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Local Heroes

Event

Overview

From Orkney to Plymouth, communities across the UK are celebrating the scientific heroes on their doorsteps. Take a look at the listings below and uncover your local scientific legacy with events, talks, walks and exhibitions.

From fossil hunting on the Isle of Wight, print-making in Cornwall to star-gazing in County Antrim, discover something new and explore the science that your area has to offer. 

More about Local Heroes

15 museums and galleries from across the country have been selected to take part in the Royal Society grant scheme which provides funding of up to £3,000 to reveal local stories of scientific brilliance. These projects unearth the stories of scientists from across the ages, including pioneers of the industrial age, intrepid Victorian dinosaur hunters and the discoverers of polythene – an invention that changed the world. 

For enquiries please contact localheroes@royalsociety.org

What's on near you?

Adam Sedgwick's Lakeland and Kendal Legacy

Adam Sedgwick's Lakeland and Kendal Legacy

Kendal Museum, Kendal

Kendal Museum is celebrating the work of Adam Sedgwick, one of the great geologists of the 19th century. His lasting legacy includes his surveys of the complicated geology of Lakeland – an important area for quarries and mining.

Exhibition opening March 2018

Brilliant Bessie Watercolour paintings by Bessie Downes

Merseyside: Brilliant Bessie Watercolour paintings by Bessie Downes

The Atkinson, Merseyside

The Atkinson, a local Merseyside museum, unearths the artistic skill of Bessie Downes. Born in 1860, Bessie painted watercolours of botanical specimens, leaving an important record of the plant life present on the Sefton Coast by date and location. 

Exhibition opening September 2017

Berwick: Bright Lights in the Borders 

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery, Berwick

Berwick Museum and Art Gallery highlights the flourishing scientific community in the borders between Berwick and Edinburgh in the first half of the 19th century. The Museum will explore five eminent scientists of the region, including Mary Somerville: astronomer, mathematician and polymath. 

Exhibition open from 3 June to 30 September 2017

Bright Lights in the Borders
Celebrating the life and work of Charles Clouston

Celebrating the life and work of Charles Clouston

Stromness Museum, Orkney

Born in Orkney in 1800, Rev. Dr Charles Clouston had broad scientific expertise in natural history, archaeology, geology and meteorology. Stromness Museum highlights his life and work with a day of talks and the Orkney Cloud Photography Competition.

Photography competition open from May 2017 until May 2018

Hugh Bourne (1772-1852) Pioneer of Science for All

Hugh Bourne (1772-1852) Pioneer of Science for All

Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, Englesea

A local museum in Englesea uncovers the legacy of Hugh Bourne, co-founder of the Primitive Methodist Church, self-educated railway pioneer and passionate educator. Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum uncovers his scientific work with an exhibition and day of activities.

Exhibition open from 1 April 2017

James Watt - a New Dimension

McLean Museum, Greenock

The McLean Museum in Greenock, Scotland celebrates inventor and engineer, James Watt (1736 – 1819). Famous for his leading role in the industrial revolution, in retirement Watt also invented machines for copying 3D sculptures and medallions. The McLean Museum will use modern 3D printing techniques to bring his legacy to life.


James Watt - a New Dimension
John Couch Adams - from Bodmin Moor to Neptune

John Couch Adams - from Bodmin Moor to Neptune

Lawrence House Museum, Launceston

Lawrence House Museum in Cornwall share the story of John Couch Adams, a local hero who co-discovered the existence of Neptune through calculations made whilst studying the moons around Uranus. Adams was also known for his interest in the mountains on the moon, comparing them to the hills of Bodmin Moor.

Joined by the water - observational legacies of citizen science

Hugh Miller's Birthplace Cottage & Museum and Cromarty Courthouse Museum, Cromarty

Two museums in the highlands delve into the work of Hugh Miller (1802-1856), citizen scientist and observational polymath, and George John Romanes (1848-1894), an early animal behaviour expert.

Exhibition open from 22 July 2017 at Hugh Miller's Birthplace Cottage & Musuem

Joined by the water –  observational legacies of citizen science
Monklands' Heavy Metal Heroes

Monklands' Heavy Metal Heroes

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life will tell the story of iron production in the local area, celebrating pioneers of the industrial age and sharing the areas rich scientific history with schools across the region.

Plastic Fantastic

Weaver Hall Museum & Workhouse, Cheshire

Weaver Hall Museum unearths the story of polythene, now the worlds most common plastic. The museum will share the local significance of its discovery and explore contemporary environmental issues surrounding its use.

Exhibition open from 19 August to 3 September 2017

Plastic Fantastic
The Comet Man

The Comet Man

Ballymoney Museum, County Atrim

Ballymoney Museum in County Atrim tells the tale of Andre Claude de la Crommelin (1865-1939). The Museum hosts stargazing events and gives the local community the opportunity to experience astronomy.

The Revd William Fox, Britain's greatest dinosaur hunter

Dinosaur Isle Museum, Sandown

The Dinosaur Isle Museum celebrates the forgotten story of the Reverend William Fox (1813-1881), Victorian dinosaur hunter. The Museum will take visitors off the beaten track on self-guided tours around the area which will bring Fox’s extraordinary fossil hunting to life.

The Revd William Fox, Britain's greatest dinosaur hunter
William Lyons, Tenby's unlauded builder of a seminal shell collection

William Lyons, Tenby's unlauded builder of a seminal shell collection

Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, Tenby

Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, the oldest independent museum in Wales, will share the story of William Lyons whose collection of shells was of “great scientific and historic interest” both locally and nationally. Volunteers will work with the community and local schools to research and reveal Lyons life and work.

27 July 2017 A walk on the beach