From wooden skyscrapers and dancing robots to virtual tumours and superbug-resistant surfaces, the Royal Society has carefully curated a selection of 22 exhibits from around the UK for visitors to interact with in this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
Take a look into the future at the ‘timber towers of tomorrow’ exhibit and explore a mock-up apartment in one of the world’s first wooden skyscrapers, which developers plan to build in London’s Barbican. After learning how wooden skyscrapers absorb and store tonnes of carbon in their timber, visit the ‘taking a bite out of climate change’ exhibit to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from your summer barbecue. Talk to scientists at the forefront of technological innovations that are transforming food production and discover how you could reduce your carbon footprint with a few simple changes. And visit the ‘robots in the danger zone’ exhibit to fly a drone around an interactive oil rig and take control of a Cozmo robot to solve a series of puzzles in an industrial maze.
Exhibits at the forefront of medical research include the ‘lighting the brain after birth’ stand, designed as an intensive care neonatal ward. Talk to researchers who have developed a portable and cost-effective near-infrared device which detects signs of brain injury in babies minutes after birth. The machine delivers real-time data at the cotside and will enable doctors to deliver treatment earlier and therefore reduce the likelihood of conditions such as cerebral palsy, other cognitive and behavioural disorders and even death. Or travel through a virtual tumour at the ‘mathematics of cancer’ exhibit using VR technology, where you will discover how scientists are combining medical imaging with mathematical modelling to deliver effective, targeted cancer treatments. And talk to the team behind the ‘super biomaterials to fight superbugs’ exhibit about their specially developed ‘slippery’ materials that stop bacteria sticking – one way to combat the growing pandemic of resistant superbugs without using antibiotics.
Space enthusiasts can explore the consequences, opportunities and risks of making contact with an alien at the ‘a message from afar’ exhibit. Talk to researchers, astrobiologists, anthropologists, philosophers and astronomers searching for extra-terrestrial intelligence and compose your own message for outer space. At the ‘living on the moon’ exhibit experience walking on the Moon by way of virtual reality and meet the team conducting laboratory analyses of lunar samples to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing.
Ever wondered how the universe started? Or what makes us different from animals? Visit the Little House of Science team in the Kids’ Zone where inquisitive young minds can find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Why not drop in to the pop-up makerspace where little people can construct laser cut cars and put them to the test in a high octane battle on the race track. Or make and take away your very own creation from recycled trash in a drop-in workshop run by Rubbish Science. Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the periodic table of the elements with LEGO® master Dr Ben Still where you can discover how the chemical elements, the building blocks of everything around us, are created through the lives and deaths of stars. This and loads more. Full programme here.
When: Monday 1 July to Sunday 7 July 2019
Where: Royal Society, SW1Y 5 AG
How much: free