Researchers funded by the AHRC Science in Culture Theme will contribute to Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities which runs across the UK from 15th to 23rd November.

Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities aims to engage people across the UK with innovative research. Over 35 research institutions from across the UK will be participating in the festival, with activities being held in museums, galleries and cultural and community centres, and even caves. The full events listings can be found on the Being Human website (opens in a new window).

Science in Culture Theme contributions to the Festival programme include:


Chicken Nuggets: a history of the world in 100, Vindolanda Trust, Hexham,

Featuring researchers from the AHRC-funded Scientific and Cultural Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions project, this event highlights the centrality of animals in the human past and present, and how human-animal relationships have changed in recent history.

Taking over the Roman museum, research block, café and grounds of the Vindolanda Trust, researchers will present a day of activities exploring the place of chickens in human culture.

Talks, hands-on activities, and tasting sessions across the site will make clear the important role these creatures have for future human and animal health, well-being and environmental sustainability.


Conversations on Nature: Science and the Public in the Victorian Age and Now, University of Leicester, Leicester

This open, hands-on demonstration will recreate a Victorian ‘conversazione’: one of the most important forums in which the public engaged and contributed to science in the Victorian age.

In the Special Collections Centre of the David Wilson Library at the University of Leicester, the event will focus on scientific images that helped make new approaches to nature accessible to broad audiences, both in the nineteenth century and now.  Presented by researchers from the AHRC-funded Constructing Scientific Communities project, it will demonstrate both the range and often exquisite beauty of Victorian natural history illustrations, as well as the different formats in which nature was put on display in the nineteenth century.


People Power, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

A ‘museum late’ at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford organised by AHRC funded Constructing Scientific Communities project: this event will showcase the dynamic world of citizen science.

Through short talks, quizzes and interactive sessions, visitors can discover how members of the public participate in science today, how they have done so in the past, and how citizen science is changing the humanities.


The Hidden Senses- the secrets of taste and smell, Science Museum Dana Centre, London

Experience a day of activities that will challenge your understanding of your senses of taste and smell.

Members of the AHRC funded Rethinking the Senses: Uniting the Philosophy and Neuroscience of Perception team will present examples of multisensory interactions such as the importance of the visual appearance of food, tasting without smell, and the sound of strawberries. This will give the public the opportunity to see, smell, and taste how philosophers and scientists are working together to better understand how these senses contribute to our daily lives.

Activities will include interactive experiments, talks and demonstrations, and ‘The Lab’, a separate testing area created to show how taste and smell are tested in the laboratory.


From the Dark Ages to Dark Matter, Durham Cathedral and Ushaw College, Durham University

Who are we? Why do we exist? What is the universe?

Join the Ordered Universe project team to explore these fundamental questions in an encounter between medieval and modern science, through the writings and imagination of the famous medival scientist Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170–1253). Enjoy a day-long workshop at Durham Cathedral with medieval specialists and modern scientists, and unlock the secrets of the medieval universe, the medieval ‘big bang’ and the medieval explanation for rainbows. This event will be chaired by popular science journalist Michael Brooks.


Find out more about the festival on the Being Human Festival website and follow the latest news about the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest  (hashtag #BeingHuman14).