Countdown to Be Curious 2020

The countdown has begun to our jam-packed programme for the online extravaganza that is Be Curious 2020!

There’s something for everyone to enjoy as part of Be Curious 2020

Be Curious 2020 programme preview. September 2020

Launching on Saturday 10 October with a full day of live events, the fifth annual instalment of the hugely popular Be Curious series runs until Friday 23 October.

With fun activities, challenges and inspiring evening talks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy as we showcase our world-leading research to colleagues and the wider public.

Free family-friendly fun is the order of the day for the launch date, with online activities running from 10am to 5pm. Take a trip to the deep ocean, see some unusual uses for ultrasound, tour the earth from space and let music sooth your mind… all from the comfort of your own home!

Voyage of discovery

Among the highlights is the Deep Ocean Lab – a voyage of discovery with Greg Foot, YouTuber and BBC TV and radio presenter. Rescheduled from his highly anticipated appearance at Be Curious in March, Greg will be taking us on an interactive and virtual dive into the deep, dark ocean.

Join Greg for the story of his scientific adventure at 11am on Saturday 10 October. Greg will show you the high-tech submersibles that took him down a crazy 1,000ft into the twilight zone. He’ll explain the importance of our oceans and – thanks to Greg’s work with the Blue Planet II team – uncover the effect we’re having on them.

Tickets for all live events are free but places are limited, so make sure you book via Eventbrite as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Be Curious 2020 programme preview. September 2020

TV presenter Greg Foot will take you on a virtual dive into the deep, dark ocean

Head of Public Engagement with Research, Dr Alexa Ruppersberg, said: “After our successful trial of going online in June with Be Curious Goes Virtual, we have now added a day of live events to the two-week programme.

“Staff have told us that more than ever they find it important to engage with people. Unfortunately, we still cannot have the face-to-face interaction our researchers love and that’s so hugely valued by our Be Curious visitors. But every big journey starts with the first step and taking things online also has advantages!”

Wow factor

It’s not just about live events though: staff from across the University have been busy preparing a huge range of fantastic submissions, which allows us to bring you two whole weeks of Be Curious fun! Every day during the event, we’ll be sharing two-minute wow-demonstrations – tackle at-home activities and amazing research-related digital jigsaws to give you an idea of just some of the exciting things we get up to at Leeds.

Try your hand at sewing, discover the science of soap, squash strawberries and learn about spider webs in your brain. Alternatively, you can have a go placenta-inspired printing, see if you have the nerve to conduct keyhole surgery, take part in a DNA decoding challenge and much more!

Feel free to pick and choose from an exciting list of demonstrations, but here’s a few tasters to whet your appetite:

  • We’ll be getting into some ‘Bubble Trouble’ with SCAPE PGR Vivian Barron, all in the name of learning about the science of soaps.
  • What do spider webs and our brains have in common? Find out with Natalie Doody, from the Kwok Lab, and take part in a fun task to help you understand using sweets!
  • Needle and thread at the ready… Dr Pammi Sinha, from the School of Design, will be showing you how to mend and repair clothes with very simple techniques.
  • While our researchers can’t get out to do fieldwork, Dr Adam Booth, from the School of Earth and Environment, is making up for it by taking us from glacier to garden and doing some backyard geophysics.
  • See how steady your hand is by trying some virtual keyhole surgery with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Surgical Technologies team.
  • Make food waste fun – Dr Jin Chu, from the School of Food Science, shows us how to make jelly worms from mandarin waste!

Be Curious 2020 programme preview. September 2020

Curio the fish, the Be Curious mascot, is the subject matter for one of the amazing research-related digital jigsaws

Tree-mendous fun

And whilst we can’t be on campus for this year’s event, our colleagues from Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) Centre and the United Bank of Carbon will be showing you how you can explore campus from home using their interactive tree map.

We’ve also got a menu of talks, podcasts and evening events for adults and older children. We’ll be celebrating the research of our PGRs with a special virtual edition of the Doctoral College’s Research Nights, joining Quantum Sauce for two fascinating Be Curious vid-casts, and getting climate-conscious with two exciting sessions:

The Climate Press presents: The Power of Collective Climate Action, Tuesday 20 October, 6.30-8pm 

Interested in local initiatives taking action against climate change? Join The Climate Press for The Power of Collective Climate Action, an online panel discussion with Professor Paul Chatterton (School of Geography), Zero Waste Leeds and Ergon Theatre Company. Register for your free ticket via Eventbrite.

Priestley Centre podcast – Moving Society to Net-Zero, Thursday 22 October

This special episode of the Climactic podcast tells the stories of the Leeds researchers helping to bring about a carbon neutral, socially just future. Simon Moore, from the Priestley International Centre for Climate, talks to three academics about their work in forest restoration, air quality in our cities and a wellbeing economy. Featuring Dr Cat Scott, Dr Kirsty Pringle and PhD researcher Jefim Vogel. No tickets required, just search for ‘Climactic’ on your favourite podcast provider!

BIB Breathes short film premiere, Thursday 22 October, 2pm on Twitter

Go behind the scenes at the Born in Bradford project and see how researchers are trying to understand where and when children are being exposed to pollution in Bradford. Meet some of the people who are working to reduce exposure to pollution, including local primary school children, who are acting as ‘citizen scientists’ on the project!

Shining a light!

And if that isn’t enough to put us in the spotlight, our very own Parkinson Building will be among seven iconic Leeds landmarks to be lit up by interactive rooftop laser displays from 22-24 October, as part of the city’s annual Light Night festival.

For the first time, members of the public will have the chance to control huge powerful lasers – mounted on the rooftops of the buildings – directly from their smartphone or computer. Using an interactive website, you can control the position, colour and shape of the lasers, which will be able to be seen for miles across the night sky.

Further information

View the full programme on the Be Curious website. All events are free but some require registration.

Follow along with the fun on the @UniLeedsEngage Twitter account and by using #BeCurious20.

Posted in: