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What happened at Bluedot festival 2019? – Libby Jackson, Tom Shakespeare and Danielle George © Lucas Sinclair

What happened at Bluedot festival 2019? – Libby Jackson, Tom Shakespeare and Danielle George

Published: 01st September, 2019 at 20:01
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Now in its fourth year, Bluedot is a staple in our festival calendar. We chat to three speakers about science, their work and the Bluedot experience.

In mid-July this year, science and music lovers alike donned their Wellington boots and rain ponchos and made the journey to Jodrell Bank Observatory for the fourth annual Bluedot festival.


The star-studded line-up included Helen Sharman; the first British astronaut, Jim Al-Khalili; science writer and author, an incredible 3-D concert experience from Kraftwerk and the post-punk sounds of New Order.

We sent BBC Science Focus’ new editorial assistant Amy Barrett to the festival, where she chatted to a few of the speakers at the event. Not bad for your first week in a new job, eh?

First up was, Libby Jackson, Human Exploration Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, who took to the Mission Control stage to talk about the future of space exploration and the UK’s role in that future. While some looked back across the fifty years since the Apollo Moon Landings, she talked to Amy about advances in the space industry, human exploration and the Bluedot experience.

Libby Jackson
Libby Jackson speaks at the Mission Control stage

Also in attendance at the festival was Tom Shakespeare, professor of disability research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Tom was involved in three events over the weekend, talking assistive technology, the ethics of genetics and being an activist.

Finally, back at Jodrell Bank where she began her career, Danielle George brought the invisible Universe to light. She spoke to us about the Lovell Radio Telescope based at Jodrell, new endeavours such as the SKA (Square Kilometre Array telescope project) and what we can learn from looking at our skies.

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