Edinburgh Science Foundation is an educational charity, founded in 1989, which operates Edinburgh Science's Education and Festival programmes. We are best known for organising Edinburgh’s annual Science Festival – the world’s first public celebration of science and technology as a festival and still one of Europe’s largest – as well as our science education outreach programmes, Generation Science and Careers Hive and our community engagement work.
Our mission is to inspire, encourage and challenge people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and understand the world around them. As leaders in our field of Science Communication, we work year-round to create and deliver dynamic hands-on workshops and exhibitions and inspirational shows, discussions, debates and performances that continually push the boundaries of public engagement with science. Communication and engagement is at the core of all our work and we strive to ensure that this is embedded in all aspects of our organisation.
Our 2021 Festival spanned Saturday 26 June – Sunday 11 July, and explored the theme of One World: Science Connects Us. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, we teamed up with over 120 speakers both online and in 30 venues across Edinburgh for a diverse programme of over 200 events, including outdoor exhibitions, tours and trails, workshops, discussions and family shows. In a year where we celebrated the role of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with our Women in STEM Street Art Trail, we are delighted that 60% of the artists and speakers who took part in our 2021 programme identify as women!
Our touring education programme Generation Science has been providing unique science experiences to schools across Scotland for 30 years. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, this year's programme was made up of pre-recorded workshops, loan kits and make-along boxes which were designed to get pupils out of their seats and involved. Secondary schools careers event Careers Hive was hosted this year on Gather, an interactive online digital platform. Over 2,400 students from over 30 Scottish schools took part in the event, which highlighted the opportunities available to those who study STEM subjects.
Edinburgh Science also operates a large-scale international programme of work under our Worldwide arm. It regularly presents events overseas and is currently the Major Programming Partner of the annual Abu Dhabi Science Festival, helping to curate, produce and deliver the event. For international partners, the team at Edinburgh Science provide engaging content, curatorial advice on programming and business planning support, along with expert staff and training for local science communicators.