The Big Bang Collective
About the Collective
The Big Bang Collective is a group of people who work to bring physics and particularly particle physics to music and cultural festivals. We aim to raise awareness of science amongst the general public, promote engagement and a more positive view of science. The target audience is broad but is characterised by those not pro-actively seeking out science events but intellectually curious. In July 2019 alone, we had a meaningful engagement with 20,000 people across Europe.
The core team is involved in all events. Like an arts collective, people come in and out of the collective for specific events. We seek local groups to work within the events and hope that they can carry on the activities with decreasing support from the core team as time goes one.
We welcome approaches from new events and partners.
The Core Team
WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance) has been the catalyst for the Big Bang Collective.
Starting with a Physics Pavilion in 2016, we have brought physics to the main WOMAD Festival in Wiltshire, UK. The activity has grown and has now become the World of Physics, alongside Worlds of Music, Words, Food, Children, etc., and an integral part of the festival. It includes the Pavilion, which is a space for talks, panels and arts events; the Lab, a workshop space; the Discovery Zone, which is an open gazebo for passer-by interactions; a portable planetarium; and the Accelerator in the Sky, a light installation inspired by particle accelerators.
The audience ranges from very young to the very old, with a drop in numbers between mid-teens and approximately 30. We have had meaningful engagement (upwards of 15 minutes) rising from 4500 to 8000 people a year. WOMAD itself has between 30,000 and 40,000 people per year attending.
The Institute of Physics South West Region has given outstanding support to these events, as have Devoxx4Kids.
Colours of Ostrava
The Melting Pot is a festival of ideas that forms part of the Colours of Ostrava Festival in the Czech Republic. With our colleagues from Charles University, Prague, we brought the Big Bang Stage to the Melting Pot and were pleased to be supported by our friends from Badminton Girls School Outreach team.
In 2018, we helped our colleagues from Brown University to bring the Big Bang Science Fair to Waterfire in Rhode Island, USA. Each year, three rivers in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, are lit by a series of blazing bonfires. The fiery installation is the centrepiece for an annual arts festival known as WaterFire Providence. The Big Bang Science Fair, an event filled with presentations, workshops and hands-on activities covering a wide range of scientific disciplines.