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Sussex neuroscientists team up with music and theatre talent in bid to appear at Festival UK 2022

Dr David Schwartzman

Sussex neuroscientists are teaming up with leading lights in the world of music and theatre in the hope of participating in a major national festival in 2022.

Dr David Schwartzman and Professor Anil Seth from the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science form part of one of 30 creative teams competing to appear in Festival UK 2022.

They will be working alongside Assemble Studios, musician Jon Hopkins, Tony award-winning sound designer Christopher Shutt, and producer Jennifer Crook as they bid to become one of ten ideas selected for full production in the festival.

The festival, inspired by the spectacular Festival of Britain in 1951, aims to showcase the best in UK creative imaginations by combining Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics expertise. It is being backed by the four governments of the UK and supported with £120 million of new investment.

The 30 creative teams selected for the Festival UK 2022 R&D Project were chosen following an open call and survived a rigorous selection process which considered 299 submissions, involving almost 3,000 organisations, freelancers and other creatives.

The teams started their participation in a £3 million research and development programme this week to progress the projects which have the potential to be seen by millions when the festival opens in 2022.

Over the next few months each team is being supported to develop its big idea, through a specially designed programme that includes presentations, workshops with the BBC Research & Development team, breakout spaces and opportunities to hear from high profile speakers representing STEAM.

The 30 teams will pitch their proposals before a panel in February 2021, with ten set to be taken forward as part of the UK-wide festival, which will take place throughout 2022.

Dr David Schwartzman, Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Informatics, said: “Through my work at Sackler Centre, I’m dedicated to increasing public understanding and engagement with consciousness science. Festival UK 2022 represents an unprecedented opportunity to share core ideas of consciousness science with the entire nation through truly innovative media.”

Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience in the School of Engineering and Informatics, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity to work with amazingly talented collaborators from the across the creative industries. We’re delighted to be part of it.”

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By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Thursday, 26 November 2020

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