Summer Science Exhibition Lates 2023

04 July 2023 18:00 - 22:00 The Royal Society Free
The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2023

This event is part of the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition 2023.

Immerse yourself in an evening of space science, tasting menus and talks for over 18s, with the return of the adults-only Summer Science Lates on Tuesday 4 July. 

Get creative with astronomical drawing workshops and space-themed stitching, discover the smell of space or meet the researchers looking back in time to the birth of galaxies.

AromAtom: discover the smell of space

AromAtom, designed by perfumer and scientist Marina Barcenilla, is a fragrant encounter with space. Our primary aim is to demystify science by presenting it as a fun and accessible experience that anybody can participate in, regardless of age, education or background. 

Using our space-scents as a tool to engage the imagination, participants are taken on a journey during which we explore the planets and moons of our Solar System, faraway galaxies and the vastness of the universe with sense of smell as our guide.

Drop-in activity: 6-10pm | Talks: 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm | Conference Room

Stitching the Stars

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) launched the bicentennial quilts project in 2020 to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The patchwork quilt will be on display at the exhibition: it is made up of 100 fabric squares - depicting planets, stars, galaxies and more - received from people across the globe. The solar system quilt is a work in progress, and we need your help to finish the project. Come along to the workshop delivered by Annie Hogan to add your stitches to a piece of history in the making!

Drop-in activity: 6-10pm | City of London 1

The Planeterrella

The Planeterrella, brought by a team from the University of Leicester, is a small vacuum chamber which we use to recreate auroral lights around magnetic spheres. It was only a hundred years ago, when Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland led a daring expedition to the top of an arctic mountain, that scientists realised that the aurorae are created by charged particles from the Sun travelling along the Earth’s magnetic field lines and exciting our atmosphere. Back in his laboratory in Oslo, Birkeland proved his hypothesis to the world with a famous experiment where he created auroral light around magnetic spheres inside a small vacuum chamber.

Drop-in activity: 6-10pm | City of London 2

Lightning talks

John Regan: The first black holes in the universe
Andrew Pontzen: What is a simulation – and do we live in one?
Michele Dougherty: Exploring Jupiter and its icy moons - the JUICE Mission 
Katherine Joy: Space invaders: meteorite attack
Jenny Carter: SMILE! Taking the first images of the Sun-Earth interaction

More talks and activities will be added to the programme as we get closer to the event.

Attending the event

  • Free to attend
  • In person only
  • No registration required
  • Suitable for 18+
  • Travel and accessibility information - contact us directly to arrange any specific accessibility requirements
  • Food and drink will be available for purchase at our onsite café

For all enquiries, please email