Be Curious: AHC researchers in stellar line up for annual university family open day

Be Curious: AHC researchers join line up for family open day at the University of Leeds

Leading researchers from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures will take part in the University of Leeds’ family open day this Spring, giving the public a chance to get hands on with fascinating and cutting-edge research.

This year’s Be Curious – a free annual event for families – will take place on Saturday 18 May between 10am and 4pm.

With 40 different activities on offer, Be Curious breaks down the barriers between the University and people living in Leeds. Specifically, the University hopes to reach young people across the city and give them the chance to get hands on with research and see what happens at the University.

Researchers demonstrate their work to a group of children at Be Curious


Visitors will also be able to learn about Leeds legend, and the UK’s first civil engineer, John Smeaton, who dedicated his life to developing ways of working for the public good. As part of Smeaton300 – a creative programme from arts organisation Foxglove working with artists and scientists inspired by Smeaton’s work – researchers will show how his ideas are still important, even 300 years after he was born.

We know the University can often feel like a place just for students, but we want to show that the University has a place in everyone’s lives. Whether it’s coming onto campus and seeing that it is an open space for everyone, or if it’s seeing how research is uncovering life-changing discoveries. It’s the one day of the year we get to open all the doors, have a poke around and see what everyone is up to. We are also super excited to be welcoming Moon Palace and Pianodrome onto campus this year! Moon Palace have taken a former school bus and transformed it into a social sculpture and working, mobile observatory. Pianodrome are here to show us the unique, playable, community centred sculptures that they have made entirely from disused pianos.

Celine Roblin-Robson, Public Engagement Officer and Be Curious organiser

From artificial intelligence and dialects to fossils and drawing maps with music

Ten researchers from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures will take part in this year’s event, with stalls on research spanning a huge range of topics, from artificial intelligence and dialects to fossils and historic circus musicians.

This year’s participants are:

BeCurious x Smeaton300 at Leeds Industrial Museum was such a great event to take part in. Whether four or sixty-four, all of our visitors were game to get involved in activities and engage with the stalls. It was also brilliant to hear of visitor's own experiences and opinions of medical technologies, helping me to think about my research in different ways.

Dr Rae Gillibrand, who took part in Be Curious 2023 and will do so again this year

Accessibility and Sustainability

This year’s event has an extra focus on accessibility and sustainability. For the first time ever Be Curious will start with a quiet hour for visitors who prefer a calmer environment. Between 10am and 11am, the number of visitors will be limited to allow people to move around campus at their own pace. Visitors will need a ticket to enter the quiet hour. These can be booked before the event or on the day if there are any spaces.

Public gathers at Be Curious stalls


Guidance has been offered to all researchers in order to make their activities and stalls as sustainable as possible. There will be a space specially curated by Leeds Youth Council, who selected the stalls with research that interested them, and there will also be vegetarian and vegan cold snacks on the day in the Parkinson Café and the Refectory.

Find out more about accessibility at Be Curious on the event information page. For any other questions or additional requirements, please email the Be Curious team at

Photo credits: Simon & Simon