Why Cambridge is the Perfect Place for Race for Science

So why did we choose Cambridge?

At Prostate Cancer Research Centre, we like to talk about using science to turn hope into reality. Our charity is dedicated to finding and funding the best prostate cancer research because we know that gives us the best chance of making a real difference in people’s lives.

Marathons and treks are lovely, but we wanted an event that explicitly celebrated and highlighted the work our scientists do, as well as the work of researchers across the UK. When we decided to create an event focused on science, it was very obvious that the event should be in Cambridge.

The history – Home to some of the oldest buildings in the UK and the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, you can see the history of innovation and scientific discovery just by walking around Cambridge.

As Martin Rees puts it in The Cambridge Phenomenon: “Cambridge has a record of scientific excellence stretching back to Isaac. More than that, there is a tradition of risk-taking – of entrepreneurship – nurtured in an atmosphere that is both competitive and also supportive.”

The science today – Even with its impressive history, Cambridge is not a city that looks backwards. Cambridge is home to the most important and fastest growing Tech Cluster in the UK and forms one point of the Cambridge – Oxford – London ‘Golden Technology Triangle. Cambridge is also the technology business start-up capital of the UK. Cambridge has a disproportionately large impact on STEM across the world.

The people – this is an experience I’ve had every single time I’ve visited Cambridge for this event. I’ll be visiting a potential venue or activity creator, and I’ll describe Race for Science (“Have you ever done an escape room? Imagine if you combined that with a scavenger hunt and the whole thing was science-themed. It’s also for charity.”). Nearly every person I meet in Cambridge responds the same way: “Where can I sign up?!” This is a city full of ridiculously intelligent risk-takers who are always on the hunt for a new challenge.

I asked our CEO, Oliver Kemp, to summarize why we chose Cambridge:

If someone asked me where would you set a new revolutionary scientific event to raise money for cancer research. I’d suggest a place with a scientific pedigree, a community that cares and will welcome us and a place where the participants are going to have a huge amount of fun. Cambridge is that place.”

Check out my interview with Oliver here to hear more about the origins of Race for Science.

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