There’s an outdoor strand in this year’s programme, going from pole to pole, with Central Asia also to the fore.

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It’s fresh, it’s nutritious, and it’s free! The benefits of foraging are becoming realised, doing what generations of people have done, finding food in the wild …

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There are more than 70 events, from outer space to Scapa Flow, satellites to seaweed, from hydrogen to the hyperloop, the Silk Roads to the Stoor Worm …

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There’s plenty of opportunities to sample local fare, in daily lunches and in special events like a talk and tea in the 17th-century Skaill House …

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“Those soft green hills, the ledged sea-cliffs, the shallow lochs, those curving sweeps of sand… and much of the story goes back around 390 million years, to a time …”

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Tickets for this year are now on sale, on the Tickets page here and at Kirkwall Tourist Office. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to book online here …

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“From Orkney Nature to Murdoch Mackenzie’s beautifully detailed Orkney sea charts, from Scapa Flow’s history and marine life to sea forms and soundworks …”

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Tickets will go on sale from the early morning of Monday 5 August. The ticketing system will go live at midnight on the Sunday evening before.

It’s a very varied programme and we had so many interesting ideas and offers that it took some time to build them all together, but all has gone well and we are looking forward to highlighting the events and people.

With some of the events, numbers are limited, and booking early is definitely recommended.

The dates for this year’s Festival are 5-11 September 2019.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first walk on the Moon, and we’ll have several events focusing on space exploration.

It’s also the 100th anniversary of the journey to West Africa that launched Albert Einstein as a household name across the world. The journey was made by Sir Arthur Eddington to measure the Sun’s bending of light from a star, which required a total eclipse of the Sun, and the island of Principe was on the eclipse’s path. We’ll tell the story and feature various astronomy events and activities.

We’ll also be enjoying some of Orkney’s countryside and shores, as it’s the 60th anniversary of the founding of Orkney Field Club, and also the start of a new Scotland-wide initiative – a Foraging Fortnight with Orkney among the five regions taking the lead.

This will give us an added dimension, including outings and workshops, talks on traditional medicines and modern insights, an evening of Neolithic food and a variety of other events which will be highlighted in the programme.

With the varied mix of topics, this year’s programme is looking fuller than ever, with topics ranging from the frontiers of genetics to plant-hunting in Central Asia, from the story of Newton’s glass prisms to the search for Darwin’s predecessors, from measuring the Pyramids to making modern maps, and from deep digitality to the hyperloop.

Tickets will be on sale first thing in the morning on Monday 5 August.

We have some minor updates of the programme to make, and will also be providing fuller information of events here and on Facebook.

This was my very first visit to Orkney and therefore, my first exposure to the vibrant and exhilarating Science Festival. It was an incredible week – the Festival pulsated! It was far larger and far better supported than I would have thought possible.

visitor from Edinburgh


We have video highlights from previous years to enjoy. There is Irish music, Highland traditional medicine, the story of ‘Big Bill and the Guns of Alamein’, and memories of the childhood of Prof. Ron Drever, who did so much to make possible the detection of gravitational waves.

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You’ll find more in our online magazine. It highlights science and people, with stories of ideas, adventures and exploring new territory, past and present…

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Music for Maxwell, in classical and style, songs from Mr Boom, postcards of John Rae and other famous Orcadians, badges to wear with a smile …

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