THE Brighton Palace Pier will be transformed into a showcase of knowledge and entertainment at the British Festival of Science taking place in the city this week.

The seaside landmark is one of the key venues for the event, which is expected to attract an estimated 20,000 visitors.

Scientists, artists and entertainers will combine their talents to wow adults and children alike as the festival returns to Brighton for the first time in 34 years.

The events spread across the city and the campuses of Brighton and Sussex universities feature talks, scientific demonstrations and performances, which members of the public can take part in.

On the pier boardwalk there will be pop-up experiments, interactive installations and cabaret acts.

Other highlights include a story-telling workshop and a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, with experts on hand to explain its hidden meanings.

Festival director Ivvet Modinou said: “It’s an especially exciting year as the Festival will be co-hosted for the first time by the universities of Brighton and Sussex.

“The academics and staff at the universities have been fantastic to work with, and have helped us to develop the diverse and cutting-edge programme for visitors.”

The historic purpose of the science festival has been to build a bridge between members of the public and the world of science and discovery.

It dates back to 1831 when the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) held its inaugural meeting in York.

This was the first of a series of annual meetings that continued for 150 years almost without a break apart from during some of the war years.

Eventually the BAAS became the British Science Association and the event evolved into the British Science Festival.