bluedot 2017: science line-up announced

The bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank Observatory has revealed the speakers who will be making up this year's science programme.

Light projections on the Lovell Telescope at Bluedot, Jodrell Bank.
Published: March 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Stargazing and space science make up a large part of the bluedot programme. Image Credit: Jody Hartley


Dallas Campbell, Chris Lintott and Pete Lawrence are just some of the names announced as part of the science programme at this year’s bluedot science and music festival.

Held at the world famous Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, the music programme for 2017 includes headliners The Pixies, Orbital and Alt-J, but there is much to please fans of science this year, too.

The festival’s Dot Talks series will return, along with interactive family science shows and the Star Field interactive zone.

Plus, a wealth of expert speakers and astronomers will discuss a range of topics that explore humanity's relationship with the Universe.

This year’s science lineup:

  • Chris Lintott will be celebrating ten years of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project and inviting festival-goers to join the hunt for new pulsars and classifying galaxies
  • Pete Lawrence will be discussing this summer’s total eclipse over the US and reaching out for some public stargazing
  • Vinita Marwaha Madill, founder of the Rocket Women website, will talk about her work designing space suits for ESA and the role of women in space
  • Libby Jackson, manager of the Human Spaceflight and Microgravity Programme at the UK Space Agency, will discuss where spaceflight could take us next
  • Jodrell Bank’s Simon Garrington will look back on 60 years of science with the Lovell Telescope, while Ben Stappers and Rene Breton will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of pulsars
  • Celebrating 40 years since the launch of the Voyager spacecraft, Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University, will review the mission’s achievements
  • Writer Marcus Chown will talk about the mysterious force we know as gravity and how it has shaped the cosmos
  • Discussing the search for intelligent life outside of Earth will be Andrew Siemion, director of the Breakthrough Listen project and Mike Garrett, the new Sir Bernard Lovell Chair of Astrophysics at The University of Manchester
  • Addressing the topic of climate change, the Met Office’s Richard Betts who will give an overview of the evidence and ask the question “Can we live with a warming planet?”
Live music and scientific debate await this year's festival-goers
Live music and scientific debate await this year's festival-goers

There will be live science experiments, demonstrations and debate all weekend.

Science Directors Professors Teresa Anderson and Tim O'Brien say: "It's very exciting to be hosting bluedot at Jodrell Bank again this year.

We've put together a fantastic science line-up that alongside the music and other culture gives bluedot its unique eclectic atmosphere.

We're looking forward to welcoming everyone to another amazing festival."


For more information on this year's festival, visit the bluedot website.


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