Micol Molinari, Learning Resources Project Coordinator writes about the Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society. The exhibition runs from 2-7th July and is free entry.
Exciting, colourful, inspiring: fancy a little of that this week? You’re in luck. Every year, a specially selected group of researchers and technologists from across the nation, take over the Royal Society building and garden and turn them into an incredible celebration of scientific endeavour – the Summer Science Exhibition – filled with interactive exhibits, games, live demonstrations, prizes, and conversation.
What’s on this year? You can find out how scientists use cutting edge technology to monitor wildlife and protect biodiversity. Maybe you’re interested in the idea of teleporting yourself? Head to meet the Quantum Revolution team and hear about their latest research (hint- you will probably still be late for dinner). There are plenty of stands to check out, with 24 research groups represented, you might even meet the team of school students who are exploring essential oils as antimicrobial agents. Killing germs never smelled so good!
Recently I heard Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to the president of the European Commission, say in a talk that, “research not communicated is research not done”. It’s true. For scientists working in their labs, in the field, or up in space, it is not enough to ‘just’ carry out the research; it must get out there – entering the public domain, so that science can be part of everyday culture – or it might as well have never happened. So on top of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge, researchers also have to make sure that information is accessible. It is a big responsibility.
This is why events like the Summer Science Exhibition are so worth supporting: not only are they a chance for young and old alike to meet real scientists (in their regular clothes!) and be inspired by their passion, but by attending, we help scientists communicate their work widely, fueling the demand for public engagement to become an integral part of scientist’s work. These can only be good things.
For the Science Museum Learning team, the Summer Science Exhibition is extra special. We’ve had a long relationship with the Royal Society; for the past 9 years we have worked with each year’s participating scientists to develop communication skills and help plan their exhibits at the very early stages. Their research fascinates us, and their dedication to sharing it truly blows us away.