Big Bang Blasts Off

19 February 2021

Big Bang is about to open the doors to infinity – with a host of online talks and activities that take us to the farthest reaches of space, science and the human imagination.

And it’s an especially exciting moment to be exploring outer space with three Mars missions underway, humans soon to return to the Moon (before going on to the red planet), and the dream of commercial passenger flights fast becoming a reality.

We’ve had a chat to two young women – Kellie Gerardi and Dr Christina Mackaill – about their pioneering work to make the 21st century a golden age of space travel.

Big Bang, which is organised by the Wigtown Festival Company, is all free and online this year and takes place from 3 to 6 March.

As well as being fun and inspirational in its own right, Big Bang also aims to introduce people to some of the best new writing on science and astronomy.

Before the festival begins we thought we’d bring you a quick list of some of the books by our guests, in case you’d like to read them in advance. They include:

Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide to Life in the Space Age by Kellie Gerardi. Hailed as one of 2020's outstanding books on space, it tells of Kellie’s unusual path into the space industry and her ambition to democratise access to space.

The Human Cosmos by Jo Marchant. An exploration of humanity’s intimate relationship with the heavens.

What Do You Think You Are? by Brian Clegg. An entertaining tour through the science of what makes you you from an acclaimed popular science communicator.

Einstein on the Run by Andrew Robinson. The story of how the young Einstein came to Britain to avoid a rumoured assassination plot by Nazi agents – and why he later left never to return to Europe.

Artificial Intelligence and the Environmental Crisis by Keith Skene. AI may help us achieve a sustainable future, but only if we change the model of intelligence upon which it is based – according to the director of the Biosphere Research Institute.

For full details of the Big Bang programme see