The x-change 2010

Project aims:

Create a series of entertaining debate-style shows at the British Science Festival


Using a team of volunteers, visit a wide range of Festival speakers and recruit them to appear on that night's show.

Create the show 'on the fly' to create an unpredictable, unique experience

Engage a general adult audience with Festival science in a relaxed setting and give them the opportunity to debate with scientists

Summary of activity:

A team of 5 volunteers and a journalist mentor/presenter created and marketed the show at the British Science Festival at Aston University by attending a wide range of Festival talks and recruiting speakers to appear at the evening session in one of the university bars.

Evaluation approach:

Evaluation cards and 'graffitti' posters were used to gather audience opinion - also, a formal, internal evaluation was conducted.

You can read the full evaluation here:

View the x-change yearbook here:

What went well:

1. Wide range of speakers were sourced by volunteers

2. Entertaining shows - speakers and host were excellent

3. Excellent feedback from audience

What was learned:

1. Our volunteers were amazing - used tremendous initiative to make the event a success

2. Be sure to check the venue thoroughly and befriend the bar people, security and site staff as they can be invaluable (especially if something is not going entirely to plan)

3. Enjoy the surprises that doing an event like this will bring

Top tips and advice for others

1. Don't be afraid of doing events at such short notice - it's a lot of work but can be worth it!

2. Events that sound unlikely can sometimes prove to be the most exciting - especially if the speaker is 'let loose' outside of the normal lecture setting!

3.Have a mixture of speakers from lectures, science show presenters doing demos and mass audience participation - try and get as wide a variety as possible to keep it interesting!

4. An experienced host is invaluable and will keep it all together

About this project



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About the contributor

Toby Shannon
British Science Association

I'm a Science in Society Officer at the British Science Association. I work with the Science in Society team organising the annual Conference, Media Fellowship Scheme and the x-change at the British S…

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