Once a year, the world’s oldest scientific organisation, the Royal Society, puts on a free show of the cutting, thrusting and eye-poking edge of UK research in a Summer Science Festival. You simply walk in, wander around the marble halls and soak in the science. We’ve been for the last four years and always get immense pleasure from playing with gadgets and interrogating scientists.
This year, over 20 groups have assembled in the RS headquarters on Carlton House Terrace. Just about every branch of science is covered, including cancer therapy, solar power, conservation and geology. Have you ever met a particle physicist before? Wouldn’t that be something to tell your mum. And for the more reflective, there’s also a nod to the past, with exhibitions on Victorian science and Darwinism. Highlights include the once-in-a-decade chance to palpate a virtual cat-kidney and the opportunity to talk to scientists from the recently launched Planck and Herschel space telescopes.
The most convenient time to catch the exhibition is tonight, when the building stays open until 9pm. But the show runs all week, including Saturday, from 10-5 each day. Entry is free and no booking is required.