British Science Festival 2024 programme launches, Big Manny headlines
British Science Festival 2024 programme launches, Big Manny headlines

Science, sport and TikTok collide in Stratford this September

Today (Tuesday 25 June) the British Science Festival programme for 2024 has been revealed.

Science content creator and social media sensation, Big Manny, will be headlining this year’s 5-day event hosted by the University of East London, his alma mater.

Other headline events include a panel of ex-Olympic athletes: world champion rower, Dame Katherine  Grainger; former British and Commonwealth record holder for the 800m and 600m, Diane Modahl; and Olympic heptathlete, Kelly Sotherton.

More speakers are to be announced in the coming weeks as the countdown begins to the British Science Festival, taking place across Stratford and the Docklands, 11-15 September.

Alright Boom! With Big Manny and the Royal Institution

Big Manny, also known as Emmanuel Wallace, has 1.5 million followers on Instagram and has amassed over 30 million likes on his TikTok videos showcasing experiments containing a lot of fire and the odd sheep’s organ.

Big Manny makes science relatable with his conversational tone and engaging experiments whilst imparting all the necessary knowledge about the chemistry and biology he’s doing.

Big Manny will be teaming up with the Royal Institution (Ri), an organisation which has been at the forefront of science demonstrations for the public since the 1800s, to bring stunning explosions to this year’s British Science Festival.

Manny and the Ri team will be talking the audience through the bangs and booms at Stratford Old Town Hall on Sunday 15 September.

Big Manny says:

“I’m so proud to be on the British Science Festival programme – headlining my first science festival – and even more pleased that it’s being hosted at University of East London, the university I attended and kickstarted my journey as a science communicator.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the Royal Institution, and bringing my science to East Londoners live. East London is a melting pot of creativity as well as being a supportive community of people from all walks of life. The British Science Festival is the perfect event for Stratford, the Docklands and the surrounds and I’m looking forward to being at the heart of the event.”

Big Manny has also just published his first book for children, ‘Science Is Lit’ and has appeared on a range of TV shows including Blue Peter.

Book tickets for ‘Alright Boom! With Big Manny and the Royal Institution’

The winning edge: how elite athletes get to the top of the podium

Since the success of the Lionesses at Euro 2022, more attention has been paid to women’s sport in the UK. However, the disparities between the pay, infrastructure and research dedicated to men’s and women’s sport persist.

The importance of research into women’s health and performance in the world of sport will take centre stage at this year’s British Science Festival. This headline panel event features not one, but three women who are former Olympians. The athletes will delve into the challenges they’ve faced in their careers, their journey to success, and hopes for the next generation of women and girls entering elite sport.

On the panel is three-time Olympic Heptathlon medallist, Kelly Sotherton; Olympian & Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Diane Modahl MBE; and 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE.

Moderating will be Ali Donnelly, CEO at More than Equal, an organisation dedicated to levelling the playing field for women in motorsports, founded by Karel Komarek and former Formula 1 driver, David Coulthard.

This panel discussion takes place on the opening day of the British Science Festival, Wednesday 11 September, at the University of East London Docklands campus.

Book tickets for ‘The winning edge: how elite athletes get to the top of the podium’

James Brown, Director of the British Science Festival, says:

“We’re excited to bring the British Science Festival to East London this year. We’re really lucky to be in a part of the country where so much has happened over the past few year – there’s so much innovation, creativity and passion.

“There are some brilliant events on the programme this year – truly something for everyone. You can explore an augmented reality installation championing Black scientists, get hands on with a gigantic spider inspired musical instrument  (Sonic Spider), immerse yourself in live recordings of the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast and the BBC’s Sky at Night, go to a genetics-themed Bingo night, and so much more.

“We’re delighted to be able to showcase some of the fantastic research going on around the UK, and particularly coming out of the University of East London. We can’t wait for Festival go-ers to be able to celebrate the people, ideas and stories at the heart of science.”

Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of East London, says:

“The University of East London, one of the UK’s most diverse and inclusive higher education institutions, is pleased to bring the British Science Festival to Newham, one of the fastest-growing, youngest and most multi-cultural areas in Europe. The Festival is a culmination of our own months-long tribute to a “Year of Science”, and I can think of no better way to celebrate science and how it affects every part our lives than by facilitating engagement and connection among our communities.

“The British Science Festival will also showcase our University’s world-class research, which is helping create a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world. University of East London researchers will be sharing their impactful work on a range of topics including health and social care, psychology, future technology and the environment, the outcomes of which directly benefit our local and global commmunities.

“We look forward to welcoming and inspiring Festival attendees.”

The British Science Festival is an annual celebration of science, technology and innovation which travels to a new location each year. 2024 marks the first visit to London since 2000.

The Festival brings pioneering researchers to share their work with the local audience through talks, activities, interactive events, installations, performances and more.

There is a range of ticketed and drop-in events. All events are free to attend.