Edinburgh Science Festival


The Science Festival returns 6–21 April 2019 with the theme of Frontiers.

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings, the 2019 Festival theme explores the boundaries of knowledge and the spirit of adventure and enquiry that drives science, technology, engineering and maths. Within this theme, specific areas of focus will include Healthcare Frontiers, Engineering Frontiers, Digital Frontiers, Environmental Frontiers and Planetary Frontiers.

During the Science Festival, Summerhall hosts art exhibitions, artist talks and interactive events for all ages. This year, you can enjoy the science of gin & tonic, explore Kombucha as a fashion option, peer inside a human heart and much more.

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What’s on…

  • Metamorphosis - launch

    Fri 05 Apr 2019

    Metamorphosis is a contemporary art exhibition co-curated by Summerhall and ASCUS Art & Science, showcasing new work of established and emerging, local and international artists Louise Mackenzie, Russell Beard, Stephen Kavanagh and Aurélie Fontan working across the fields of art, design and science.

  • Fragˈmɛnt (Terra non-firma)


    Emerging from the social, geo-political and environmental uncertainty of the 'Anthropocene' – Fraɡˈmɛnt (Terra non-firma) brings together two recent recipients of Lateral Lab's Robert Callender International Residency for Young Artists, Russell Beard and Stephen Kavanagh.



    Aurélie Fontan has been working at the Ascus Art & Science Lab for two years, researching and practicing biodesign with slime mould and kombucha, applied to fashion artefacts. Tensegrity demonstrates the positive combination of craft and technology.

  • Pithos


    Works in film, installation and participatory performance reimagine the myth of Pandora for the biotechnological era, tracing a path through Mackenzie's personal and subjective experience of genetically modifying E. coli bacteria to store a thought within their bodies.

  • Louise Mackenzie: Artist Talk

    Sat 06 Apr 2019

    Louise Mackenzie explores human behaviour and the evolution of society through art practice. Taking human-made objects as a starting point for exploration, we discuss Mackenzie’s recent work focusing on aspects of biological matter that she describes as ‘lively material’.

  • Aurelie Fontan

    Aurélie Fontan: Artist Talk

    Sat 06 Apr 2019

    Sustainable fashion designer Aurélie Fontan discusses her cutting edge garments inspired by science and biodesign and how these sustainable materials can reshape the industry.

  • Russell Beard

    Russell Beard: Artist Talk

    Sat 06 Apr 2019

    Join artist Russell Beard as he discusses his joint exhibition with Stephen Kavanagh presenting new sculptural works and the challenges emerging from the social geo-political and environmental uncertainty of the Anthropocene.

  • Science of the Sesh

    The Science of the Sesh

    Sat 06 Apr 2019

    Join us for an evening of delicious drinks, boozy (but responsible) experiments and cocktail history as we explore the Science of the Sesh!


    Tentacular Resonances | Workshop

    Sun 07 Apr 2019

    Artist Louise Mackenzie uses sound and new media to explore our entangled relationship with lively materials. Explore the material relationship between resonance and form through the technique of sonoporation – a means to alter the DNA of living organisms using sound.

  • Microfibres, Microorg...

    Mon 08 Apr 2019

    Join the conversation about fashion and sustainability, capture your own scientific imagery and explore how Kombucha, often more well known as a fermented drink, can be transformed into wearable fashion.

  • In Our Hands: Seeding Change

    Tue 09 Apr 2019

    All change begins with a story and In Our Hands is the story of the farmers who, through hope, hard-graft and sheer bloody mindedness are refusing to be victims of history.

  • #nofilter: Urine trouble!

    Tue 09 Apr 2019

    Chat to researchers from the University of Edinburgh about kidney health and how factors such as diet, lifestyle and age can effect kidney function, then get hands on with interactive experiments exploring this complex filtration system.

  • The Science of Gin and Tonic

    Tue 09, Wed 10, Tue 16 & Wed 17 Apr 2019

    Join Pickering’s Gin Co-Founder Matt Gammell in Summerhall Distillery for an abridged insight into the science of creating the perfect Gin & Tonic! Come and experience an in-depth, fast-paced distillery tour with practical demonstrations along the way.

  • What Makes Your Ticker...

    Wed 10 Apr 2019

    Explore what makes your ticker tick with this unique sensory and hands-on workshop.

  • Becoming Animal & Plastic...

    Thu 11 Apr 2019

    A nature film with a difference, Becoming Animal traces how we sense the 'more than human' world.

  • Egg by Paper Doll Militia

    Fri 12 Apr 2019 -  Sun 14 Apr 2019

    Weaving together personal testimony, live original music and stunning aerial artistry, Egg takes you on a highly visual exploration of female fertility, sexuality and choice, following the true story of a woman who gave her eggs to her friend to have a child.

  • Summerhall Tours

    Sat 13, Sun 14, Fri 19 & Sun 21 Apr 2019

    Visit Summerhall’s labs and lecture theatres and learn about the notable alumni who contributed to science around the world.