Local Events

Join our local celebration of British Science Week which runs every March. It’s the biggest event that we co-ordinate each year and the programme for the week is always packed with science activities and events aimed at all ages. There are opportunities to visit places and do and see things you may not have previously.
All events are FREE and open to all ages, unless otherwise stated.

Saturday 9th March: Science Busking

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Broad Street (outside M&S), Reading

Explore all sorts of weird and wonderful science facts up close.

Our Sci Busking team will be on hand to talk you through the amazing demonstrations and the science behind what you’ll see! 

Come along and see some fun science in action.

Saturday 9th March: Slime Science

Time: 10.30am- 12noon

Location: Tilehurst Library

Make Slime to take home and learn about the science of slime. Suitable for ages 6+ with a £1.50 charge to cover materials.

Saturday 9th March: Fire, Fire, Burning Bright

Time: 10am – 1pm

Location: Harris Gardens (meeting at Archaeology Building), University of Reading Whiteknights Campus

Of all the ancient human technologies fire is perhaps the most evocative, and a critical part of the human evolutionary journey. It is also one of the hardest to detect! This free event from the Department of Archaeology will showcase ongoing experimental research that is exploring early campfire technologies and testing a variety of methods for detecting fire half a million or more years ago, during the expansion of humans into northern Europe.

Admission free. Booking required.

Sunday 10th March: Why are plants smelly?

Time: 12noon – 3pm

Location: Harris Gardens, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus 

Ever sniffed a plant, whether nice or nasty and wondered: why do plants smell? Well, wonder no more, we have just the thing for you – our “why are plants smelly” British Science Week event. Total immersion in smelly plants, both sweet and stinky, scratching and sniffing them, discussing the chemical basis of the aromas, their roles in plant defence and pollination, and the human dimensions: food, medicines and health. Join us for a botanical aromatic extravaganza for all the family!

Admission free but spaces are limited. Booking is required, please email info@readingbotany.net. This event is designed for families with children aged 7+.

Sunday 10th March: Mindful Nature Walk

Time: 11am – 12noon and 3 – 4pm

Location: Harris Gardens, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus 

Join us for a peaceful walk around the award winning Green campus of the University where you are guided around the lake, wood and Harris Gardens to take in the wonderful flowers, trees and wildlife.

The meeting point for this walk will be the gates to the Harris Gardens and please note that the paths can be quite muddy this time of year so please wear appropriate footwear.

Admission free but spaces will be limited for safety reasons.

Monday 11th March: Science of Superheroes

Time: 7.30pm – 9pm

Location: Downstairs at Outlook Pub 76-78A Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ

Join us, in collaboration with Crunch Comics, for an evening of the science behind superheroes with Paul Cornish, science communicator and comic book enthusiast.

Paul will take us on an adventure exploring the science behind the lesser known superheroes- such as Red Bee and Chunk- and open your eyes to their amazing powers!

Book in advance or buy on the door (subject to availability). £2 in advance and £2.50 on the door. With every ticket you will get 5% off your next purchase at Crunch Comics; the offer expires at end of April 2019.

Monday 11th March: Pub Quiz Take Over at Oakford Social Club

Time: 8pm – 10pm

Location: Oakford Social Club, 53 Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1PZ

Hosted by OSC Quiz Mistress Kate this is no ordinary pub quiz. The quiz requires thinking outside the box, a sense of humour, minimal general knowledge and perhaps a penchant for drinking.

We will be taking over a few rounds of the quiz this week so brush up on your science general knowledge!

£1 per person to play. Max 8 per team.

Tuesday 12th March: Reading Geek Night

Time: 8pm – 9.30pm

Location: Upstairs at Walkabout, Wiston Terrace (off Friar Street) Reading RG1 1DG

Come join the Geeks of Reading for a night of interesting talks on Artificial Intelligence: Fact and Fiction from Martin Millmore of Oracle AI and Working to a different beat: the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce from Abi Moorcock. Join us for talks, networking and drinks.  Admission is free and there is no need to book!

More information can be found at https://rdggeeknight.wordpress.com/

Wednesday 13th March: Cafe Scientifique: In a piece of Chalk

Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Location: Smokin’ Billy’s, 61 St Mary’s Butts, Reading RG1 2LG

Join a double bill talks this evening about fossils- from the large to the small. First off we have Dr Katie Cooper talking about Mary Anning, often cited as the first female palaeontologist, and her ground breaking discoveries. Then Prof. Bridget Wade presents “In a piece of chalk” where she will be talking about the microscopic fossils which make up chalk and what secrets they can tell us about life on Earth millions of years ago.

