Spectacular festival of science and arts takes over Southbank Centre to celebrate the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary

A unique ten-day festival, See Further: The Festival of Science + Arts, will bring visitors face-to-face with the UK’s finest science and the leading scientists and engineers behind it, as well as filling every corner of Southbank Centre with science-related arts events. The festival is being held in partnership with Southbank Centre to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, the UK’s leading academy of sciences and the world’s oldest continuous science academy.

The festival will run from 25 June to 4 July and will include music inspired by scientific discovery (including all four of the Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestras), dance, comedy, discussion, film, literature and art.  At the heart of the celebrations is the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition which will give visitors the opportunity to meet the UK’s leading scientists throughout the day and explore their work through interactive exhibits spanning topics from liquid crystals to leishmaniasis, and from the birth of Africa’s new ocean to morphing engineering structures.

As a result of this exciting partnership between the Royal Society and Southbank Centre, the festival will present the UK premiere of Icarus at the Edge of Time a collaboration between physicist and mathematician, Brian Greene, and composer, Philip Glass. Throughout the Festival, the whole of Southbank Centre’s site will be animated with performances, artworks and opportunities to interact, enthralling science fans of all ages including robotic AirPenguins, which will take to the sky in an ‘aviary’ installation in the Royal Festival Hall and giant life-size recreations of extinct pterosaurs outside.

Tickets will go on sale 22 March.

Other highlights include:

  • Eureka! The debut of three experimental pieces of music devised through a collaboration between the Philharmonia Orchestra’s affiliated composers and Royal Society scientists.
  • A Celebration of Life on Earth - workshops and performances combining evolutionary biology and classical music  for schools audiences organised through a partnership with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Professor Russell Foster FRS of the University of Oxford
  • Lectures and panel discussions by world-leading scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators and thinkers Tim Berners-Lee and, as part of Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival, Marcus du Sautoy.
  • Street Science – ‘science buskers’ will be out and about around Southbank Centre. Throughout the festival, they will be bringing their experiments into the open-air and offering passers-by the chance to try out some exciting science for themselves
  • Perfection of the Mind, the Body and the Machine– a series of three cross-disciplinary discussions on the theme of perfection curated by Dr Mark Lythgoe (UCL), Dr Ken Arnold and Dr Dan Glaser (Wellcome Trust) and Dr Mark Miodownik (Kings College London)
  • Film Science andFuture Human - seasons of science-themed films and documentaries in partnership with the British Film Institute
  • Southwark Splasha musical performance featuring 300 primary schoolchildren from the London Borough of Southwark telling tales of Black Holes and space travel