Edinburgh Science Festival

Edinburgh has long been renowned as a place of learning, innovation and scientific achievement - so it's particularly appropriate that the capital was also the birthplace of the world's very first public science festival.

Edinburgh International Science Festival Gastrofest

The year was 1989 – Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was on hand to inaugurate a brand new addition to Edinburgh’s growing festivals line-up – The Edinburgh Science Festival.

Edinburgh Science Festival will return from 01 – 16 April 2023.

About the Edinburgh Science Festival

The Edinburgh Science Festival is the UK’s largest Science Festival and for 2 weeks each spring offers a range of amazing experiences for all ages, with a programme of exhibitions, events, workshops, performances, screenings and discussions between some of the world's foremost scientific minds.

The festival's programme takes over numerous venues across the city, including galleries, museums, gardens and more. In doing so, it delivers loads of fun, fascinating activities alongside serious and provocative science debates on subjects ranging from quantum physics to environmental ethics and everything in between (and beyond)!

Children (and grown-ups too) will love the interactive exhibitions and workshops where they can get their hands dirty while learning about the science behind spaceships, weather, dinosaurs, the human body and much, much more. Trained science educators will blow their minds with demonstrations of just how amazing the world can be.

Meanwhile, adults can look forward to a range of entertaining evening events including discussions, debates, performances, food and drink and hands-on experiences, plus lots of audience participation.

2023 - Let’s Experiment!

Science Festival 2023 Photo Credit Ian Georgeson(Image Credit Ian Georgeson)

Whether your interests lie in robotics, space, the diversity of life on earth, climate change or the deep oceans, each year’s programme offers something for everyone - and 2023 is no exception.

And what better way to get involved than to get hands-on. Celebrating the concepts of experimentation, innovation, creativity, curiosity, the theme of this year’s festival is Let’s Experiment!

Spread across 31 venues and locations around Edinburgh and with one-third of the programme free to access, it’s the perfect opportunity to release your inner scientist.

The Edinburgh Science Festival runs from 01 – 16 April 2023. View the full programme here >

Edinburgh Science Festival in the global community

The Science Festival also goes beyond the city of Edinburgh, with initiatives like its primary school education programme that tours Scotland, and, since 2011, its role as a content programming partner for the Abu Dhabi Science Festival.

The festival has also sent representatives, shows and workshops around the globe to the likes of destinations such as India, China, Germany and Brazil.


This page was created in collaboration with our friends at Festivals Edinburgh.

Edinburgh has a jam-packed festival schedule all year around. Whether you love the arts, are mad about science, or relish the thought of getting lost in a good book, there’s a festival for you. Take a look at our guide to Edinburgh’s Festivals >