Hay Festival Trans.MISSION II

Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have joined forces again for Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The project follows 2018’s UK-only pilot, which saw three films released: Message from Antarctica by polar researcher Emily Shuckburgh and illustrator Chris Haughton, Clean Air Starts at Home by Aardman Animation Studios director Dan Binns and atmospheric chemist Professor Ally Lewis (voiced by Marcus Brigstocke), and the Weather Watching series by poet Nicola Davies and climate scientist Ed Hawkins.

View last year's films

Illustration created for Hay Festival Trans.MISSION by Chris Haughton

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II will pair NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about the ongoing research projects.

Trans.MISSION II is the first international public engagement collaboration project for NERC, with each new piece to be launched at Hay Festival events in Arequipa, Peru (7-10 November 2019); Cartagena, Colombia (30 January-2 February 2020) and in Hay-on-Wye, Wales (21-31 May 2020).

Colombia’s collaboration will focus on the importance of biodiversity and feature Colombian art critic, curator, translator and author Juan Cardenas. Peru’s will focus on tropical glaciers and will feature writer, theatre producer and actress Erika Stockholm, and the UK will look at droughts and water scarcity with participants to be announced soon.

A UK-based artist, illustrator or animator will then be commissioned to create an overarching piece – an animation, infographic or animated text – that will combine and communicate the common themes. These pieces will aim to inform, engage and inspire members of the public and future researchers in environmental science and the processes of research.

NERC is the driving force of investment in environmental science, advancing the frontier of environmental science, by commissioning new research, infrastructure, innovation and training that delivers valuable scientific breakthroughs. Find out more about NERC.