmingham Arts & Science Festival

The University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Festival returns 13-19 March. Now in its fifth year, the Arts & Science Festival brings together leading artists, thinkers and scientists for a week of exhibitions, talks, screenings, concerts and workshops.

For 2017, the Arts & Science Festival revolves around the theme of Land and Water.

Highlights include Professor Alice Roberts and Dr Jeremy Pritchard explaining how trees can help scientists to unpick the secrets of archaeological sites, including the curious case of how the burial date of an Iron Age princess was discovered thanks to tree rings.

It’s a little known fact that Joseph Chamberlain – British statesman and mayor of Birmingham – was a collector of exotic orchids. World-renowned expert on orchids, Philip Seaton, will visit Winterbourne House & Garden for the Arts & Science Festival for a discussion and demonstration on conserving orchids; a must for the gardener and history enthusiast.

mac Birmingham host a programme of film screenings and talks devoted to Homer’s Odyssey. These include a premiere screening of a new film – The Odyssey – that follows the work of the great French ocean-going adventurer Jacques Yves Cousteau, and a showing of the much-loved O Brother Where Art Thou. Meanwhile budding writers can take part in a workshop devoted to the Midlands Odyssey, putting their ingenuity in a re-writing of Homer’s classic text, set in the English Midlands.

Music has long been recognised as a tool for therapy, with the ability to profoundly touch the human spirit. Scientists at the University of Birmingham have been working with Sampad South Asian Arts to look at the impact of traditional Qawwali (devotional) music on the brain, and their findings will be celebrated at Music Makes Waves, a day of discussion with scientists, researchers and artists looking at how music helps us to make sense of the world around us.

Soho House in Handsworth is host for a day of free activities, including creative writing and What’s What with James Watt, a look at the life of this great figure of the Industrial Revolution.

There are numerous exhibitions taking place during the week, around the city and on campus, including at Birmingham Open Media (BOM), the Bramall Music Building, Winterbourne House and Garden and Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Laura Milner from the University of Birmingham Arts & Science Festival commented,

This is the biggest year yet for the Arts & Science Festival and we’re venturing off campus and into the city for many of our events. We are delighted to be working with the likes of mac Birmingham, Grand Union, Birmingham Open Media, Ikon Gallery and the Electric Cinema as we celebrate research and collaboration in Birmingham.



Read the full programme at

Facebook: @CultureUoB

Twitter: @ArtsScienceFest

Instagram: @artssciencefest

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