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About the Exhibition

The Summer Science Exhibition is a free festival showcasing the science shaping our future. It is a celebration of the cutting edge research being done right now across the UK and the researchers making that happen. Each year 22 exhibits are selected in a competitive process to exhibit their work during the exhibition in July.

The exhibition aims:

  • For visitors to meet and question real researchers, engaging in a two way dialogue where both parties take something away
  • For visitors to engage with the key messages of the exhibit in a hands on, interactive way
  • To reach new audiences who may not be currently engaged with the science
  • To allow researchers to showcase their research, gaining public engagement experience and the tools to reuse their exhibit
  • To interest school and college students in science and STEM careers
  • To share the exhibition with those unable to attend in person

View a 360 video from the 2018 exhibition

What is the dress code during the exhibition week?

Comfortable clothes. Most exhibit teams choose to wear matching T-shirts with trousers/skirts, and comfortable shoes, so that they are distinct from the general public and other exhibit groups. Please note, Royal Society exhibition team wear red t-shirts during the week and we would strongly advise your team wears a different colour to avoid any confusion with visitors.

Exhibition dates


 Date Time  Details 
 Friday 28 June
 2pm - 4pm
 Exhibitor deliveries ONLY - no set-up at all
 Saturday 29 June 
 10am - 6pm
 Exhibitor delivery and set-up (Last delivery 5pm)
 Sunday 30 June
 10am - 6pm
 Exhibitor delivery and set-up (Last delivery 4pm)


Please note that the timings listed below are the public opening hours for the exhibition. During the exhibition, exhibitors are allowed to be on site 1 hour before the exhibition opens and remain behind for no more than 30 minutes after the exhibition closes to the public. 


Date Time Details
Monday 1 July
9.30am - 11am

11am - 6pm
Press preview of the exhibition

Exhibition open to the public and registered school groups
Tuesday 2 July
10am- 4pm

6pm - 10pm
Exhibition open to the public and registered school groups

Summer Science Lates evening
Wednesday 3 July
10am- 4.30pm

7pm - 10pm
Exhibition open to the public and registered school groups

Thursday 4 July
10am- 4.30pm

7pm - 10pm
Exhibition open to the public and registered school groups

Friday 5 July
10am - 6pm
Exhibition open to the public and registered school groups
Saturday 6 July
10am - 6pm
Exhibition open to the public
Sunday 7 July
10am - 6pm
Exhibition open to the public


Date Time Details
Sunday 7 July
6pm - 8pm
Exhibitors can begin to pack up their exhibits
Monday 8 July
8am -12pm
Exhibitors dismantle and collect their exhibits

Note: all exhibit materials and exhibitors must be off site by 12pm on Monday 8 July. We will be unable to store items in the building after this point.

List of exhibits

Title  Instituition 
 A Periodic Table for Life
 University of Warwick
 Art of Isolation
 Lancaster University
 Assuring the earthquake safety of nuclear reactors in the UK
 University of Bristol
 BepiColombo: X-ray eyes on Mercury
 University of Leicester
 Breathing with your Brain
 University of Oxford
 Do you feel me? Mirror-Sensory Synaesthesia
 Goldsmiths, University of London
 Exploring the Universe in the search for ourselves
 University of St Andrews
 Lighting the way to a healthier brain after birth
 University College London (UCL)
 Living on the Moon!
 Open University
 Mutant Knockout
 Royal Veterinary College
 Reanimating Cancer
 University College London (UCL)
 Robotic Remedies for a Safer World in Offshore Energy
 Heriot-Watt University
 Seeing with Atoms
 University of Cambridge
 Spotlight on Chemistry
 University Of Nottingham
 Studying the 2D world: Why some atoms are more important than others
 Cardiff University
 Super biomaterials to fight super bugs
 University Of Nottingham
 Take a bite out of climate change
 University of Manchester
 The invisible shield from the centre of the Earth
 University of Liverpool
 The Quest for the Chemical Origin of Life
 UKRI - MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
 Trusted Autonomous Vehicles  University of Leicester
 Wooden Skyscrapers: how high-tech timber could change the way we live  University of Cambridge

Evaluation of the Exhibition

The Royal Society evaluates the exhibition in two ways, from the perspective of the public and from the perspective of the researcher. 

All the lead exhibitors from the Summer Science Exhibition will be asked to fill in a survey covering the below areas, which help us understand motivations for being involved in the exhibition and how we can better support public engagement in institutions. 

  • Career stage
  • Public engagement experience
  • Experience at the exhibition including impact

Public visitors are asked to complete a questionnaire on leaving the exhibition. An evaluation report, based on the findings of this survey is circulated to exhibitors in the months following the exhibition. The survey questions will cover the following areas. 

  • Visitors' overall enjoyment of the Exhibition and whether they would recommend the exhibition to a friend or colleague. 
  • Have visitors’ perspectives on science been changed? If so, how? 
  • Demographic data 
  • Diversity data

A separate survey is filled in by pre-registered school groups and covers questions linked to science as a career and perception of scientists.


Visitor statistics (%) are taken from completed visitor questionnaires from the 2018 exhibition. 

Pre-registered school students 

  • 1,918 students visited with 193 teachers
  • Of the schools that had registered to attend, 50% had not attended previously and 26% were independent schools
  • 88% of students agreed that by attending the Summer Science Exhibition they had learnt new scientific knowledge
  • 75% of teachers agreed that by attending the Summer Science Exhibition they had some ideas for new lesson content
  • 80% agreed that their students had gained a greater understanding of the relevance of science to the world around them
  • 91% of teachers felt their students gained a greater understanding of the importance of their studies 

Public visitors 

  • 8,061 public visitors attended the exhibition
  • The highest proportion of visitors were 13 - 25 years old, including school visitors, though there was a good spread across all age groups
  • There was an even gender split among visitors
  • 35.2% of visitors reported that they had visited before
  • 97.1% rated the exhibition 'Excellent' or 'Good'
  • When asked what they enjoyed most about the exhibition, the most popular responses were: ‘Visiting the various exhibits’ (74.9%), ‘Learning the latest about cutting edge research’ (50.1%) and ‘Meeting and interacting with scientists’ (48.6%)

Visitors also gave us some qualitative feedback:

“All the exhibits are selected across such an interesting range of subjects and the people on the stands are so enthusiastic and helpful. Always a great day – thank you.”

“Well organized. Interesting science. Nice people in the stands. Good Job!”

“Excellent experience as usual, have recommended on several occasions and will continue to come.”

“Always a high calibre of exhibition and knowledge on subjects presented; inspiring as well as informative.”


What else is going on at the Exhibition?

Talks and activities programme

During the exhibition, a number of events are held during exhibition week, including talks, tours, hands-on drop-in activities and interactive family shows at the weekend. There will be a special programme of events for our Summer Science Exhibition Lates evening on Tuesday 2 July. A full list of the events can be found on the public Summer Science Exhibition website. The 2019 website will be launched at the beginning of May.  


Royal Society exhibits

In addition to the exhibits, we will also have a history of the Royal Society display and history of science exhibit in the basement featuring objects from our archive collections.

Science Busking

During the busy weekends of the Summer Science Exhibition, we invite science buskers from various organisations and universities to help engage visitors of all ages.

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