Brighton Science Festival



What’s the craziest fairground ride you could imagine? Multiply that by ten and double it; you’re riding it right now and have been for 14 billion years. It’s called the Universe. See those stars in the sky? A thousand of them explode every second*. Luckily the Universe is very big and they are very far away. But it makes you think.

You started you trip through those stars when you were very small. In fact, you were an atom. This was before your parents were born; before any humans or animals; before the Earth, the planets, the stars; before even space or time. Fourteen billion years ago the Universe was made of a trillion gazillion atoms of hydrogen. You were one of them. What made you so special? Find out below.

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

*Don’t believe that statistic? It’s just one of many strange-but-true facts in this strange-but-true tale.

For more info on Richard Robinson go to HIS PAGE


“Absolutely superb. Fantastic. Kept everyone entertained. Learned a lot.”

“Needed more time; could have listened for ever!”

“Brilliant. I laughed and learned!”


Short summaries;

Saturday 13 February  – 10 am  ch 1;   You, the Big Bang, and other catastrophes –

         Ten billion years of star-hopping before reaching Earth (Theme: gravity)

Saturday 20 February  – 10 am  ch 2;   Life –

         From carbon atom to the first living thing (Theme – chaos)

Saturday 27 February  – 10 am  ch 3;   Evolution –   

         from simple cell to complex cell – (Theme: survival of the fittest)

Saturday 6 March – 10 am    ch 4;   Selfish genes and generous genes   

         Multi-celled life. You become a worm. (Theme – Multi-celled life)

Saturday 13 March – 10 am    ch 5;   Cooperation –   

         The Portuguese Man’o’War. (Theme – natural selection)

Saturday 20 March – 10 am   ch 6;   Becoming the best –   

         An explosion of life. Now you are a fish. (Theme – competition)

Saturday 27 March – 10 am   ch 7;   Life on land –   

         Dodging dinosaurs and disasters, you become a mouse. (Theme – family)

Saturday 3 April – 10 am   ch 8;   How to make a human –   

         Start as a mouse, end as a chimpanzee. (Theme – intelligence)

Saturday 10 April  – 10 am   ch 9;   Around the world –   

         Swarming around the globe towards today (Theme – creativity)

Saturday 17 April        – 10 am    ch 10;   Remains of the past –   

         Your history is within you. Vestiges of the past remain. (Theme – recap)

Saturday 24 April – 10 am   ch 11;   E-volution, We-volution, Me-volution –   

         How you are shaped by your family and environment (Theme – society)


For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM


Saturday 13 February  – 10 am

Chapter one – You,the Big Bang and other catastrophes     

The Big Bang creates enough hydrogen atoms to make a universe. You are one of those atoms. Hello Hydrogen!

Through your rocky ride you will change your name, first to Helium, then Carbon, … and eventually to You, reading this right now.

Gravity gathers you and gazillions of other atoms together into a star, which explodes, catapulting you off on a crazy trip through more stars and explosions, until you find yourself on a lump which is too small to become a star, circling a star that’s too small to explode. From now on that lump is home – Earth.     

(Today’s theme – stars and planets and gravity)


Saturday 20 February  – 10 am

Chapter two – Life      

Early Earth is almost molten. You are next to a volcano, two miles under water. This is the perfect place to make life, because it’s crazy and chaotic. And so is the thing you become: DNA. You become the first cell; the mother of all cells on the planet – animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and everything. Scientists call you the Last Universal Common Ancestor – LUCA   

(Today’s theme – chaos and evolution)


Saturday 27 February  – 10 am

Chapter three – Evolution      

You are constantly breaking and re-building your DNA (that’s life), but you are pretty chaotic in the way you rebuild, so your copies tend to be different. That’s evolution. You evolve the power of movement: you are Flagellate.

(Today’s theme – chaos and evolution)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 6 March – 10 am

Chapter four – Cooperation     

You and your family of flagellates team up with a sheet of cells and together you become the next big thing: multicellular life. The sheet rolls into a tube; your flagella become oars on the outside and villi on the inside. You are now an eating machine. Your new name is Worm.

(Today’s theme – competition)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 13 March – 10 am   

Chapter five – Crazy experiments     

This is a break from the story: the tale of the Portuguese man’o’war, a fine example of a missing link between single-celled creatures and the complex life forms we see today.

(Today’s theme – natural selection)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 20 March – 10 am   

Chapter six – Competition    

Another explosion: the Cambrian Explosion – an explosion of life. You evolve to become Fish. Everyone else evolves a great need to eat you. As you try to escape them you stare wistfully at the empty land at the edge of the ocean, and wonder…

(Today’s theme – competition)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 27 March – 10 am   

Chapter seven – Life on land    

Evolving into a land animal is perhaps the most monumental task, but soon you are Tetrapod. In no time you are once more on the menu, this time a dinosaur menu. More evolution turns you into Mammal, so you can be awake during the cold nights, while the dinosaurs are asleep.

(Today’s theme – family)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 3 April – 10 am 

Chapter eight – How to make a human      

Your clever mammalian brain is your secret weapon. Teaming up with other mammals, you combine brains to be come a super-organism – a herd or tribe.  Soon you are Human, ready for adventures.

(Today’s theme – intelligence)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 10 April  – 10 am 

Chapter nine – All around the World    

In just 90,000 years you spread from a corner of Africa to everywhere, coping with all the different climates and conditions by a mixture of evolution and invention.

Then you invent farming – another ‘explosion’, this time a foodie explosion of your own making – and the rest is history, up to the present day.

(Today’s theme – creativity)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 17 April  – 10 am   

Chapter ten – Remains of the past      

Your history is written all through you, from the monkey tail at the bottom of your spine, to the flagellum which every cell still retains. Here you will find an answer for all your oddities – yawning, goose bumps, cancer, viruses, ear waggling, sleep falling, hiccups, white skin, dark skin, ‘Asian’ eyes, etc.

(Today’s theme – recap)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM

Saturday 24 April – 10 am   

Chapter eleven – E-volution, We-volution, Me-volution    

To understand you and society, remember there are three kinds of evolution:

The Evolution we have mainly followed: the DNA-modification kind, but also:

We-evolution – how WE have evolved customs, languages, beliefs and fashions (aka ‘social evolution’).

Me-volution – the way you modify your behaviour day by day, and even minute by minute.

(Today’s theme – society)

For more info and tickets go to EEQU.COM