FUTURES festival returns for 2021

Posted in: Doing Public Engagement

FUTURES  is back! After successfully securing its biggest ever grant from the European Commission, the FUTURES research engagement festival is back for another year as part of European Researchers’ Night.

Funding success

Since 2018, FUTURES has seen 750 researchers from Bath Spa University, University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Exeter and University of Plymouth engage with over 45,000 people from across the region both in-person and online.

Building on this success, the FUTURES team has secured its' biggest funding investment from the European Commission to deliver a programme of over 30 activities across the South West as part of European Researchers’ Night 2021 on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September 2021.

Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath Helen Featherstone commented:

We are thrilled we're able to run FUTURES again this year and work with all our partners to create a programme of activities that engages people with the exciting research taking place across our region. I would also like to thank the European Commission for their continued support of FUTURES which clearly reflects quality of the engagement opportunities we've developed.


FUTURES2021 will engage communities across the cities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth, and the wider areas of Devon and Cornwall with research in fun, entertaining, and inspiring ways. We are developing a programme of exciting activities including hands-on experiments, science shows, games, quizzes, competitions, exhibitions and digital activities. Across the South West, researchers will head out into aquariums, botanic gardens, museums, pubs, shopping centres, the streets and visitor attractions to share their work. And taking our learning from FUTURES2020 we'll be creating a range of activities for online and remote participation to reach people who may not be able to join us in-person.

Highlights of FUTURES2021 programme

Highlights of the programme include an Up-Late takeover of the S.S. Great Britain, Adventure Lab - a walking performance around the City of Bath with Kilter Theatre, and the Festival of the Sea featuring music and drama performances, talks and demonstrations in Lyme Regis, with marine scientists and artists. There will also be a pop-up science shop in Exeter city centre, a family takeover of Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium and FUTURES on Air, a programme of co-produced community radio programmes between communities and researchers. There is much more planned, watch this space for the launch of the full programme in Summer 2021.

FUTURES2021 promises to be bigger than ever before. 

European Researchers' Night

FUTURES2021 is part of the European Researchers’ Night 2021 and is one of just three UK based projects of the 44 projects taking place in 24 European countries. The European Researchers' Night, funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, is a Europe-wide public event that brings researchers closer to the general public. The Night showcases the diversity of science and its impact on citizens’ daily lives, stimulating interest in research careers - particularly among young people.

Dean Veall is Deputy Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath

Posted in: Doing Public Engagement


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