Debates, discussions and laughter are in store as the Royal Academy of Engineering heads to Cheltenham Science Festival on 12 -17 June 2012.

The Cheltenham Science festival is a six-day celebration, bringing together over 300 scientists, engineers, comedians and writers to explore all things scientific with an expected 30,000 members of the public. As a principal partner of this year’s festival, the Academy is hosting three separate events to give audiences the chance to discuss the role of engineering role in their lives.

Under the festival’s RE:Generation theme, the Academy will be inviting Cheltenham visitors to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of wind energy at Wind Power: The Great Debate. Academy Fellow Andrew Garrad FREng, Jonathon Porritt, John Constable and Ben Pile will be debating the motion This house believes that Britain should be a fan of wind energy in an event chaired by writer and broadcaster Vivienne Parry.

Following the release of an Academy report on the future of domestic heating, Roger Kemp FREng, who led the study, will be joined by author and TV presenter Robert Llewellyn to discuss the best ways to heat and power our homes effectively and sustainably.

Injecting some humour into the festival will be the first performance of a new engineering comedy. Engineering for the Win will take a light-hearted look at the ways humans have overcome the hurdles of nature. The show is being previewed at Cheltenham before a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer.

Royal Academy of Engineering events:

Wind Power: The Great Debate
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 12:00

An inefficient blot on the landscape for which landowners only profit because of taxpayer subsidies? An excellent source of green energy that can cost-effectively contribute to powering the nation? Debating the motion ‘This house believes that Britain should be a fan of wind energy’ are engineer Andrew Garrad FREng, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, energy policy analyst John Constable and writer and independent political researcher Ben Pile.

Can We Keep Warm and Still Save the World
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 13:30

The challenge: reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050. No small feat. Heating our homes accounts for a staggering 25% of current emissions. The odd wind-turbine attached to your roof is just eco-bling - what we need is real change. Engineer Roger Kemp FREng joins presenter Robert Llewellyn to share their thoughts on keeping warm the green way and how we can decarbonise our homes. Can we ‘do-it-ourselves’ or is it time to get in the professionals?

Engineering For The Win!
Sunday, June 17, 2012 - 20:30

Matt Parker and Timandra Harkness, the "exponentially funny" team that created the sell-out death/maths based comedy Your Days Are Numbered, now bring you their working prototype of a brand new Edinburgh-Fringe-bound show. They turn their smart but silly comedy eye to how technology helps the human race defy Mother Nature’s limits. From time, space and gravity to darkness and cold, engineering shifts the odds in our favour. May contain audience participation and hastily-built props.

To book visit  or call 0844 880 8094.

Notes for editors

  1. The Times Cheltenham Science Festival (12-17 June 2012) / In and around Cheltenham Town Hall, GL50 1QA

    ‘Unquestionably the leading Science Festival in the country’ Professor Lord Winston

    The Times Cheltenham Science Festival is a six-day celebration of science, engineering and the arts which brings the public face to face with some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Established in 2002, The Times Cheltenham Science Festival has grown to become one of the world’s greatest science events and annually attracts impressive speakers and audiences from across the globe - ticket sales exceeded 30,000 in 2011. With a programme of serious debate, live experiments and surprising speakers, the 2012 Festival promises the very best platform to explore the world around us. The full programme is available at:
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Manisha Lalloo at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0683; email: Manisha Lalloo