Edinburgh Science Festival logo

Edinburgh is a hub for a range of festivals, with Heriot-Watt staff and students involved in many of them throughout the year.

Edinburgh Science Festival

The University has been involved in the ESF for many years as a Funding Partner. The Science Festival has run since 1989 and is one of Europe's largest celebrations of science and technology.

Family Fun Day @ Oriam - 13 April 2019

In 2019 we were delighted to welcome the Edinburgh Science Festival back to our Edinburgh campus for the second year running, as we transformed Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, into a marathon of discovery!  Visitors could get hands on with cutting edge research spanning robots and virtual reality to bacteria and body parts. The day was packed with workshops and interactive activities exploring healthy homes, bodies and minds.

Other Edinburgh Science Festival events this year included:

Oceans in Crisis: a public debate @ Pleasance - 6 April

We all rely on the seas for their abundant food, mineral and energy resources and yet more than 90% of the deep oceans remain totally unexplored. From microplastics to rising sea levels, human activity is changing our oceans before we have the chance to explore its full potential. Professor Dorrik Stow joined the panel of ocean experts to discuss the challenges we face and better understand our ocean world.

Alyx: the social robot @ NMS - 9, 10, 16 & 17 April

Dr Frank Broz and his team shared their research on modern robot capabilities from a technical perspective. Visitors could see a robot's ability to estimate a person's emotion from their face and body posture, as well as its ability to generate different facial expressions, gesture, talk and self-balance. 

Good for your guts @ Pleasance - 11 April

You might have butterflies in your tummy, but is that anxious feeling actually coming from your gut? Poor mental health is one of many issues claimed to be connected to your gut. Diabetes, cancer, asthma and heart disease have all been linked too. Visitors could try some belly-busting treats and join Dr Helinor Johnston as she and fellow experts discuss what this research is telling us and whether a better diet really cures all?

Digital Therapist @ Pleasance - 14 April

Could virtual reality treat depression or could a robot companion make you feel better? Professor Ruth Aylett joined the panel of experts who will explore some of the beneficial effects of technology and how it could be used to help improve our mental health.