Discover how UV light could safely remove tumours, compare yourself to an ape and listen to ancient Antarctic ice bubbles at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

19 February 2024

  • The Summer Science Exhibition is the Royal Society’s annual celebration of cutting-edge science
  • 14 flagship exhibits, 33 talks, 30 hands-on activities, more than 250 scientists over six days – and free to attend
  •  Explore interactive science exhibits and meet the minds behind groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs and discoveries

The Royal Society will open its doors for its annual Summer Science Exhibition from 2-7 July 2024 with 14 flagship exhibits exploring the latest advances in science.

The free exhibition at the world’s oldest scientific academy will also feature thought-provoking talks, workshops and hands-on demonstrations to suit all ages.

The event will open with an adults-only evening of activities, workshops and fascinating talks on sports science on 2 July, ahead of the doors opening to the wider general public at 10am on the 3 July.

Professor Carlos Frenk, a cosmologist, Fellow of the Royal Society and Chair of the Public Engagement Committee, said:

“From the batteries that power our phones to the unknown wonders of the distant universe, scientific breakthroughs and discoveries are all around us and changing the world we live in and how we view it.

“The annual Summer Science Exhibition is an incredible showcase of some of this mind-blowing research and offers visitors unparalleled access to the new ideas and technologies that are shaping and changing society at an unprecedented rate.

“With a carefully curated selection of 14 inspiring and engaging flagship exhibits, there will be something new and exciting to discover for everyone.”

Find your place in the animal kingdom

Discover where we sit within our primate family tree with the scientists trying to understand how we evolved from great apes to walking, talking humans. Try your hand at puzzle-solving games to see how you compare to our great ape cousins in your quest for a food reward and learn how the way we wriggle as infants helps prepare our brains and bodies to navigate a complex physical and social world.

Discover research with the power to transform healthcare

From personalised vaccines to UV light that can remove tumours with expert precision, transformative healthcare technologies could be just around the corner. This year research teams from across the UK will present their groundbreaking research that could revolutionise the way we treat diseases across the globe. 

Also, have your say on the legal, ethical and technical challenges of stem cell-based embryo models. The models are currently being used to study the early stages of human development but how should they be regulated?

Get hands on with the technology of the future

Visitors will be able to test their powers of thought control with wearable technology that measures brain activity and learn more about emerging ethical concerns and societal implications of an imminent future living with personal brain scanners.

Meet the scientists on a mission to make the batteries that power our lives more sustainable and have a go at making and testing your own battery.

Try your hand at making materials atom-by-atom and learn how nanoscale engineering could lead to massive breakthroughs in quantum computing and unlock new ways to tackle climate change.  

Explore the science of climate change

How fast will the Antarctic ice sheet change in the future? Research by the British Antarctic Survey is providing some of the best evidence that parts of the Antarctic ice sheet reached a 'tipping point' in the past and thus we are at increased risk of crossing another in the future.

Visitors to the Summer Science Exhibition will be able to extract ice cores from a 3D model of the Antarctic to see how deep and how old the ice is. Scientists will also be exhibiting real, ancient Antarctic ice that visitors will be able to hold to their ears and hear ancient bubbles of air escape as the ice slowly melts.

We are all connected to the ocean. It regulates our climate by moving heat and fresh water around the planet, and is a primary driver of our weather. The ocean has absorbed 90% of the heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions, and 25% of the carbon dioxide that causes this warming. This has consequences for life in the oceans and life on land. Interact with a giant Puffersphere to learn how scientists are revolutionising their understanding of our oceans and developing technologies to measure heat uptake, which is critical for climate science.

Meet the scientists working with local communities in the Philippines to clean up abandoned mines and reduce their impact on people and the planet, making mining more sustainable.

The unseen wonders of the universe 

Catch a glimpse of the powers of light as brilliant green lasers levitate tiny objects and light is twisted into bursts of colours.

Discover the secrets of the universe with scientists searching for mysterious dark matter using quantum technology, and researchers studying the properties of ghost-like, mysterious neutrinos, which may help us answer fundamental questions about our universe.

Gaze in awe at some of the incredible images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope in its first two years of observations.