Ben Garrod - NSF Patron

Science star from Norfolk is new festival patron

Dr Ben Garrod, the evolutionary biologist and great ape conservationist who hails from Norfolk, has been announced as a new patron of Norwich Science Festival.

Ben Garrod - NSF Patron
Ben Garrod – new  patron

Most recently, Ben featured in the natural world documentary Red Ape: Saving the Orangutans on BBC Two. Ben has also recently presented Hyper Evolution: Rise of the Robots on BBC Four and The Day the Dinosaurs Died on BBC Two, as well as presenting his second UK theatre tour, So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs…?! which was a hit at last year’s Norwich Science Festival. Ben said:

“It’s a great honour to represent the Norwich Science Festival as their new patron. I’ve been involved with our science festival since it started and am proud to be a Norfolk scientist. A festival like this not only showcases the very best that our local scientists have achieved but offers the opportunity for every member of the public to learn something new and share in the wonder of the world around them.

Norwich Science Festival is so useful for engaging young people with science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – where else will you get to learn about cool dinosaurs, meet a real-life astronaut and understand how to defeat a robot army?”

Ben joins existing patron Mark Thompson, astronomer, broadcaster and author, who said:

“I am very proud to be a patron of the Norwich Science Festival for the third year running. The festival has gone from strength to strength getting bigger and better every year and Norwich has a science buzz about it. Sure enough, every October the city goes science MAD and I can’t wait for this year’s festival.”

Mark Thompson – NSF patron
Mark Thompson – NSF patron

The Festival’s theme this year is ‘Our future world’, exploring how developments in science and technology will shape our future, as well as what we can all do to help make it sustainable. It kicks off on Friday 19 October with a day dedicated to celebrating our oceans, seas and rivers – from aquatic wildlife to our responsibility to protect the marine environment.

The dedicated Learning Programme (15–17 October) – for schools, youth groups and home-educated learners – is available now, featuring the chance to explore the science of fireworks, become a DNA detective, create clouds, go on a journey of sound or engage with rap science.

Norwich Science Festival (19–27 October) is co-ordinated by The Forum, with headline sponsorship from Anglian Water, and takes place in multiple venues across Norwich. Last year, more than 82,000 visits were made to the Festival’s events and hands-on activities.

Look out for headline show announcements in early July, with the rest of events on sale and the brochure out at the end of August. To keep up-to-date with announcements, follow @NorwichSciFest on Twitter, or Norwich Science Festival on Facebook and Instagram, and keep an eye on


For more information on Norwich Science Festival, please contact Jan Robertson, Norwich Science Festival Marketing Manager on / 01603 727962.

Notes to editors

About the Norwich Science Festival

Celebrate the wonderful world of experiments, discoveries, exploration and innovation at Norwich Science Festival this October. Enjoy inspirational exhibitions, hands-on family activities, inspiring celebrity talks and sensational shows at The Forum, and at other venues around the city. This is a festival for all age groups and all levels of knowledge. The 2018 Festival patrons are Mark Thompson – astronomer, broadcaster and author, and Ben Garrod – evolutionary biologist and great ape conservationist. A Learning Programme for schools, colleges, home-educated learners and youth groups runs 15–17 October. The 2018 headline sponsor is Anglian Water, with additional sponsorship from Developing Experts, University Technical College Norfolk, Vattenfall, Briar Chemicals, and KLM UK Engineering, and funding from Foyle Foundation, Geoffrey Watling Trust and John Jarrold Trust.

Explore the Norwich Science Festival website for the full programme from 21 August – – and follow Norwich Science Festival on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Forum

  • The Forum, in the centre of Norwich, is one of the UK’s most successful Millennium projects.
  • It’s a public building, open seven days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
  • Everyone is welcome. Most of the public events, exhibitions and activities which take place at The Forum are free.
  • The Forum Trust is the independent, self-financing, charitable organisation which manages The Forum building.
  • It is responsible for The Forum’s continued development, growth and innovation.
  • The Trust works with many partners to ensure The Forum plays a valuable role in the community.
  • Details about the charitable ‘project purpose’ which underpins The Forum are on the website