The Danish Science Festival

The Danish Science Festival

The Danish Science Festival takes place every year in week 17. The festival programme has about 600 different events in more than 100 cities all over the country and every year more than 75,000 guests visit the festival.

Who is behind it?

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science is the primary organiser of the festival. The Secretariat of the Danish Science Festival is located in the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education, and has 2-3 fulltime employees responsible for the overall organisation, coordination, press handling, and marketing of the festival.

What is the purpose of the festival?  

The purpose of the Danish Science Festival is to:

  • Celebrate the fundamental element of research – curiosity
  • Establishing a meeting place between researchers and the general public
  • Showcase how research and innovation helps solve social grand challenges
  • Support public engagement in research and enhance the relationship between researchers and the general public.

Who are the local organisers?

Every year the Danish Science Festival has about 100 local organisers that arrange the approximately 600 different different events across Denmark. These are primarily universities, education- and cultural institutions, private and public institutions as well as research associations. However, everyone with feasible ideas and a suitable location qualifies as an organiser.

Who is the target group?

The festival aim's to reach out to everyone who has interest in science and innovation. However, the festival also aims to target a segment of the population who usually does not interact with research and innovation. Local organisers can define their own specific target group, e.g. families, students or children, in order to reach our goal of making science and innovation accessible to everyone.   

What takes place during the festival?

Visitors can experience all kinds of events with the same goal – communi-cating research and innovation in an interesting, captivating and accessible manner. The most popular happenings include open house events, hands-on experiments, lectures, guided tours, shows, and debates.

Book a Researcher

Book a Researcher is a program where everyone that can gather a group of at least 20 people can book a researcher to come and give a lecture free of charge during the week of the Danish Science Festival.

The high school programme

Every year the Danish Science Festival and the Danish Council on Ethics develop a national high school programme containing multidisciplinary teaching material about specific research-ethical problems. The teaching material is presented two month prior to the festival, and students work with the cases in their respective classes. During the week of the festival a live panel debate between researcher’s ethicist and students takes place. The aim of the debate is to make students aware of different perspectives and viewpoints of ethical challenges within science. With basis in their newfound ethical insight, they make up their own mind and contribute to the debate through their individual arguments. The debate is livestreamed, allowing other high schools to participate in the debate and ask researchers and ethicists questions online.

School Programme

In 2016 the Danish Science Festival launched the national school programme. This initiative is the result of a close cooperation between the National Children’s Libraries digital site, the University of Copenhagen’s youth programme, and the Danish Science Festival. The target group of the is. The purpose of the School Programme is introducing students to natu-ral science and technology in a fun and interactive way that relates to their everyday life.

the School Programme is brought to the students through boxes of multidisciplinary educational material. The overall theme and teaching material is changed every year. Public libraries sign up to get a box of teaching material and then invite local schools to visit the library during school days. The teaching material is developed in line with learning goals of the specific classes, enabling teachers to incorporate the library visits as part of the curriculum.

Grand opening

Each year the Danish Science Festival is launched at a grand opening organised by the Secretariat and the partner of the given year. Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary is the patron of the festival and attends the event.

The Research Communication prize

Every year a researcher or a research team is awarded with the Research Communication prize consisting of 100,000 DKK. They are awarded on the basis of an extraordinary effort in communicating their field of research to the general public.