‘Big or small, local or global, everyone has the power to make a difference,’ Cheltenham Science Festival organisers firmly believe – with ‘Be the Change’ the new theme of the festival not just for 2021, but for the next three years.
From cutting-edge technology to revolutionary breakthroughs in medicine; grassroots campaigns to international initiatives; Be the Change aims to highlight the people and the projects that will affect our planet, health and happiness for generations to come.
‘We want to inspire our audience to feel confident to talk about and get involved with the causes and issues that they care about, all the while emphasising science’s place at the heart of everyday life,’ organisers say – with SoGlos handpicking five events that you can help YOU be the change.
1. Gina Martin Be The Change at Cheltenham Science Festival
Gina Martin’s successful campaign to change the law on upskirting has transformed the lives of hundreds of women and girls and made the country a safer place to live. The law change has also had implications around the world as others campaigning for international women’s rights have followed in her footsteps, lobbying for change in their own countries. Aja Barber speaks to Gina about her activism, what she has planned for the future and the importance of speaking up for the causes we care about.
This event takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall on Sunday 13 June 2021, from 12.30pm to 1.25pm. For more information, and to book tickets, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com/science.
2. How To Spend A Trillion Dollars at Cheltenham Science Festival
You’ve just been handed a trillion dollars! What are you going to spend it on? Clean energy? A cure for cancer? A human settlement on Mars or refreezing the Arctic? How To Spend A Trillion Dollars author Rowan Hooper and host Ashley Kent will be exploring what could be achieved with this incredible sum before the audience votes for the option they think will best benefit the world.
This event takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall on Sunday 13 June 2021, from 3.30pm to 4.25pm. For more information, and to book tickets, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com/science.
3. If I Do Just One Thing at Cheltenham Science Festival
We all want to make a contribution to saving the planet, but it’s hard to know where to start. While Cheltenham Science Festival organisers say 2020 showed us that even the smallest of actions can make a big difference, what are the most important choices we can make when it comes to saving our planet? Young activist Daze Aghaji, astrophysicist Sarah Bridle and artist and campaigner Daniel Webb join Mark Miowdnik battle it out to decide what lifestyle changes make the biggest impact and are crucial to creating positive change.
This event takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall on Friday 11 June 2021, from 12.30pm to 1.25pm. For more information, and to book tickets, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com/science.
4. We Make Tomorrow at Cheltenham Science Festival
Greta Thunberg’s first climate strike resonated with millions around the world – with the power of youth to enact change becoming an unstoppable force. During the Science Festival, a collective of young activists including Daze Aghaji, Tolmeia Gregory, Alex Staniforth, Joycelyn Longdon and Dara McAnulty will talk about their own work raising awareness in everything from sustainability to mental health – in an event to explore why this generation is taking the lead when it comes to tackling the biggest issues.
This event takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall on Saturday 12 June 2021, from 3.30pm to 4.25pm. For more information, and to book tickets, visit cheltenhamfestivals.com/science.
5. 2021: Our Planet’s Year of Reckoning? at Cheltenham Science Festival
As we emerge from the global pandemic and with President Biden’s pledge to re-join the Paris Agreement, does 2021 mark a turning point for our planet and its people? Ahead of the impending UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, a Cheltenham Science Festival panel including science editor of The Times Tom Whipple, economist Dieter Helm, climate scientist Mark Maslin, environmental scientist Tara Shine and climate activist Daze Aghaji, will examine the complexities of tackling the climate crisis in order to implement meaningful and lasting change on an individual, local and global scale.
This event takes place at Cheltenham Town Hall on Thursday 10 June, from 3.30pm to 4.25pm.