Norwich is a “world leader” in science - first ever city-wide festival begins

Launch of Norwich Science Festival at the Forum.Dr Dee Enay and Helium Helen.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Launch of Norwich Science Festival at the Forum.Dr Dee Enay and Helium Helen.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Norwich has fast become a 'world leader' in science as the first ever city-wide science festival launched yesterday with hundreds of children thronging The Forum.

The two-week festival aims to celebrate the huge advances in scientific fields that have been made through collaborations between Norwich Research Park, the UEA, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and many more.

Hosted by The Forum, a four day free learning programme opened the festival, with students from schools around the city immersing themselves in experiments.

Officially opening the festival, Forum chief executive Tim Bishop said he hoped it would be the first of many. 'The city I first came to was all about heritage,' he said. 'Norwich Research Park was a dream and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital did not exist as we know it now.

'Move forward 30 years and there is a real sense of a place that has been transformed. We have people like [Dame] Caroline Dean of the John Innes Centre, a world leader in science based here in Norfolk. We have world leading science here and many of us don't know about it.'


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He added: 'This is an event with lots of dimensions. We are delighted that two days of the festival are focusing on environmental issues in the Festival of Nature.'

Norwich Research Park chief executive Sally-Ann Forsyth added she was excited about the 'science and innovation' in the region which will be celebrated.

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'Agriculture is really where Norfolk has led the way in science,' she said. 'They didn't know they were scientists at the time, but through observation and experimentation they introduced crop rotation. Norfolk is also famous for having two Nobel prize winners, and it still leads the way. Science is very important to innovative small businesses which have thrived despite the current economic downturn we are seeing.

'Approximately one third of working people in Norfolk are involved in businesses with some science element to them. We also have one of the largest life science clusters in Europe in the Norwich Research Park, which has 12,000 employees and is a fantastic engine for the region.

The Forum is the hub venue for the Festival with events also planned at the Norwich Playhouse, OPEN and the Norwich Arts Centre. It runs until October 30 and is being organised by The Forum with the support of partner organisations.

Details about events and ticket information can be found at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk

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