News and Events


Big Biology Day celebrates its 8th anniversary!

27 September 2019
Big Biology Day Programme>>
Saturday 5th October is a big day for Big Biology Day (BBD) as it welcomes its 8th annual event at Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge. BBD grows year on year and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Organised by Cambridge Biologists and run in partnership with the Cambridge Science Festival and sponsored by AstraZeneca and The Company of Biologists, BBD as it’s fondly known, has blossomed since its origins in 2012 to become one of the largest free-to-attend festivals in the UK that has a sole focus on the biological sciences and is the brainchild of Ian Harvey, biology teacher and former Head of Department at Hills Road Sixth Form College.

Each year Big Biology Day welcomes over 2000 visitors of all ages through the doors for a full day of hands-on biology activities, providing entertainment alongside education and careers advice. The event focuses on getting close-up and personal with biology and meeting scientists from a wide range of backgrounds. A special feature this year is a talk by Dr Giles Yeo entitled ‘Is obesity a choice?’ Giles’s research focuses on understanding how lean and obese people differ and the influence of genes in our feeding behaviour.

Giles is a presenter for BBC Horizon. His first programme was ‘Why are we getting so fat?’, which aired June 2016. Most recently, his investigative piece ‘Clean eating – The dirty truth’ for BBC Horizon was screened on January 2017. The film has been critically acclaimed and has prompted an important national debate about dieting advice and evidence-based science. He’s also a regular on BBC 2 ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’.

Ian Harvey said “BBD brings together the biology community in Cambridge and beyond, sharing our passion for our subject with an eager audience of all ages”.

“My satisfaction every year is seeing the smiling faces of our visitors as they leave the event – the buzz I get from seeing happy people walking out of our doors after a great day out being engaged, enthused and educated makes the effort that goes into organising the day totally worthwhile.”

Feedback comments from visitors in 2018 included:
  • All the staff were engaging, clearly enjoyed being here today. It has been a very interesting, informative, fun, thought provoking day. Thank you for giving up your time to put on such an amazing day.
  • What a fabulous event! Thank you!
  • We had a wonderful time and will definitely be back next year!
Ian added “There is genuinely something for all ages at BBD and often something that several generations of the same family can all enjoy together.”

“We promote biology careers alongside the hands-on activities and our visitors can talk to a wide range of experts working in the varied fields of biology and medicine. Maybe coming to BBD will kick-start an enthusiasm in young minds to study biology and eventually lead to a career in the biological or medical sciences. Who knows, maybe a 10 year old visiting BBD may one day win a Nobel Prize!”
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