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The FUTURES festival of discovery is back! Take part in this unique public engagement festival dedicated to showcasing research and innovation as part of the European Researchers’ Night projects. FUTURES2020 engaged more than 40,000 people, and this September, FUTURES2021 is going to be even bigger.

Our programme will include online events and in-person activities at a number of major cultural venues in Plymouth. There are also opportunities to take part in activities led by the other universities in the FUTURES consortium: Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol and Exeter.

University of Plymouth researchers across sciences and the humanities are invited to showcase their innovative projects as part of this year's festival. Our events will be shaped in collaboration with the chosen researchers with a particular focus on topics such as history, health, the environment, marine, robotics, global challenges and the arts.

Learn more about getting involved...

Researcher expression of interest form

See our FUTURES2020 events and online resources

For any queries, please email Grace Williams, Public Engagement Manager 

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Today's events

Cross-consortium activities

The Big Regional Family Quiz – Online; led by University of Plymouth

Friday 25 September 2021, 19:00–20:00

This family quiz will be hosted online and will close the FUTURES 2021 programme by celebrating the wide range of research at the participating universities. Researchers from across the consortium will have the opportunity to contribute questions to rounds relating to science and the humanities. Interested researchers will be asked for a brief description of their research area and the organisers will then select participants to ensure a balance of topics. The selected researchers will then be asked to propose a small number of quirky or amusing (and not too difficult) questions, each with multiple choice answers, and will be pre-recorded saying a few lines about their research and asking the questions.

FUTURES on Air – Community radio stations across SW England; led by University of Bath and University of Exeter

Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September 2021, 10:00–22:00  

Collaborating with community audio producers Stellaria Media, FUTURES on Air will co-create a series of radio shows with community groups from across the South West of England. This will create relevant and engaging content that connects research and innovation with people’s lives and interests. We will work with the diverse network of community radio stations to engage their community programme makers and diverse audiences to identify topics they are interested in and match them to researchers from across the consortium partners to co-create programmes that will air across the region during European Researchers’ Night. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to signal their interest in taking part.

The FUTURES Science Show Twitter; led by University of Bath

Friday 25 September 2021, 12:00–18:00

Using Twitter, researchers will share their research, answer participants' questions and share demonstrations in a digital science show. Based on its success at FUTURES2020, the FUTURES Science Show will feature researchers from across the participating universities taking over the Global Science Show account throughout the day in slots and engaging users with their research. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to signal their interest in taking part.

Nature-gram Instagram; led by University of Bath

Young adults aged 18–34 are less well-served in engagement with environmental sciences, with a more traditional focus on families and children. Nature-gram will see environmental researchers from across the five consortium universities collaborate with nature-based Instagram content creators to reach and engage young adults digitally with their research. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to signal their interest in taking part.

Ask me Anything – Reddit; led by University of Bath

Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September 2021

Researchers from the consortium will run ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions through the online forum Reddit (234 million users). This activity will provide an adult audience with the opportunity to participate in open discussions with researchers around cutting-edge research taking place in the region and its impact on their daily lives. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to signal their interest in taking part.

I’m an EU Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! – Online; led by University of Bristol  

24 September – 8 October 2021

In this EU edition of the popular science engagement activity I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here!, young people across the South West will interact directly with MSC Fellows and other EU-funded researchers from across the consortium, asking anything they like about their work, their interests and how they became scientists. Participants vote for their favourite, and the winner is announced during a final live chat open to all on the night. The winner will receive £500 of funding for further public engagement activity.

Discover and Discuss – Online; led by University of Bristol

17–24 September 2021

Researchers from across the consortium working in STEM, the arts and humanities will develop activity resources for use in primary schools with disadvantaged intakes. Classes will complete each activity and then participate in a webchat with the researcher who created it. These webchats will last up to 45 minutes and provide an opportunity for the researcher to discuss the activity and to answer questions about their research, how and why they became a researcher, and what it is like to be a researcher. This will enable pupils to engage with research and role models, express their curiosity and consider research as a career. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to take part. The activity resources could also be adapted for inclusion in DO Try this at Home.

DO Try This At Home – Online; led by University of Bristol

17–25 September 2021

DO Try This At Home aims to enable families to engage with research before or during European Researchers’ Night in their own time and using simple materials they can source themselves. You can contribute to DO Try This At Home by producing downloadable resources or online resources/activities. We expect most resources will be aimed at young people, but it’s possible to produce activities aimed at adults or that require adult supervision. The resources will be hosted on the DO Try This At Home section of the FUTURES2021 website and will be promoted to youth groups and using forums for parents. Individual researchers and project teams are welcome to take part.

FUTURES2021 is funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and delivered collaboratively by the University of Bath, Bath Spa University, the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 101036029.

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.