Edinburgh Science Festival


The University has been involved in the Edinburgh Science Festival for many years, with researchers sharing their research with families across the city and beyond. The Science Festival has run since 1989 and is one of Europe's largest celebrations of science and technology.

Discovery Trail

The Heriot-Watt University campus is a lovely, scenic spot for a walk. Framed by greenery and nature, it's easy to forget about the researchers and students hard at work.
The Discovery Trail is the perfect way to explore the Edinburgh campus where you can learn about the many buildings' namesakes and research that has taken place across the University's 200-year history.

Climate Detectives

Framed by greenery and nature, Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh campus is brimming with intriguing facts about research into our climate's history. On this 3km interactive walk of the picturesque grounds you'll find out how tiny popcorn-like fossils have made a huge impact in unravelling past climate change. The trial is self-guided with interactive posters with QR codes to help you navigate your way, so be sure to have your smartphone fully charged. We'll even have some word-jumbles for the little ones to solve! 

Carbon City: the board game

Do you have what it takes to lower your city’s emissions to zero? Join the fun around this interactive Cabon City boardgame and play as the mayor of your own city where you can use various climate change technologies and policies to encourage the people of your city to reduce their carbon footprint and adapt your industries to do the same ... watch out for the unexpected outcomes along the way!

Climate Quiz

Are you a walking encyclopaedia bursting at the brim with facts and figures about climate change? Why not show off your skills and challenge your family and friends in this super-fun Climate Change Quiz of the Year. 

Test your knowledge of all things climate change and learn some interesting new facts about current problems and solutions.

Catalysing Creativity exhibition

Join us for the debut of a new art-science exhibition which translates concepts, new materials and inventions into thought-provoking sculptural stories and narratives. 

The exhibitions, Self Assemblage and Sciennes Place, explore the molecular science and artistic approaches through a lens to investigate the concept of change and the interconnectivity of people and our planet.

Catalysing Creativity comprises two creative commissions supported by ScotCHEM in collaboration with ASCUS Art and Science, and in partnership with researchers at The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.

Alongside the exhibition, a discussion event will discover how artist Romain Viguier and Heriot-Watt researcher Dr Mairi Haddow found many parallels between organised matter and society and became fascinated with the way materials change, adapt to their environment.

Gendering AI: the Case of Conversational Assistants

Hey Siri, Alexa. Are you gender stereotyping? Because recent research suggests that you do. With many voice assistants carrying out obedient, subservient roles it's thought that this – along with their design of female-gendered names, voices, and personas – can encourage abusive language toward them. 

This discussion event brings together AI expert Kate Devlin, BBC design team member Fiona Linton-Forrest and author Mark West to discuss issues surrounding gender and conversational assistants, and what can be done to combat them. They'll also discuss their work as part of a major Heriot-Watt University research project currently being carried out on mitigating gender-based harms in conversational AI.