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Bristol Bright Night is back: a celebration of the city’s world-class research

Press release issued: 21 August 2015

Bristol Bright Night returns to the streets of Bristol on the evening of Friday 25 September 2015 for an unmissable free celebration of the scientific research taking place on our doorstep.

The University of Bristol, UWE Bristol and Bristol Natural History Consortium have come together to present Bristol Bright Night, a unique opportunity for the public to meet the people behind the projects, explore hands-on exhibits and enjoy a Friday night out with a difference.

Bristol has been selected to stage one of only five science events in the UK, as part of the prestigious annual European Researchers' Night programme. This sees around 300 cities running events simultaneously across 24 countries, and is funded by the EU Commission to engage citizens in celebrating the latest and most stimulating research at both a local and international level.

At the inaugural event in Bristol last year, around 3,000 people interacted with the activities. From an interactive Research Fair for school children during the day to a researcher takeover of At-Bristol in the evening, Bristol's Harbourside will host a range of free, engaging, hands-on activities for all ages.

Highlights include:

Glowing bacteria give new ways of treating cancer  

Don't forget to visit the BugBooth, a blackout tent where visitors can see for themselves how bioluminescence or glowing bacteria can help scientists devise tests. The challenge for the research team is to use the glowing bacteria in a single blood test to predict leukaemia patients' response to a range of chemotherapy drugs, this rapid test will allow the best treatment for each patient to be selected. Video


Researchers have been investigating how to improve the audiences’ experience during performances with digital musical instruments. Visitors will be able to experience a new augmented reality display that allows them to explore 3D augmentations of digital musical performances in order to improve their understanding of electronic musicians’ engagement. Video

Bite-sized research talks

Researchers give you a whirlwind tour on topics ranging from engineering to arts to biology in just seven minutes. The talks will go on throughout the day in At-Bristol and will encompass an incredible diversity of research. Confirmed topics so far include: Proteins as tools and building blocks, consequences of picky eating in children, "United we fall: Multiplicity in Lucan's Civil War", Aerospace Engineering "Folding the Future", and "When fire meets ice - Volcanic Ace".

In Other People's Skins

Coming to Bristol at Bristol Bright Night is 'In Other People's Skins', a digital art work with audience interaction by Terry Flaxton, exhibited internationally to over 300,000 people including the Cathedral of St John the Divine (New York), at which around 150,000 people sat at the installation. Inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper, Flaxton's installation uses experimental High Definition technology to explore the spiritual possibilities of the dinner table and cross-cultural and religious boundaries. Video

Dr Carole Fureix, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at the University of Bristol, said: “This event is all about showing how the research we are doing at the Universities is relevant to our day to day life. It is also a great opportunity to meet researchers from many different fields and get to ask them all the burning questions you may have about research and what it means to be a researcher. There will be something for everyone: stand-up comedy, street theatre, science poetry, plenty of hands-on activities and even some cooking.”

Savita Custead, Bristol Natural History Consortium Chief, said: “We are really lucky to be living in a city where so many amazing projects are changing the way we live. Bristol Bright Night is a unique opportunity for people to discover some of the incredible research that is happening in Bristol today, meet the innovative researchers involved, and do something totally different with your Friday night.”

Dr Enda Hayes, an Associate Professor from UWE Bristol, said: “Bristol Bright Night will provide a showcase for researchers from both universities to demonstrate the outstanding quality, diversity and significant impact of their work and its relevance to society both here in Bristol and globally.”

Bristol Bright Night takes place on Friday 25 September 2015. For further information, including the full programme, please visit Follow the event on Twitter via @BrisBrightNight  #BristolBrightNight and on Facebook at Bristol Bright Night 2015.

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