“Science festivals” comprise a large, growing, and diverse community of science communication events. In recent years, the number of events has increased dramatically, and science festivals can be found almost all over the world, from San Diego to Novosibirsk, from Mauritius to Iceland, and from China to Brazil.
Basically, the term “science festival” covers a public event where science is presented to the public. Initially the “festival” part referred to the similarity with arts, film, or music festivals but with science as the main content. Consequently, many festivals were organized as projects or even as public or private companies with multiple stakeholders. Others were smaller, organized by universities, research organizations, or nonprofit organizations.
A study carried out in 2008–2009 (Bultitude et al. 2011) points to the growing popularity of science events. Festivals have been particularly common in Europe, but new events are introduced all over the world, not least in the...