From the outside, the Royal Society might look like a slightly aloof gentleman’s club, but inside it holds some of the best public events in London — usually for free. None are bigger or more worthy of your time than the annual Summer Science Exhibition. It returns tonight, with an adults-only evening of events, then continues until 7 July.
Five reasons why you really should go:
- You get to chat to some of the UK’s best scientists, working in fields as diverse as climate change, cosmology and using 3-D printing to grow stem cells.
- It’s not just about chat. The researchers often bring their experiments or equipment with them, so you get to play with robots or cutting-edge technology.
- As well as wandering round the exhibition, each day has a series of free events for you to dip into.
- It’s in the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace — a beautiful building that’s worth visiting in its own right.
- It’s all free, and you can just turn up anytime without any booking.
The week-long jamboree starts tonight with the adults-only Twilight Science event. As well as getting an early view of the exhibition, you can also take part in a science quiz (hosted by Londonist Matt), watch Festival of the Spoken Nerd make some science funnies, see live chemistry and physics experiments, and learn about the science of cocktails (while drinking one). We also hear that Albert Einstein, Caroline Herschel and Charles Darwin will be wandering around.
The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace (just above the Mall), 2-7 July with a special Twilight Science evening on 1 July (6-10pm). The exhibition is open from 10am each day until at least 5pm. Entrance is free.