Countdown begins for Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2023

06 June 2023

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, is gearing up for its annual Summer Science Exhibition which will open its doors in less than a month’s time.

This historical event, which has been running for more than 200 years, promises a fun-filled, week-long, free festival of cutting-edge science in the heart of central London. 

More than 10,000 visitors are expected to walk through the doors of the exhibition, where they will get the chance to drum their way to health, smell their way to space, and carry out an eye operation as well as meet astronauts, rockstars, and UK researchers helping to shape the world around us. 

Start the week, 4 July 6pm – 10pm

Be a star at the Summer Science ‘Space’ Lates (18+)

Gravitate toward central London to hear from experts on the study of space and the search for life on other planets:

  • What’s the weather like on Mars? Do you love a cup of tea, too? Grill Dr John Elliot, University of St Andrews, on what to ask if we meet alien life
  • Put your nose to the test with ‘AromAtom’ – a project by perfumier-turned-space-researcher Marina Barcenilla, University of Westminster, who recreates extra-terrestrial scents
  • Join North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre to explore astronaut food, moon rocks and rocket launchers
  • Immerse yourself in ‘Planeterrella’ – a projected display of auroral lights

Throughout the week, 5 – 9 July

Blondie’s drummer, medical robots, and life in the shadow of a volcano

The programme of activities from this year’s flagship exhibits will include:

  • Percussionists and researchers involved with the University of Essex Clem Burke Drumming Project will give live performances and explain how drumming can help children deal with emotional and social behavioural problems
  • A glimpse of the future of rehab with energy harvesting bionic bandages and lab-grown muscles for prosthetics. The University of Nottingham and Loughborough University, will be showcasing their work, which includes robotic assistants that might one day help care for the elderly and injured
  • Learn about the realities, and unexpected benefits, of living in the shadow of a volcano from experts at the University of Oxford, University of East Anglia, and University of the West Indies

Read about all the exhibitors in detail on the Summer Science website. 

Learn how to heal your body and the environment

Join a host of leading organisations, speakers and famous faces to explore the societal challenges of looking after our bodies and the environment in two themed exhibit spaces.

Healthy Living Zone

  • Find out if you have a fabella – an extra bone in the knee that helps with movement
  • Hear from the researchers developing 3D printed pills to suit individual patient’s needs
  • Explore the power of innovative age-inclusive design in helping people age more happily and healthily

Healthy Planet Zone

  • Learn about the impacts of climate change on sport in the UK
  • Explore how predictions can help prepare us for the impact of flooding to save lives and livelihoods
  • Discover how researchers are using microbes to turn sewage sludge, food waste and crop residues into energy

Exchange ideas with experts and explorers

There will be talks, activities and Q&A sessions with exciting names.

  • Ask your questions to the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, as she talks about her career and how studying STEM can open up a wide range of opportunities (5 - 7 July 2023, 11am - 2.30pm)
  • Find out how your meat intake is affecting your health and the environment (7 - 9 July 2023, 10am - 6pm)
  • Take the Great Ape Challenge to see how solving problems with our hands may be related to the evolution and the development of language (7 - 9 July, 10am - 6pm)
  • Play funfair games while learning how having two eyes helps your vision (7 July, 10am – 6pm)

Meet the next generation at the Young Researcher Zone, 5 – 7 July

Hear from students investigating the biodiversity of their local nature reserve and exploring what a net-zero primary school could look like. (Wednesday to Friday only).

At the weekend, 8 – 9 July 

Bring the family as the excitement continues over the Summer Science weekend.

  • Are you hot, or not? See your emotions play out through a thermal imaging camera (8 - 9 July, 10am - 6pm)
  • Explore cutting-edge technology that can lead to safer, faster, and more effective landmine clearance (8 - 9 July 10am - 6pm)
  • Come face-to-face with fossil remains from the UK’s extinct woolly rhinos, reindeer and hyenas from new cave excavations in southern Britain (8 July, 10am - 6pm)
  • Learn how humpback whale song can help us understand the complexities of animal culture in this talk by Natalie Sinclair (8 July, 2 - 2.20pm)
  • Discover how diamonds can fight deadly space fungus (8 July, 2.30 - 2.50pm)
  • Find out from Evgenia Arbugaeva, National Geographic Explorer and director of the award-winning documentary, Haulout, what it was really like to be witnessing the impact of climate change in the Arctic (8 July 4pm and 5pm)
  • Explore how you could help save the charismatic pangolin from the brink of extinction in this talk by Charles Emogor (8 July 11.30 - 11.50am, 9 July 12.30 - 12.50pm)