Engaging festivals

Science festival activities

Heriot-Watt University recognises the role that science and arts festivals play in making those subjects accessible to a wide audience and strengthening young people's learning

From the comedy of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the shores of Orkney for their International Science Festival, our academics share their enthusiasm for their research with those whom it affects. Some of the highlights of the past few years are showcased below; keep an eye on the Heriot-Watt events and news pages for updates on our activities.

Edinburgh festivals

Edinburgh is a hub for a range of festivals, with Heriot-Watt staff and students involved in many of them throughout the year. Each Easter, our staff and students take part in Edinburgh Science Festival, from public debates and panel discussions, to hands-on activities with our partners at the National Museum of Scotland and Dynamic Earth.

In 2018 and 2019, we were delighted to host our own Science Festival events on campus, with our Family Fun Days. These events transformed Oriam, Scotlands National Performance Centre for Sport, into a maraton of discovery, creating a day packed full of workshops and interactive events.

Thousands of our local communities joined our scientists and researchers on campus, with fun filled activities for the whole family. We have taken a break from this in 2020 and are exploring options for future events on campus to engage, inspire and educate. 

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at Edinburgh Fringe

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, brought to you by the Beltane Public Engagement Network is debate, discussion and discourse in the company of some of the fiercest intellects that Scotland has to offer – all within a yurt! The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas first ran at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, and has got bigger and better every year! 

The concept of the shows is simple; to get research out to the masses, beyond the university walls. Academics from different universities and organisations come together to create, write and perform individual shows, in which they try to make their expertise more accessible in a different context by discussing provocative and ‘dangerous’ topics.

Since 2013, an array of Heriot-Watt University researchers have taken to the stage to debate such topics of 'Hearing loss or Deaf gain', and 'What if Lance Armstrong had the right idea?'. In 2020, we will be exploring ways of delivering this interactive events online, so check out the HW Events site for more information

Key information

HW Engage