Benedict Cumberbatch to test Sherlock skills as guest director of the Cambridge Science Festival

A mock crime scene and a talk on playing the violin are among the highlights of the event for the actor and science fan

Benedict Cumberbatch has been named guest director of this year’s Cambridge Science Festival, and the Sherlock star says he’s particularly keen to attend two events that would be of interest to his detective alter ego.


“As someone who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes, I’m of course looking forward to [a talk] about why the violin is so hard to play,” said Cumberbatch, who mimes to a professional musician when his character plays the instrument on the show.

“[And I’ll be] testing my real-life deduction skills in the mock crime scene,” he added.

The actor also revealed how other roles had helped fuel his interest in science: “My link to a science festival may seem a little tenuous at first glance,” admitted Cumberbatch, “and yet as an actor who has researched playing Stephen Hawking, Joseph Hooker, Heisenburg and both Frankenstein and his creation I’ve long had a passion for all fields of science.”

Cumberbatch said his “ridiculously privileged existence as an actor” had allowed him to build “a very personal relationship with some of my heroes from that world like Professor Hawking,” adding that he was “delighted” to be this year’s guest director at the festival.

The Cambridge Science Festival 2013 runs between 11 and 24 March at the University of Cambridge and features over 200 events for all ages, exploring subjects from astronomy to zoology, with hands on experiments and talks from leading scientists.

Cumberbatch said “science and our engagement with it has reached a crucial crossroads” and called the festival “a hugely important bridge between the public and science.

“We hope the programme entertains and inspires you to take a deeper look at our extraordinary world and our existence in it and the universe,” he said.

Find out more about the Cambirdge Science Festival 2013


Read Benedict Cumberbatch’s full introduction as guest director