National Science and Media Museum 2020 Programme

Serving as a bastion for the UK’s ever-ambitious and successful games industry in the north of England, the National Science and Media Museum is excited to announce that the much-celebrated Yorkshire Games Festival will return to Bradford for its fourth outing between 5–9 February 2020.

Once again, the five-day event will be pitched at developers, gamers, and families alike, offering a wide variety of events and activities to appeal across the spectrum. Heading up the line-up next year are famed indie developer Mike Bithell of Bithell Games; Chloe Crookes of Team17 who serves as a Senior QA Analyst; Sumo Digital level designer Zi Peters; Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of award-winning virtual reality developer nDreams; renowned journalist Alysia Judge; Lead Animator Emma Hollingsworth of UK-based publisher Coatsink; and celebrated UK studio Rare. Further speakers will be announced in the future.

A CBBC Games Half Term (15 – 23 February)

The Dumping Ground on CBBC Games © CBBC

Get a taste for the world of videogames with CBBC this February half term and play along with their experts. Just how does a cartoon about a secret agent mouse comes to life as a game? What does it take to digitise the wild antics of the ‘Operation Ouch!’ doctors? And how do they bring the exciting adventures of ‘The Dumping Ground’ online?

Try out coding workshops with the BBC Education team, discover the skills to get your foot in the door of the videogames industry, or get a feel for how user testing helps to perfect the development of CBBC’s most popular games. Plus enjoy open play zones previewing the latest CBBC game releases from Danger Mouse, The Worst Witch and The Next Step, or chill out with one of the CBeebies apps with games, stories and creative tools full of your favourite CBeebies friends.

Exhibition: The Forgotten Showman: How Robert Paul Invented British Cinema (runs until 29 March)

2019 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of technological pioneer Robert Paul, known for building the first commercially successful film equipment in Britain in the 1890s, which led to the start of a new national industry and a number of film firsts. Paul’s story has remained largely hidden in popular history despite his huge contribution to the early film industry. The Forgotten Showman brings Paul’s remarkable story to light, showcasing objects once belonging to Paul and his contemporaries, including the camera he used to film Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession in 1897, and rare frames from his original films which escaped being destroyed in 1910 before he quit the industry for good.

Exhibition: Sound Season (April – January 2021)

Fairlight CMI © Science Museum Group Collection

Sound fills our world, helping people to understand how it works and our place within it, as an invisible phenomenon it has inspired scientists to explore its principles.

The museums Sound Season will combine two temporary exhibitions between April-January 2021. The season opens with its first exhibition at the end of April exploring the National Science and Media Museum’s growing collection of sound objects, including the Fairlight CMI, popular with musicians in the 1980s.

Uncover the scientific principles of sound, including the origin and behaviour of sound waves and how they interact with different materials and spaces, the biology and psychology of hearing and perception, and how an understanding of the physical properties of this invisible phenomenon can be manipulated and synthesised by musicians, engineers and scientists.

A second family-focused interactive exhibition will open in July, uncovering how sound is central to our everyday lives, from helping us to judge distance, size and space, to bringing us entertainment in music, television and more. Families will be able to journey through the science and sensations of sound, learning how sound waves are made and move through the world, how sound helps us to understand the environment around us, and how to manipulate and play with sound.

Bradford Science Festival (9 – 12 July)

Explore, innovate and have fun across the city this July at Bradford Science Festival. The festival, organised by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with The Broadway Shopping Centre, Bradford Council and the University of Bradford, will take place around the city centre from the 9 – 12 July 2020. Also enjoy the free family weekend with hands on discovery activities, exploration and fun for everyone, as well as information about career and education opportunities in and around Bradford. The full programme will be announced later next year.

Widescreen Weekend (October)

In November this year the museum launched its new independent cinema operation, Pictureville. The new cinema will be playing host to 2020’s Widescreen Weekend, following another record-breaking year in 2019. The festival welcomes film lovers from around the world to its showcase of big and bold cinema, featuring blockbusters, classics, rarities and special guests.

This celebration of the past, present and future of cinema is made possible by the museum’s unique facilities, which include the only publicly accessible Cinerama screen outside the USA.

For more details about upcoming events at the National Science and Media Museum, visit: