What’s On at the Science Museum

What’s On at the Science Museum

Autumn Half Term: 29 October – 2 November 2012

This half term holiday, make the ScienceMuseumyour destination of choice! The Museum will host a programme of activities throughout the week so visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk for more details.


 What use is a robot octopus?

30 October-1 November, Antenna gallery – FREE
Robots have, traditionally, been humanoid in shape. Now, scientists are turning to the animal world for inspiration. This half term holiday, come and see the robotic octopus; it’s more than a bit of fun!…Meet scientists Richard Bonser and Cecilia Laschi as they demonstrate how this amazing robot works and explain how it could one day be used for tasks such as repairing underwater structures like oil pipelines and ships’ hulls to performing search-and-rescue operations – venturing into places too dangerous for humans!

 Science Museum Live on Tour

17 October – 4 November 2012, (Ages 7+) IMAX – charges apply

The popular shows return to the stage with new experiments for Autumn 2012. Inspired by theScienceMuseum’s hugely popular interactive galleries, this inventive family theatre show leads children and adults on an exploratory adventure into the wonderful world of science. As part of theUKtour, the show will play in theScienceMuseum’s IMAX Theatre.

 Live Science

25 October- 21 December, Who Am I? gallery – FREE

Ever fancied taking part in a real scientific experiment? Come and meet researchers from Queen Mary,UniversityofLondonwho need volunteers to help them with a new experiment which explores our attitudes towards sharing and fairness. Visitors will be invited to play a game against each other where they can allocate, distribute or even confiscate small prizes to and from each other. The experiments will run in the Live Science area in the Who Am I? gallery every Thursday, Friday and Sunday until 21 December 2012. The experiments are free and open to visitors of all ages.

 Wireless Workshop

Tuesday 30 October and Friday 2 November, (Ages 7+) – FREE

Discover how to connect an electric circuit using paint instead of wires. Succeed and take it home, as part of a light up pencil case with unique design based on one of theScienceMuseum’s iconic objects.

Located opposite Agriculture gallery, 1st Floor.

 Bareconductive Badge-Making

Tuesday 30 October and Friday 2 November (Ages 5+) – FREE

Electrically conductive paint for makers of all ages. Explore circuits and electronics in a whole new way!

Located opposite opposite Agriculture gallery, 1st Floor

 Real McCoy

FREE (Ages 7 and under) Weekends: 27th-28th October; 3rd-4th November (11:00 performance only) Weekdays: Mon 29th-Fri 2nd November

Choo! Choo! Next stop America. Hop on board for this story-telling adventure and discover all about the life of Elijah McCoy, an African- American who changed the way trains work forever. Flight gallery, 3rd Floor.

 Space in Your Face

(Ages 5+) Weekends: 27th-28th October; Sunday 4th November only

3, 2, 1 blast off!  Join us on our journey through Space in this fast paced action packed extravaganza of a show!

Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor


 Pain Less: the future of pain relief

8 November – 8 November 2013 FREE

The ScienceMuseumopens a new exhibition, Pain Less, that explores the future of pain relief and the different ways that pain management is being developed. Pain relief is huge area of research and scientists are constantly looking at new ways of how we can manage pain. Scientists now have new understanding of the link between the brain and body and are investigating how this can help us to overcome pain in future.

 Apollo: For All Mankind  12 November

Icebreaker, and world-renowned pedal steel guitarist, BJ Cole, return to the ScienceMuseum’s IMAX theatre for a one-off performance of works by Michael Nyman, Conlon Nancarrow and the band’s 2012 album, Apollo. The concert will be performed alongside Apollo film footage from Al Reinert’s film For All Mankind. Tickets cost £19 and can be booked by calling 0870 870 4868.

 2LO and 90th anniversary of the first BBC broadcast 14 November

The BBC is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its first broadcast on the 14th November 2012. To mark this historic moment theScienceMuseum is displaying a portion of 2LO, the transmitter which broadcast the first radio programmes.

 Can kids crack cosmic mystery?

>From 12 October, Antenna gallery – FREE

A project called ‘Global Jet Watch’ wants to understand black holes by watching one 24 hours a day. SS433 is a ‘microquasar’, a small black hole that slowly consumes its partner star and ejects some of what it eats in powerful jets. To keep an eye on it 24 hours a day, four telescopes are being built in four different time zones. And what’s fantastic about the team watching SS433 is that they are mostly kids!

 ANTENNA: Can we get electricity from nuclear waste?

Until January 2013 – FREE

Discover more about the accelerator technology being developed here in theUKand reflect on the issues around nuclear energy and waste. On display is a magnet from a brand new type of particle accelerator which has made it possible to run a nuclear reactor to release energy, rather than relying on a critical nuclear chain reaction.

 Tony Cragg  Until 25 November – FREE

British sculptor, Tony Cragg is exhibiting work at theScienceMuseumuntil November 2012. Five major new outdoor sculptures have taken overExhibition Roadand six indoor works are on display at the V&A, theScienceMuseumand theNaturalHistoryMuseum. Up to 5.5m in scale, the works demonstrate Cragg’s pioneering and ambitious explorations between abstraction and figuration, creating forms which bring together references to classical sculpture with motifs from science and nature.

 Switch to a different you?

Who Am I? gallery – 6 September – 5 December, FREE

A free display connected to recent ENCODE research into DNA joins the Who Am I? gallery, theScienceMuseum’s biomedical gallery that allows visitors to explore how genetics and the brain combine to create your unique identity.

 Web Lab

Until July 2013, FREE

Web Lab is made of up five experiment installations that bring the extraordinary workings of the internet to life and aims to inspire the world about the possibilities of the web. Exhibited at the ScienceMuseum, Web Lab is both a physical exhibition at the museum and an interactive website available everywhere at chromeweblab.com. Worldwide visitors both on and offline will be able to make music with people across the world, launch information into cyberspace, and see where images on the web live, or watch their portrait being drawn in sand by a robot.


 Discovering the lost worlds of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thursday 8 November, 4 – 5 pm, Lecture Theatre – FREE

Speakers: Piers Bizony and Simon Atkinson, authors of ‘2001: Filming the Future’

 In the early 1990s author Piers Bizony and illustrator and model maker Simon Atkinson began work on a book about the making of Stanley Kubrick’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction classic 2001: a Space Odyssey. The making of this movie drew heavily on the expertise of NASA which at the time was gearing up for the landing of the Apollo astronauts on the Moon. In this richly illustrated Science Museum Talk Piers and Simon will describe an extraordinary journey to the publication of their internationally acclaimed book 2001: Filming the Future. They will also mention an exciting new project for 2014 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Kubrick and Clarke’s meeting when they first discussed ideas for what would become the seminal sci-fi movie of the 1960s.

 Shackleton’s Dream :Fuchs, Hillary and the Crossing of Antarctica

Thursday 22November 2012, 3 – 5pm, Lecture Theatre – FREE

Speakers: Stephen Haddelsey, author of ‘ Ice Captain: The Life of Joseph

Russell Stenhouse’ andBorn Adventurer: The Life of Frank Bickerton’

 In 1914 Ernest Shackleton embarked on what he called ‘The last great polar journey’ – the crossing ofAntarctica. His expedition ended in disaster, with the Endurance crushed and the corpses of three explorers left in the frozen wastes. Forty years later Vivian Fuchs and Edmund Hillary, the hero of Everest, set out to succeed where Shackleton had failed. Despite the passage of four decades, the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1955–58 encountered many of the obstacles that had so hindered Shackleton – a chronic shortage of funds, inadequate equipment and an early onset of pack ice. Even more disastrously, it also suffered from a clash of personalities so severe that it nearly destroyed the expedition from within. Shackleton’s Dream tells the full dramatic story for the very first time.

This talk will be followed by a screening of the BP film ‘Antarctic Crossing’ (1958) and a signing of Stephen’s book, ‘Shackleton’s Dream :Fuchs, Hillary and the Crossing of Antarctica’.


 A Cockroach Tour of the Museum

Visitors take on the form of cockroaches, dressing up in realistic costumes to begin a journey through the Museum, exploring the impact on the climate of scientific and technological developments from the perspective of one of the oldest, most resilient life forms on the planet. The humorous tour takes visitors through the Museum’s world-class galleries. The Cockroach Tour is an artwork by a Danish art group called Superflex, a group of artists and designers whose work highlight global issues and suggests alternative ideas and solutions. The Cockroach Tours run every Saturday and Sunday, and during Lates each month. To book a place call: 0870 870 4868.


 LATES Last Wednesday of each month, 6.45-10.00pm. For adults aged 18+, FREE

Enjoy a fun evening of themed workshops and talks after hours on the last Wednesday of each month. Regular activities include A Cockroach Tour of theScienceMuseum, Silent Disco, speed dating, the legendary Pub Quiz and science-based humour with the Punk Science comedy team. You can also enjoy shameless playtime in the interactive Launchpad gallery!

 November Lates with MasterCard – Wednesday 31 October

This month’s Lates explores the Science of Alcohol!

 The final Lates of 2012 will be on Wednesday 28 November…


The Dana Centre is theScienceMuseum’s café bar and venue for exploring issues in contemporary science through dialogue, interaction, performance and art. Most events are free and open to anyone aged 18 and over.

