Countdown to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 6 - 10 July 2022

12 June 2022

In three weeks’ time, the Royal Society will swing open its doors to welcome visitors back to its annual showcase of the UK’s most exciting research. 

Based in the heart of central London, the Summer Science Exhibition will bring together 16 exhibits, featuring 500 world-leading researchers from across the UK for five inspiring days of cutting-edge science and interactive experiences. There is also a weekend programme of activities and workshops for all ages.

Explore ‘sick’ exhibits, play ‘mind games’ and learn how science can help protect our planet…

The Winchcombe Meteorite famously came crashing down from the asteroid belt onto a suburban driveway in Gloucester in 2021. At this year’s exhibition, you can hold outer space rocks and meteorites in your hands, and come face to face with a piece of the Winchcombe Meteorite.

Looking to get your tan on this summer somewhere tropical? Take a test to see how attractive you are to a mosquito, with the ‘Disease Detectives’, researchers from Pirbright Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

On Saturday, come face to face with alpacas, keeping you com-fur-tably entertained before heading into the exhibit to meet the ‘Llamas vs Viruses’ team who are researching the tiny antibodies from camelid species that may hold the key to treating diseases.

Those after a challenge can try their hand at controlling an extra body part on ‘The Third Thumb’ exhibit. This is a ‘hands on’ experience where you can play dexterity games while wearing an additional thumb prosthesis to put your mind, digits and patience to the test. These researchers are trying to understand how adapting to an extra digit can help to improve the prosthetic limbs of the future.

Will computers ever be able to read our mind? Meet the researchers working to improve links between the nervous system and computers, so that people with cerebral palsy and stroke survivors will be able to communicate more effectively. Put your thinking cap on and see what activities you can take part in using only your mind and muscles. 

Learn how berries may help us harness solar energy from the sun, and how the waste broth from brewing a cheeky pint may be the answer to replacing the oil used to create everyday items like clothes and health and beauty products. 

Have you worked up an appetite for more science? Meet the chocolate scientists working to understand how different fermentation methods can change the flavour of chocolate, and taste the difference between chocolates produced with different bacteria. Find out how improving the taste of chocolate gives cocoa farmers their fair slice of the multi-billion-dollar chocolate industry.

Plenty more fish – a history of marine expeditions from the Royal Society archives

For those interested in the tales of science past, the Royal Society’s archive and library team have curated an exhibit telling the stories of marine expeditions, including Edmond Halley's marine studies and a model of Darwin's Beagle. Discover how Royal Society Fellows have contributed to our understanding of ocean biodiversity since the seventeenth century.

Meet the young scientists of the future (weekdays only) 

Head to the Young Researcher Zone to meet students from 13 schools from across the UK who are part of the Royal Society’s Partnership Grants scheme. Hear from the students stopping our homes from flooding, developing wind turbines from scrap car parts and investigating honeybee health, and get hands on with some of the investigations they are undertaking.

Weekend drop-in events programme (weekend only, Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 July)

Walk a nature trail around St James’s Park to learn about the wonderful creatures that are part of London’s ecosystem. Explore how animals use their whiskers to understand the world around them and make your own whisker mask. Take part in an escape room-style activity, set inside 'Doctor Zoo's travelling science lab’ – will you beat the clock and make it out on time?

Can’t make it in person to Summer Science Exhibition this year?

On Saturday 9 July 2022 we will offer a live streamed session from 12pm to 3pm directly from the Summer Science Exhibition floor. Hosted by award-winning materials scientist, engineer and communicator Anna Ploszajski, the session will include interviews and hands-on demos that will give you the opportunity to see and experience the buzz of the live exhibition.