ONE of Otley Science Festival's founders is hoping for an 'explosive' tenth anniversary event.

The town's annual celebration of all things scientific this year runs at Otley Courthouse from Monday, October 23 to Thursday, November 9.

The festival has grown considerably in prestige and popularity since starting a decade ago, and regularly attracts some of the biggest names in science from around the country.

Doctor, scientist and TV presenter Professor Robert Winston is set to be one of the highlights of the 2017 event, where he will talk about how genetic modification could shape our future society.

Also taking part will be festival stalwart Dr Marty Jopson, who will present an experiments-packed evening show, Dangerous Equations, at 7.30pm on Friday, November 10.

Otley resident Dr Jopson, who regularly appears in the science sections of BBC TV's The One Show, helped get the very first festival up and running.

He said: "It all started with a cup of coffee in the Courthouse.

"Our first festival was just a couple of evening events and a small fair, but it proved so popular that there was no way we were not going to keep it going.

"Since then it has grown from strength to strength and is now a firmly established festival with a national reputation."

Also contributing will be leading British space scientist Monica Grady, whose career has included working on the pioneering Rosetta mission which successfully landed a spacecraft's probe on a comet.

Rashik Parmar MBE, from IBM, meanwhile will be looking ahead to five life-changing new technologies when he leads a Science Lunch.

Younger science enthusiasts might prefer 'gastronaut' Stefan Gates’ Utterly Revolting Science Show, which is described as a high tech and mind-blowing journey through the digestive system.

There will also be Silly Science Toddler Time sessions and a Science Cafe featuring three expert speakers and audience-led question and answer sessions.

And Otley Film Society will present Hidden Figures - a film about a team of female African-American mathematicians who played a vital role for NASA during the early years of the US space program.

Dr Jopson added: "The best thing about the festival is watching from behind the scenes as people have fun and are inspired by all the fabulous contributors we attract.

"My hope for this tenth anniversary Otley Science Festival is that we can reach out to an even bigger slice of the Otley population and attract people into our wonderful town from further and further afield.

"We have some big names on the programme, more schools activities and, if all goes well, it will set the standard for the next ten years."

The whole event will conclude with a free, all-day Science Fair on Saturday, November 11.

For more details and tickets visit or, or contact the Courthouse on (01943 467466).