Executing Justice – Wednesday 17 October

Can executions ever be humane? Should medicine have any kind of role to play in capital punishment? Join us for an enlightening evening on this dark topic as we draw back the curtain on the execution chamber.

 Crack the Code – Tuesday 30 October

The Dana Centre presents ‘Crack the Code’, a game of secrecy and espionage… The game is a series of timed challenges, where coded instructions will tell you what to do to score points and complete your mission. Each team is also ‘attacking’ another team by trying to crack their challenges. Will you crack the codes or crack under pressure? The game highlights Alan Turing’s groundbreaking work on cryptography in World War II that was essential to the Allied victory.

Shakespeare’s Medicine Cabinet – Thursday 8 November

Potions and poisons are a recurring theme in Shakespearean drama. But what can modern science reveal about such skulduggery? How did these medicines actually work? The British Pharmacological Society, with help from a troupe of Shakespeare players, find out.

 Algo-Rhythms – Wednesday 14 November

Can you distinguish between works of art made by humans, and computer generated art? Try your hand at drawing, painting and dancing using algorithms and automated processes in a hands-on exploration of whether art needs human guidance. Join the debate about what makes art, art! You can also experience the work of professional choreographers Hamish MacPherson and Marianne Painter as they dance to their algo-rhythms.

Antibiotics: Solving a Knotty Problem – Tuesday 27 November

Have you been ill recently? Did your doctor give you antibiotics? Do you wonder how they worked? Join us to explore the escalating arms race between the bacteria that attack us and the antibiotics we use to fight them.

 All events require pre-booking. For details visit www.danacentre.org.uk/events


 Codebreaking Workshops – Autumn / Winter 2012

A new series of workshops aimed at both adult and family audiences where visitors learn the principles of codebreaking – taking inspiration from the Codebreaker: Alan Turing’s Life and Legacy exhibition. Further details to be announced soon.

 Codebreaker – Alan Turing’s life and legacy

Until May 2013, FREE

An exhibition celebrating the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, supported by Google. This biographical exhibition explores Turing’s inspirational story and examines his profound influence on the fields of code-breaking, computing, mathematics, artificial intelligence and biology. The life and legacy of Alan Turing will be told using objects (including some which have never been on public display), archival material, interactive exhibits, photographs and quotations.

 Climate Changing Stories  


The display presents objects and art that reflect the human capacity to adapt to our ever-changing environment. From nineteenth century inventions that paved the way for new technologies – to contemporary art and film that show a glimpse of futuristic adaptations, Climate Changing Stories shows the range of ingenious ways humans have and will respond to our changing climate. Plus, 48UKschools share the results of their investigation into issues including river pollution and attitudes to wind farms, in a 3-day exhibition.

 Signs, Symbols Secrets: An illustrated guide to alchemy

Until April 2013, FREE

The exhibition features 20 rare books and two illustrated manuscripts from the Museum’s Library and Archives collections. In addition, objects from the Wellcome and Chemistry collections will be displayed including a rare alchemical scroll.

 Oramics to Electronica: Personal histories behind electronic music

Until December 2012, FREE

The ‘Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music’, is dedicated to the birth of electronic music and how it has influenced our music world. The exhibition displays the Oramics Machine and rarely seen archive footage. Personal stories will show how electronic sound has advanced, changed and was democratised from the 1950s through to the modern era, and people envisioned new sounds and pushed the boundaries of what was possible.

 ANTENNA – Water Wars exhibition

Until 8 November – FREE

Water Wars is an exhibition that investigates how engineers are developing technologies to secure enough water to prevent a global food crisis. Our population is rising at a staggering rate. And climate change is making matters worse… We need to act fast to secure enough water – and food – for the future.

 Coming soon…Celebrate Christmas at the Science Museum!

This Christmas, come in out of the cold and make the ScienceMuseumyour holiday destination of choice. The Museum is open every day from 10.00 to 18.00 bar Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. There’s plenty to entertain adults and children alike with exhibitions, events and films, all under one roof. Create your own greeting cards where you connect your drawing to a battery and lightbulb and see your design light up! Drop in on our snowflake making workshop, watch the Science Museum’s drama characters or catch one of our special Christmas shows – which will be performed twice daily during the holiday period. Not only that, but the Museum Shop is open late until 23 December, so it’s the perfect place to grab those last minute gifts for all the family.

ScienceMuseum,Exhibition Road,London,SW7 2DD Every Monday – Sunday till 18.00. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk / 0870 870 4868 www.facebook.com/sciencemuseumlondon Twitter – @sciencemuseum

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