Otley Science Festival

Monday 5 November

10.30 – 11.30am – Families

1-2pm – Groups

Silly Science Toddler Time – THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT AT BOTH TIMES.

£3 per child, accompanying adults free

Children 5 and under

Our scientific extravaganza of fun filled activities for toddlers returns once again to the Courthouse. Let your child explore with their senses the scientific world around them. Laid on especially for the Courthouse by the Otley Children’s Centre, this is a very popular ticketed event with limited spaces, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Supported by Otley Town Council. 


Monday 5 November


£10 adults

£8 children

Age 7+

Marty Jopson: Invisible Worlds: A Microscopic Safari

Take a journey from everyday life, down into the realm of microscopic wonders with Marty Jopson, the BBC One Show’s resident scientist. The adventure begins with things you can almost see but soon you will find yourself in a world totally invisible to the unaided eye. Marty will take you from the very beginnings of microscopy, through hugely magnified insects, bacteria and plants to the most up to date fluorescent techniques demonstrated live on the stage. A show full of not just stunning images, but interactive demonstrations and samples harvested from the audience. You have been warned!   

This show is supported by Zeiss, global leaders in the manufacture of microscopes.   


Tuesday 6 November


£5 per person

Under 18s free

Festival Science Cafe

The perennial favourite of the Otley Science Festival returns once more to bring you a veritable cornucopia of science from three leading local academics, tackling virology, pain and exactly how you go about weighing a cloud. With each speaker given a quarter of an hour to talk there will be plenty of time afterwards for you to further grill them with questions and mingle over a drink.


Wednesday 7 November


£10 adults

£8 children

Age 7+

Matthew Tosh : Fireworks: Real Science or Just Bangs?


Internationally-recognised pyrotechnician Matthew Tosh introduces you to his magical and explosive world of pyrotechnic science. He unpicks the building blocks of firework displays to reveal how pyrotechnicians create colours, sound effects and perfectly timed bursts. Matthew will bring his fascination of how things work to the Otley Science Festival as he demonstrates how science, technology, engineering and mathematics ensure that displays are spectacular, accurate and safe for the public. The sights, sounds and smells of fireworks are all brought to life just a few metres from the audience in an experience guaranteed to thrill.  


Thursday 8 November



Otley Film Society members – free

The Shape of Water (cert 15, 123 mins, 2017) - Otley Film Society

From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro comes The Shape of Water, an otherworldly fable set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Winner of four Oscars including for Best Picture 2017.  


Friday 9 November

12.30 – 2pm

£7 including buffet lunch

Tickets are limited and pre-booking is essential.

Science Lunch: Serendipity and Suitcases: a physicist’s approach to new materials

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch then sit back and listen to Dr Peter Hine of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds as he talks about the challenges of making useful new polymer materials that are stiff, strong and light. It took inspiration, perspiration and a little bit of luck to move from a good idea to a product in the market.


Friday 9 November



Age 11+

Alice Roberts – Tamed: three species that changed our world 


Join Alice Roberts as she delves into archaeology, history and genetics to reveal the amazing stories of three wild species that became our allies.   

For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred: our ancestors began to tame other species. The human population boomed and civilisation began.   

In her book, Tamed, Alice Roberts uncovers the amazing history of familiar species with incredible wild pasts. In this talk, she tells the story of dogs, cattle and horses. She reveals how these animals changed as they became our allies and part of our world – essential to the survival and success of our own species.


Saturday 10 November

10am – 4pm

Free event.

Suitable for all ages

Otley Science Fair

Everyone’s favourite! Join local groups, regional museums and national organisations showing off the best of hands-on science in Yorkshire. From physics to biology and engineering to wildlife, come along to the Otley Courthouse for this year’s bustling science fair. There really is something for everyone, with stalls, demonstrations, workshops and experiments to have a go at.


Saturday 10 November


£12 adults

£10 children

Age 7+

Andrew Smyth: Bakineering In Space 

How can a retro dessert explain how astronauts safely return to Earth? What does molten sugar have to do with protecting against micro-meteorites? Join Andrew Smyth, aerospace engineer by day and baker by night, on a gastronomic journey into orbit. In this interactive talk, he will explore the surprising connections between everyday bakes and the extraordinary engineering that helps keeps astronauts alive in space. As a finalist on the Great British Bake Off in 2016, Andrew became a fan favourite for his outrageously engineered delicious creations. Now he is on a mission to inspire others about engineering, but with added cake. Expect to have your taste buds tantalized and your curiosity stirred, whisked and taken out of this world…  


Otley Courthouse is a unique development run by people in Otley, West Yorkshire. After an eight year development period we transformed a redundant nineteenth century magistrates court into a unique arts and resource centre for our community.

Find out about the history of Otley Courthouse by visiting the Heritage section of our website.


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Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, West Yorkshire LS21 3AN

Telephone: 01943 467466 email: admin@otleycourthouse.org.uk

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