Rothamsted 175: Festival of Ideas

As part of Rothamsted Research’s 175th anniversary a celebratory Festival of Ideas weekend was staged which welcomed the general public into their offices in Harpenden to showcase the important scientific work they’re doing looking to the future of sustainable food production.

This 3-day event in June 2018 was free and open for all, and included 35 individual science exhibits across ten zones, six tours, two displays and a programme of “Talk tent” activities in the Rothamsted Conference Centre.

More than 8,000 people came along with universally positive feedback which highlights the demand for knowledge about science, especially when communicated in engaging and creative ways.

One visitor said “My festival highlight was the incredible displays with so many experts on hand who could really answer the questions and were passionate about their work.”

We were asked by the Communications Team to create the overall branding look and feel, and worked in collaboration with them, and the various different science groups, to design each of their bespoke exhibits.

A 20-page programme was also crafted (including 3 maps) to ensure navigating your way around the site was simple and enjoyable. The programme also doubled as a “passport” for children to collect Festival stamps from each of the exhibits.

79.5% of respondents rated the festival excellent, and 68% said “I enjoyed the way the science was presented.”

1,031 new followers were gained on social media by the end of the event, and 725 Festival-related posts were shared on social media between March and June.