Talks start at 7.30pm but Smokin’ Billy’s is open from 6pm and offers a 20% discount on food ordered before 7pm on Cafe Sci evenings. Visit the website for the full menu.

Admission is free and there is no need to book!

Wednesday 13th March: Great Debate: Can new technologies transform healthcare?

Time: 8pm – 9.30pm

Location: G11, Henley Business School, University of Reading Whiteknights Campus

The increasing adoption of digital technology has resulted in fundamental changes in many industries. Yet healthcare, which represents about 10% of global GDP, has lagged other sectors. This is about to change as big data and artificial intelligence will deliver improvements in diagnosis and treatment that will increase health care’s reach, efficiency, accuracy and reduce waiting time for patients.

Technological advances offer significant opportunities to improve healthcare and have the potential to deliver significant value for the NHS. This year’s Great Debate will provide an update on the latest technology advances to deliver these benefits.

There will be four presentations as below, followed by a debate and Q&A.

    1. Human-Computer Interaction
    2. Digital Health innovation at the NHS Frontline: Transformation and reality checks
    3. Using AI to improve clinical effectiveness
    4. Ensuring new technologies are introduced effectively and safely

Admission free but booking is necessary

Thursday 14th March: MERL Lates: More than Human

Time: 7pm – 10pm

Location: Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road, 
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX

This Late explores the non-human countryside, showcasing research and creative practice from the University of Reading and beyond. Join us for an evening of weather, wildlife, livestock, machinery, plants, and much more. Avoid people at our silent disco. Buy an inhumanly tasty cocktail from our pop-up bar. Visit Sire, Maria McKinney’s absolute unit of an art intervention. Come along and help us make the unpopular popular.

Book in advance or buy on the door (subject to availability)
£4 in advance (£3 students and concessions) / £5 (£3.75) on the door

Please note this event is suitable for aged 18+ only. For more information visit the MERL website.

Thursday 14th March: A Night of Science, with talks, music and refreshments

Time: 6.30pm – 10.30pm

Location: Basingstoke Discovery Centre, 19/20 Westminster House, Festival Place, Basingstoke RG21 7LS

An evening of different talks and performances about science:

6.30pm – Born to Sum – a Mathematician Explains the Pop Charts. A musical performance by singing maths-comedian Kyle D Evans.

7pm: The Electric Universe, a unique and controversial talk on astronomy by Paul Malone

7.30pm – Brain Glue – Sticking it to Dementia. A talk with neuroscientist Dr Mark Dallas (Reading University).

8.30pm: The Theory of Relativity, a talk by Emma Osborne

Tickets are £5 to attend one talk – £8 to attend two talks of your choosing. Booking in advance via their website.

Friday 15th March: Friday Fledglings

Time: 10am – 11.30am

Location: Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road, 
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX

Discover the benefits of outdoor learning! Come and join in outdoor activities inspired by the themes and collections of the museum and this week by the theme of British Science Week- Journeys.  Enjoy outdoor play and explore the natural environment. Each session involves story-telling, craft activities and singing.

Children and adults must dress for the weather! (We have a small number of children’s waterproofs and wellies for you to borrow if necessary.)

Suitable for families with children under 5 years old and tickets are £4 per child (includes a drink and a snack).

For more information visit the website

Friday 15th March: Schrodinger’s Hat

Time: 8.30pm – 10.30pm

Location: Smokin’ Billy’s, 61 St Mary’s Butts, Reading RG1 2LG

The Free Radicals return with a new episode of our improvised comedy science showcase – Schrödinger’s Hat, the show that mashes together real science and improvised comedy theatre. Our guest speaker is research engineer James Leech who is a specialist in computer vision. At the heart of the performance will be an engaging and informative talk from James entitled “Artificial Intelligence: Power drill for the mind.” The players won’t have heard the talk before and, with no rehearsal or script, the players take the themes of the talk and produce a truly astonishing comedic journey of the imagination.

See the Free Radicals as improvised comedy meets peer reviewed science. Anything could happen… and most probably will.

Tickets £5 up to 24 hours in advance, or £6 on the day.

SPECIAL MEAL DEAL – Get a 2-course meal at Smokin’ Billy’s BBQ + 1 show ticket – £15. Choose the Food & Beverage ticket type. Visit the website for the full menu. Note: you must arrive by 7.30pm to allow enough time to eat before the show.

