Speaker Ben Goldacre, MD, is probably best known for his column "Bad Science," published in The Guardian newspaper from 2003-2011.

Festival passes for “The Big Challenge”, NTNU’s summer science festival available soon

Listen to headliners such as Edward Snowden, Ben Goldacre and the musician Sting. Festival passes go on sale from Friday 7 December.

The Big Challenge science festival will be hosted by NTNU on 16-19 June 2019, and is for anyone who is curious about the future.

World-leading researchers, performers, artists and opinion leaders will come to Trondheim for the event.

They include the self-described “nerd evangelist” Ben Goldacre, who is a UK physician and author; the American futurist Amy Webb; the artist Sting and the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

They and other speakers will explain, discuss, and challenge themselves and the audience on how we should influence the future –and how the future will influence us.

The programme will highlight topics such as truth, the technology of tomorrow, and what we need to do for a sustainable future.

All-round experience for the public

“The festival will feature four days packed with fascinating lectures, experiences and music,” says Bjarne Foss, NTNU Pro-Rector for Research.

The science part of the programme will mainly be held in the Olavshallen concert hall, while concerts will be held at Solsiden, an historic former shipyard that has been transformed into offices and shops. This is the first time ever that Solsiden has been used as a concert venue.

“We want the general public to welcome science into their everyday lives so that they can make informed choices both for themselves and for the society we live in,” says Foss.

A festival pass for all lectures and concerts costs NOK 3700. A discount pass for students, children and young people costs NOK 3300. Concerts will be suitable for children and young people.

The first of several to come

Foss says NTNU’s overarching goal has been to establish an international science festival in the city.

“Next year’s festival be the first of several in the years to come. Considering we are newbies at this, we think we’ve done well,” says Foss.

NTNU’s academics have played a key role in deciding who will be invited to the festival. Eleven of 25 speakers in total have been booked.

“We urge people to save the dates straight away. We should have the final details for all speakers in February,” says Foss. The festival will include a programme for school students, with content to be announced later.