Sea & Stars at Orkney International Science Festival 2021

The successful Orkney International Science Festival (OISF), now in its 31st year, will for the second year running have an online edition. OISF returns with over 80 livestream events from around the world including:talks, walks, workshops and concerts.

Highlights Include:

  • Spotlight on Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21
  • Preview of the expedition to row the Northwest Passage in 2022
  • The road to COP26 and new ideas for tackling climate change
  • Astronomy and space exploration including a conversation with Scotland’s new Astronomer Royal
  • Celebrating 25 years of partnership with the Slovenian Science Foundation
  • The Future beyond the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Can aviation become climate-friendly?
  • Did life originate in deep space?

The festival which runs from September 2nd to 8th has its own YouTube Channel., where you will be able to view events.

The full Festival programme and information can be found at

All the online presentations are free, apart from the workshops where a booking fee is needed.

In addition to the online events, there will be a programme of daily walks by Orkney wildlife guide Megan Taylor. She will take small groups of people on coastal and hill walks, with locations ranging from Orphir and Yesnaby to Burwick and a day visit to Flotta. Early booking for the walks is recommended.

Festival Director Howie Firth says that last year’s move online led to all kinds of new developments.

“We found that people were accessing events who had never been able to do so before, for reasons of health or travel or family commitments, and we’re looking forward to expanding further as the word gets around.

“The online format has also enabled us to bring in a range of additional speakers who would have been more difficult to get otherwise, and to develop some brand-new types of event specifically for this format.

 “We’re aiming to keep the new online dimension for next year and beyond, with the livestreaming of all events, and this year gives us an opportunity to continue to move forward in a range of lively ways.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“I am delighted that EventScotland has been able to support the Orkney International Science Festival though Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund in its second year of delivering an innovative online programme and it is great to see the event embrace Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 as part of its diverse offering.”

The Festival opening will look to the future beyond the pandemic, carried out jointly by two people at the start of their careers. Dr Gavin Woodbridge from North Ronaldsay graduated this year in medicine from the University of Edinburgh, while Dr Zarja Muršič is a member of the Covid-19 Tracking group in Slovenia.

The joint opening will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Festival’s collaboration with the Slovenian Science Foundation, which has provided guest speakers from Slovenia for various parts of the programme.

You can find OISF on social media:

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