Cheltenham Science Festival 2017

As part of our strategic partnership with Cheltenham Festivals, College sponsored four events at the Science Festival, all of which were introduced by the girls. 

Marie Curie: A Celebration
Tuesday 6th June, 7.15pm - 8.15pm

Winning Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry, Marie Curie paved the way for nuclear physics and cancer therapy and transformed the role of women in science. To coincide with the 150th anniversary of Curie's birth, historian of science Patricia Fara talks to Vivienne Parry and explores the life, work and extraordinary legacy of one of science's greatest pioneers.

Ellen Stofan: Life beyond Earth
Saturday 10th June, 6.45pm - 7.45pm

With incredible images, NASA's former chief scientist Ellen Stofan consider the key conditions for life and where we should prioritise our search in coming decades.

Ellen Stofan: A journey through our solar system
Sunday 11th June, 10.00am - 11.00am

With incredible images from some of NASA’s great missions, Ellen Stofan, takes us on an exciting tour of our beautiful solar system. This is a family event (suitable for children aged eight and over).

Why do we laugh?
Sunday 11th June, 8.15pm - 9.15pm

Impressionist Jon Culshaw and cognitive neuroscientist and stand-up comedian Sophie Scott on a side-splitting dash through the science of cracking up as she explores what makes us giggle and why laughter is such a crucial part of the human experience.  

Speakers in College included:

Neuroscientist Professor Barbara Sahakian
Wednesday 7th June

Neuroscientist Professor Barbara Sahakian spoke to the girls about her festival events on the criminal mind and her research aimed at understanding the neural basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioural dysfunction.

Physicist Jim Al Khalili OBE
Thursday 8th June

Physicist Jim Al Khalili OBE spoke to the girls about his views on whether our universe is one of an infinite number and what’s like to bring physics to life on the radio and TV.

Engineer Roma Agrawal
Friday 9th June

Engineer Roma Agrawal spoke to the girls about what is was like to work on the Shard for six years and why she thinks engineering is a great combination of science and design.

Sports Scientist Steven Ingham
Friday 9th June

Steven Ingham, Sports Scientist and former Head of English Institute of Sport, spoke to the girls about training over 40 Olympic or World Medallists, including Jessica Ennis-Hill.

For more information please visit


Cheltenham Science Festival 2016

As part of College’s strategic relationship with Cheltenham Festivals, the girls experienced a fantastic science-focused week. They took advantage of over 150 tickets reserved by College for more than 30 events recommended by the College Science departments.

All LC2 girls experienced the Festival 'Discover zone' and were taken to an astonishing and innovative event called 'Brain Control live'. Five outstanding speakers came into College for intimate Q&A sessions that were open for all girls to attend, SFC1s had access to science representatives from a variety of universities and the Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Galactic talked to all of LC1 and LC3 about the future of commercial space travel. One girl, Maya Chawla (LC3), also talked to Tim Peake live on the International Space Station and posed the final question to him before his return to earth.

College sponsored four events and hosted a drinks reception for the CLC community before one of them. The Times Cheltenham Science Festival and Cheltenham Ladies’ College's Pioneers of Science Dinner in the Princess Hall was attended by many speakers, current SFC girls, staff, recent Guild studying STEM and medicine, and other members of the CLC community involved in science-related areas, including a Nobel prize winner. Guests were treated to a keynote speech from Professor Averil Macdonald OBE on the areas of focus and challenge for future pioneers.

Sponsored events included:

  • Olympians: The science of champions
  • Robert Winston - Homelab
  • Shakespeare and the new astronomy
  • Hannah Fry - the data of our lives

Speakers in College included:

  • Lord Robert Winston - IVF pioneer
  • Natasha Merat - expert on driverless cars
  • Mike Berners-Lee - expert on climate change
  • Rama Gheerawo - Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for design at the Royal College of Art
  • Stephen Attenborough - Chief Commercial Officer Virgin Galactic


Cheltenham Science Festival 2015

In 2015, College sponsored the following events at the Science Festival:

  • Mindfulness: 4.00pm-5.00pm, Wednesday 3rd June
  • Extreme Explorers, with Steve Backshall and Kenton Cool: 6.15pm-7.15pm, Saturday 6th June
  • Dinosaur Wars!: 12.00pm-1.00pm, Sunday 7th June
  • Feminism, sexism and bringing up girls, with Tanya Byron: 3.00pm-4.00pm, Sunday 7th June
  • Quantum Biology, with Jim Al-Khalili: 4.00pm-5.00pm, Sunday 7th June

Groups of LC1, LC2 and LC3 girls attended events in the Science for Schools programme's Discover zone, and took trips to main programme events, such as a talk by Brian Cox.

Girls benefited from exclusive events with biologist Professor Adam Hart and BBC producer Helen Roberts and College co-hosted the Festival dinner in the Princess Hall, attended by many eminent speakers, as well as our own staff, Guild members, current girls, parents and recent leavers.

For more information about Cheltenham Festivals, please visit