Saturday 16th March: Be a Scientist!

Time: 10am- 12.30pm

Location: Caversham Library

Free drop-in session for growing minds! Let Dr Phil show you the wonders of Kitchen Chemistry & help make a Hungry Caterpillar display.

Saturday 16th March: Brains!!

Time: 10am- 1pm

Location: Palmer Park Library

Family craft and game suitable for all ages. Make a Brain hat and learn about the different parts of the Brain. Play the memory game and see how good your memory is.

Saturday 16th March: Weather Rescue Hack-A-Thon

Time: 1pm – 3pm and 3pm – 5pm

Location: Work.Life Reading, 33 King’s Rd, Reading RG1 3AR

This year the British Science Week’s citizen science project originates in part from University of Reading. To honour this, we are running our first hack-a-thon event!

Come along and get involved in the project. You will also have the opportunity to hear more about the motivations behind the project and how the data will be used from the scientists behind the project. We will have experts on hand to answer your weather and climate related questions.

Admission is free but booking is required. Please note that we cannot provide laptops so you will need to bring your own devices (the platform works on both laptops and tablets). Light refreshments will be provided.

Saturday 16th March: Geolab

Time: 10am – 4pm (Registration from 9.30am)

Location: Wargrave Church Hall, Wargrave, Reading RG10 8EU

The Reading Geology Society, in association with the Geologists Association, would like to invite you to a ‘Geolab’ day. The morning will consist of a fun and interactive introduction to geology, held in the Wargrave Church Hall. In the afternoon there will be a field visit to the Wargrave Chalk Pit during which there might be an opportunity to see and collect some fossils as well as learn about the rocks and events which have shaped the local landscape.

The ‘Geolab’ day will be subsidised, however a small charge of £10 per adult and £5 per child (7-15 years) is being made to help meet the cost of the Hall hire, hot drinks and the tutors’ expenses. All children and young adults under the age of 18 must be accompanied by, and under the supervision of, a responsible adult.

Places are limited and must be booked in advance. For more information or to book a place, please see Field Meetings on our website

Saturday 16th March: Beekeeping day

Time: 10am – 4.30pm

Location: Caversham Methodist Church, 272 Gosbrook Rd, Reading RG4 8EB

The day is a series of talks about different aspects of beekeeping and there are some stalls and refreshments. Lectures cover: Queen Rearing for the Small Beekeepers, Making Beeswax Wraps, Safe Movement of Bee hives and Oil Seed Rape- a blessing or a curse.

More details can be found on the website. This event is open and free to all, no need to register.

Saturday 16th March: To see the beginning of time 

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Location: St. Peter’s Church Hall, Earley

The Reading Astronomy Society’s monthly talk is from Andrew Lound of Odyssey Presentations. The Hubble Space telescope is giving humankind a view of the universe never even imagined. From dust clouds to star studded galaxies our minds have been opened to a universe that blends outstanding beauty with mind- boggling scales. Looking into deep space we are looking ever further back in time as it takes the light from the most distance objects many millions of years to reach the mirror of the Hubble. This lecture is illustrated by some of the most beautiful natural images one will ever see and is accompanied by music and high quality video. Sit back, relax and let your mind drift into the far reaches of the universe.

After the coffee break the usual announcements and members activities. Admission is free and there is no need to book!

Sunday 17th March: Tour of Reading’s Wind Turbine 

Time: 11am – 12.30pm

Location: Wind Turbine Visitor Centre, Green Park

A great opportunity to learn about the operation of a wind turbine with a presentation on what it does and how it does it. Complete with experiments for children and a question and answer session.

For details on the wind turbine and how to get to Green Park, visit: http://my.greenpark.co.uk/wildlife-and-environment/wind-turbine-visitor-center

Admission is free, but places are limited. Contact Ian Gough to register your attendance at: greeneducation@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.nrgreduced.com/contact.

AND… calling all schools and community groups: contact Ian and you can arrange your own private visit at a time and date of your choosing.

Sunday 17th March: Sunday Assembly: Fossils and Forgotten Women 

Time: 10.30am – 1pm

Location: The Reading Irish Centre, 96-104 Chatham St, Reading, RG1 7HT

The Sunday Assembly is a secular congregation that celebrates life. This week Dr Katie Cooper will be talking about the Forgotten Women of Palaeontology Mary Anning and exploring her legacy, 

Sunday Assembly Reading is free to attend and runs entirely on donations. Expect great music, a great talk, and welcomes all, of all ages and of all backgrounds.Save