With more than 22 exhibits exploring the very latest advances in science, and access to hundreds of scientists, the Summer Science Exhibition offers a unique opportunity to explore the science shaping our future with the people making it happen.
The full list of exhibits will be announced in the spring, but read on for a taste of 2019….
Explore cities of the future
From Vienna to Brooklyn to Brisbane, cities are removing the concrete out of concrete jungles by building high-rises made out of fire-resistant, high-tech timber. Just one cubic metre of wood traps a ton of carbon, making the technology a serious contender in fighting climate change. Meet the visionary group of architects and engineers turning to nature to fight the status quo, and use industrial machinery to test the strength of their materials yourself. Hear about their race against the clock to build the world’s first true wooden skyscraper right here in London, with provocative designs in the heart of the capital city.
Future cities may be more spruce than glass, but the real change will be on the roads. Driverless cars are upon us, but there’s one big problem – trust. Would you let go of the steering wheel for a computer? One group of scientists are making the case for technology by showcasing the very latest advances in sensors and artificial intelligence that promise to make cars safer than human drivers. Set your own parameters and rules and see how well your autonomous vehicle stays safe. The technology is right here, right now, and this is your chance to shape the transport revolution.
Intelligent cars won’t be the only machines coming alive on the streets. Behold the automatons that crawl, walk, run, dance, jump, climb and fly. Join the engineers displaying their magnificent creations, and guide their robots through tricky obstacles and mazes to learn more about how technology is helping humans without putting lives at risk.
Look out to the Universe
Circling one star among hundreds of billions, in one galaxy among a hundred billion more, it’s easy to forget that we live in a place of astonishing grandeur and mystery. Are we the Universe’s only child - our thoughts its only thoughts? Ask the researchers surveying more than a million stars in the hundred nearest galaxies. Using state-of-the-art instruments that can detect a single lightbulb 25 trillion miles deep into the universe, discover how we are better prepared than ever before to answer the biggest question of our own existence. Do we try to make contact with advanced civilizations in outer space? Who decides? Individuals, institutions, corporations, or states? This is your chance to join the debate and tell scientists what – if anything – we should say to them.
Those seeking a closer experience to home need only a casual glance at the night sky. Space scientists are set to descend at the Royal Society replete with lunar landscapes, meteorites and space rovers to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Find out how advances in British science will be key to mine for oxygen and water on the lunar surface, bringing us one step closer to humanity’s dream of living on the Moon.
Discover what makes us human
Feeling intense pangs of pain just by looking at someone’s injury, or experiencing their vivid pleasure as if it were your own. This is the every-day life experience of people living with mirror-sensory synaesthesia, a condition that blurs the senses, causing people to struggle to differentiate between their own bodily feelings and other people's.
With unparalleled access to the researchers studying one of the most fascinating aspects of the human brain, this is a unique chance to meet the synesthetes face-to-face, and ask them anything about their unique perspective on life. Test your own senses to find out if you are in the 1.5% of the population thought to have the condition, and learn more about what it tells us about the empathy in us all.