18th September 2009
A delegation led by Aston University unveiled the British Science Festival 2010 to the nation’s press at a reception held on Wednesday 9 September at the University of Surrey, home of this year’s Festival.
The 2010 Festival will be held in Birmingham between 14-19 September, with Aston University as the lead partner, and this was the first opportunity for journalists and other stakeholders to find out more about the plans for the event.
Stewart Comfort, Aston’s Director of Marketing, welcomed guests and spoke about the City of Birmingham’s delight at hosting the event next year, and becoming a semi-permanent home for the Festival, as it will return to Birmingham every four years from 2010 onwards.
He said, ‘This is a very exciting opportunity for Birmingham and for the wider West Midlands region. We very much look forward to having the chance to show you, and the rest of the world the world class scientific research, innovation and development that is happening in Birmingham and in the West Midlands region.’
The theme for the 2010 Festival has been confirmed as ‘Better Lives Through Science’, as chosen by incoming President of the British Science Association, Lord David Sainsbury. The Festival will feature a wide range of topics, with a focus on the region’s major science strengths as identified by Birmingham Science City. These are: digital media, healthcare technology, translational medicine, energy, sustainability, transport and advanced materials.
The press reception was held at the University of Surrey, Guildford, where the 2009 British Science Festival took place, and was attended by approximately 50 journalists from various leading printed and online media.
Saudi Aramco sponsored the event and confirmed that they will be lead sponsor of the 2010 Festival. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil corporation and also operates the world’s biggest single hydrocarbon network. The company already has strong links with Aston. The University has been accepting students from Saudi Aramco’s Career Development Department for the past five years, and currently has 62 Aramco students on a range of programmes in Aston Business School and the School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Birmingham was also represented at the event by several key partners, including Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham Science City, Marketing Birmingham, Birmingham City University, the University of Birmingham, and ThinkTank, which is co-ordinating the Young People’s Programme for the Festival. Aston is also grateful to Birmingham City Council for producing a briefing document for journalists about the region’s scientific strengths.
For more information on the British Science Festival 2010, please visit www.britishscienceassociation.org/festival
Photo caption: From left to right: Mr. Stewart Comfort, Director of Marketing at Aston University; Mr. Brian Leighton, Controller & Treasurer at Aramco Overseas Company B.V.; Professor Patrick Dowling, Chair of the British Science Association and Mr. Philip Wilson, Director of Development at the British Science Association.