Royal Society announces 36 new Places of Science grant recipients

20 March 2024

36 small museums across the UK have been awarded funding by the Royal Society Places of Science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories, from Cornish lithium mining and the impact of urban microclimates on the future of Welsh cricket, to the science behind Strathpeffer’s Victorian Spa.

The grants of up to £3,500 will help museums in all four UK nations reach new audiences and bring the history of science and scientists to life in new and exciting ways.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the science of historic crafts, from glassmaking in Worcestershire and blacksmithing in Hertfordshire to cyanotype printing in North Yorkshire, discover herbal remedies of old in Lincolnshire and dig into the archaeological history of Coleraine, County Londonderry.

Further projects will shine a light on lesser told stories from history, including botanist Matilda Knowles (1864-1933), considered the founder of modern studies of Irish lichens, and Richard Hill (1795-1872), a prominent black abolitionist and naturalist, born in Jamaica who emigrated to Horncastle, Lincolnshire in the 1800s. 

Professor Russell Foster CBE FMedSci FRS and Chair of the Places of Science allocation panel, said: “We have such an exciting array of themes being explored by the Places of Science awardees this year, from the history of space exploration to maths in the Islamic world and the impact of climate change at a local level. 

“It has been wonderful to see so many creative ways of sharing scientific stories that are both engaging and accessible. I hope these projects allow people of all ages to connect with science in new ways and feel a shared sense of ownership of their local scientific history.”

Professor Carlos Frenk CBE FRS, cosmologist and Chair of the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee, said: “The Royal Society Places of Science scheme is now in its fifth round, and once again, the sheer diversity of projects and the creativity of this year’s awardees is astounding. 

“Science plays a daily part in all our lives, and I’m delighted to think that new audiences from across the UK will be able to learn about the fascinating ways in which science has shaped their local communities throughout history and the vital role that it continues to play today.”

Places of science aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way. From family days at the museum, through community-led creation and curation, to workshops for schools and documentary filmmaking, projects offer an exciting way for people to engage with science in the local area and beyond.

Full list of 2024 awardees

Read more about awardees

Beaminster Museum 
Using 3D scanning to improve access and education of heritage objects

Braintree District Museum
The Braintree Museum Urban Garden Project

Bruce Castle Museum
Getting the Measure of William Bedwell: Maths, Measurement, and the Arabic world 

Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre
Communicating conservation science at Chippenham Museum

Coleraine Museum
The Evolving Science of Digging Up the Past

Congleton Museum
Our Disappearing Nature!

Dr Jenner's House, Museum and Garden
Jenner & The Oxford Vaccine

Epworth Old Rectory
Cures from the Garden: 18th century medicine at home

Gilbert White & The Oates Collection
Migrant Journeys

Herschel Museum of Astronomy
Amazing discoveries planetarium project

Highland Museum of Childhood
Exploring the Science behind Strathpeffer’s Victorian Spa

John Moore Museum
Natural Curators

Mid-Antrim Museum
Matilda’s Laboratory Challenge!

Milford House
Milford House the story of electricity and the wonder of its age!

Much Hadham Forge Museum
Forging Links with Science at Much Hadham Forge Museum

Museum of Dartmoor Life
A Shroud for Mother Nature – Is Dartmoor Dying?

Museum of North Craven Life
Ground Nest Fest 2024

Museum of Welsh Cricket
Urban microclimates and their potential impact on summer sport in future

National Mining Museum United Kingdom
“The Rescuers” Tackle Climate Change

North Lincolnshire Museum
Beneath Our Feet: exploring the geology and history of North Lincolnshire, from the ground up

Pannett Art Gallery
Look Closer, see the Extraordinary 

Peace Museum
Caring for our world

Port Sunlight Museum
The Sunlight Soap Challenge 

Rural Life Museum
The Science of Stubbs project

Sir Joseph Banks Society CIO
Richard Hill

Stourbridge Glass Museum
Revitalising Glass: Connecting science and art – a sustainable approach to recycling and renew ability

Stromness Museum
Mineral Minds

Teign Heritage
Sun, sea and shifting sands – how the weather impacts the Teign Estuary

Tetbury Police Museum & Courtroom
Criminal Science and its relationship to Social Justice and Community

The Apsley Paper Trail
Recycling Paper: not a new invention

The Diving Museum
Diving into the Future at the Diving Museum

The Museum of Royal Worcester
The science of historic ice-cream: a hands-on workshop with the Museum of Royal Worcester

The Red House
The Science of Sound – creating a new offer for secondary students

Watchet Market House Museum
Waving at Watchet

Wheal MartynClay Works
Inspiring Cornwall’s Minds and Miners for Our Future

Wolverhampton Arts & Culture
Land Speed Record – Bilston Journeys: Exploring transport for a sustainable future