History of the Summer Science Exhibition

For over three decades the Royal Society has opened the doors to its building in central London (6-9 Carlton House Terrace) and welcomed thousands of visitors to meet the researchers behind some of the leading science in the UK. As the oldest science festival in the UK, the Summer Science Exhibition is a member of the UK Science Festival Network.

Up to 300 researchers from across the country take part, talking to visitors about their work and demonstrating the scientific principles and discoveries with hands-on interactives and talks. As the UK’s national academy of science, the Royal Society is committed to demonstrating the importance of science to everyone, and the Summer Science Exhibition is our flagship public engagement event.

Its history dates back to 1778, when the President at the time, Joseph Banks, started ‘conversaziones’ (later known as the Soirees). An opportunity for Fellows of the Royal Society to show their latest research and breakthroughs, they have since developed into the annual public Summer Science Exhibition. 

Explore our previous Summer Science Exhibitions: 2020 (online), 2021 (online), and 2022 (in person).


An historical conversazione at the Royal Society