From science to music: opportunities to get involved this month


Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O’Brien shares some opportunities to get involved with Durham University in October.

Part of our goal as a university is to share our learning, expertise and facilities with others, so that we all benefit from what we do here, through academic research, education and extracurricular activities. such as sports, theatre, music, volunteering and business. .

Opportunities in the October semester

Coming over the October holidays, we have two fantastic events if you’re a parent, grandparent or carer looking for something fun and free for the kids.

First, our wonderful science festival Celebrate Science returns. From Tuesday October 25 to Thursday October 27, three fun and exciting days of free activities, workshops, experiments and conferences celebrating science. Join us under a marquee on Palace Green, Durham, between 10am and 4pm.

Then, on Saturday October 29th, we organize our second Community Fun Day. This is your chance to sample some of the community-focused opportunities and activities we offer at Durham University. Our first Community Fun Day, held in 2019, attracted over 1,000 people and was a fantastic success. We’d love to see you at this one – again, under the Palace Green marquee. This time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Free entry.

Other activities and events

These are two great examples of how the University partners with and supports our city, county and region. Another is the Durham Book Festival, which returns this week (October 13-16). We have been supporting the Festival for a long time and this year we are sponsoring the Laureate of the Festival, in addition to hosting and contributing to events. I personally look forward to introducing Durham graduate and broadcaster Jeremy Vine as he talks about his love for poet WH Auden.

October is also Black History Month and we hold events and conferences open to local residents, as well as staff and students. At Ustinov College, for example, there is an exhibition exploring the experiences of black miners in the UK; and on Saturday 24 October we are hosting a concert at Durham Cathedral by the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir to commemorate the 40e anniversary of the death of Ruth First, a former lecturer from Durham, who was murdered in Mozambique after campaigning against apartheid in South Africa.

Elsewhere, while the weather is still fairly mild, why not visit our Botanical Garden? It just won a Gold Medal at the Northumbria in Bloom Awards and the fall colors are looking gorgeous right now. Or if you prefer to stay indoors, there are two new exhibits at the Oriental Museum: one explores ancient Egypt and the other focuses on the work of women artists and artisans from Central Asia.

For more details on any of these opportunities, please sign up for our monthly community newsletter, via

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