Gary Kerr

gary kerr

Dr Gary Kerr

Lecturer in Festival and Event Management


Gary is a Lecturer in Festival and Event Management in the Business School at Edinburgh Napier University, where he lectures students on International Festival & Event Management degree programmes.

Gary has a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick and is completing his second PhD at the University of Salford on the social, political and cultural dimensions of science festivals in the UK. As part of his research, he has interviewed over 30 UK science festival directors. He has worked in numerous roles with various festivals including Staff Manager, Event Manager, Venue Manager, Production Coordinator, Creative Producer, and Creative Director. He was Stage Manager for the Olympics & Paralympics Homecoming Parade (2016).

Internationally, Gary has held the role of Quality Controller of the Innovator Festival (UAE) and Local Content Manager and Producer of the world-leading Abu Dhabi Science Festival. In these roles Gary consistently provided his clients with ongoing feedback on the quality of the festival’s content and ensured consistency in the delivery of a high quality festival. Gary teaches at up to 20 universities across the UAE each year and is a Visiting Professorial Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick.

As both a scientist and social scientist, Gary has extensive experience of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Gary has worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies in Kenya where he used a mixed methods approach to evaluate a Department for International Development (DFID)-funded project investigating the uptake of a new home energy cooking technology in Nairobi. Gary has also served as a Senior Research Specialist at the Scottish Parliament and authored reports for the Parliament on the subjects of climate change & behaviour change; and genetics healthcare & public health screening.

Gary delivers science communication and public engagement training for a number of diverse clients across academia, business and charity sectors. He undertakes science communication and festival management consultancy roles in the UK and overseas, most recently in India, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Within the UK, Gary holds a number of advisory and consulting roles with some leading science festivals. He is External Evaluator of FameLab Academy: an educational programme of Cheltenham Festivals. In 2019, Gary is working as the Curator of Cheltenham Science Festival's new CyberZone.

Outside of the university, Gary is a Governor of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (one of England’s top performing hospitals) and a Governor of the Northern Care NHS Alliance (an alliance of 5 hospitals/care organisations with an annual £1.2Bn budget that provides health and social care to over 1 million people).

He is the Chief International and Operations Officer at the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, having previously served as Editor-in-Chief and before that as an Associate Editor. Gary is a Justice of the Peace for England and Wales (Magistrate), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a member of both the British Sociological Association and the Society for the Social Studies of Science.

Research Groups