The x-change at the British Science Festival 2012

Project aims:

The x-change aims to bring the best, most exciting and most controversial speakers from the British Science Festival together into one daily show. Part science, part cabaret, the show includes in-depth current research, music and lively demonstrations.


The x-change was brought about to bring the best speakers from the British Science Festival together in one informal and entertaining show.

Summary of activity:

I managed and produced the project. Inthe months leading up the Festival I pre-booked speakers for both the live show and the supplementary x-tra’s. during the Festival I managed four volunteers as they helped produce the live shows. I also conducted several of the one-on-one interviews for the x-tras.

Evaluation approach:

The project was evaluated using feedback forms given to the audience, as well as the volunteers who helped produce the show. Evaluation forms were used for each show, so that they were taylored to the performances given on that day.

What went well:

1. The Speigeltent worked extremely well as a venue for the live show, providing a relaxed and informal atmosphere where the audience could enjoy a drink and their lunch

2. Booking speakers in advance proved to be useful due to the Festival being in Aberdeen and the event being held at lunchtime.

3. By having the show at lunch time, it avoided clashes with star speaker events, meaning that we could have them on the x-change too which was great!

What was learned:

1. That you can never do enough marketing and advertising

2. How to manage a group of people

3. How to produce a live show

Top tips and advice for others

1. Make sure you are organised and book speakers well in advance

2. Have back-up speakers just in case

3. Make sure the speakers are organised and have everything they need well before the start of a show

About the contributor

Julie Gould
British Science Association

I am the Science in Society Assistant at the British Science Association, and am about to embark on a new adventure, studying for an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London. I have pre…

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