Science, Nature and Comedy Festival

  • Location : National Botanic Garden of Wales, Middleton Hall, Llanarthne
  • More Info

The world’s first ever Science, Nature and Comedy Festival! 

The line-up for the world’s first Science, Nature and Comedy Festival – here at the Garden on Saturday and Sunday September 16-17.

Jim Al Khalili

Jim was born in Baghdad and is a theoretical physicist, TV broadcaster and author. He has presented the programmes ‘The Beginning And End Of The Universe’, ‘The Secrets of Quantum Physics’ and ‘Shock And Awe : The Secrets Of Electricity’. And, at 12 noon on the Saturday, Jim will be asking the question: “Is Life Quantum Mechanical?”

Robin Ince

Robin is a multi-award winning comedian and author. Along with Brian Cox he presents Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. Robin starts his next solo tour this autumn. Robin is performing at 1.30pm on the Saturday and 4pm on Sunday.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones is a professor of genetics at University College London. He appears frequently on radio and television and has delivered the BBC Reith lecture. See Professor Jones at 3pm on the Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

Sophie Scott

Sophie is a British neuroscientist and stand-up comedian. She is a Wellcome Trust Fellow researching the neuroscience of voices, speeches and laughter. Prof Scott will be giving the 2017 Royal Institution Christmas lectures on the evolution of language – and explain why gifs and emojis aren’t stupid. But, before that, see her at the Garden at 4.30pm on the Saturday and 2.30pm on the Sunday.

Hugh Warwick

Hugh Warwick is a hedgehog obsessive ever since a visit to The Orkney Islands in 1986. His books include ‘A Prickly Affair’ and ‘Linescapes’. Find out more at 4.30pm on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday.

Joanna Neary

Joanna won the Best Newcomer Award at The Edinburgh Festival in 2004. In addition to her solo stage shows she has appeared in Skins, Time Trumpet, Count Arthur Strong, Miranda, Green Wing and That Mitchell & Webb Look. She will be on stage at 12noon on the Saturday

AF Harrold

AF Harrold is a poet who performs for adults and children. He has been a poet in residence at both Glastonbury and Cheltenham festivals and is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas and one beard. Hear him at 3pm on Saturday and 2.30pm on Sunday.

Helen Arney

(Festival of The Spoken Nerd) Helen is the UKs premier geek songstress and has smashed a wine glass with her voice on Blue Peter and serenaded Jon Snow on Channel 4 News. She also presents science on BBC2s ‘Coast’ and The Discovery Channel. Helen’s in action at 12noon on Saturday

Matt Parker

Originally a maths teacher from Australia, Matt is the author of ‘Things To Make And Do In The Fourth Dimension’ which won The Euler Prize awarded annually to an outstanding book about mathematics. The important numbers are 1.30 on Saturday and and 1pm on Sunday.

Richard Osmond

Richard is a professional forager and poet based in Hertfordshire. His debut poetry collection ‘Useful Verses’ has been called “remarkable” by the author William Boyd. Richard will be foraging around the Garden’s estate, explore our amazing waxcap meadows and performing his poetry.

Brenna Hassett

Bioarchaeologist Brenna Hassey wrote the book ‘Built On Bones’ which is based on research of skeletal remains from around the world. Brenna is a member of TrowelBlazers. See her at 1.30pm on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday.

Will Ashon

Will founded the record label Big Dada in the process of winning The Mercury Prize on two occasions. He has had two novels published by Faber & Faber and his latest book ‘Strange Labyrinth’ deals with the poets, outlaws, mystics and murderers who have inhabited Epping Forest. Find out more on Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 1pm.

Penderyn Whisky

Come and find out how Penderyn whisky is made. The Penderyn distillery produces award-winning whiskies and spirits in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. Might there be tastings? Find out at 4.30pm on Saturday and 2.30pm on Sunday.

There will also be fungi foraging, walks, talks, tours, story-telling and lots of fun, family activities.

All events and activities are free with normal Garden admission.

The world’s first ever Science, Nature and Comedy Festival is sponsored by Castell Howell.