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By Kate Campbell-Payne on

What’s on at the Science And Industry Museum in 2022

This year is set to be an exciting one here at the Science and Industry Museum. We’ve got a jam-packed schedule of major new exhibitions, festivals, updates to the galleries and activities to enjoy.

See displays on Stephen Hawking’s working life and Manchester’s place in the history and future of the BBC. Major exhibitions will feature breathtaking photographs of the Brazilian rainforest and the mysterious relationship humans have with music. Don’t miss the return of Manchester Science Festival and the revamps of some of your favourite galleries.

Here’s just some of what we’ve got coming up:

Inside Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope

On now until 27 March 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery

The Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope exhibition was created by the Science Museum Group, with support from expert partner Cancer Research UK. The world-first free exhibition explores the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care—uncovering the past, present and future of how cancer is prevented, detected and treated.

Through seldom and never-before seen objects and stories, cutting edge treatment and research, reflection, new artist commissions and installations, film, photography, interactive exhibits and a breadth of personal stories, the exhibition presents the stories of people affected by cancer, together with those who study and treat it.

From busting myths about the causes of cancer, to revealing it even affected dinosaurs millions of years ago, and how everything from virtual reality to 3D printing, early detection technologies and immunotherapies are advancing cancer care today, it shows just how far we have come.

Find out more and book your free tickets now.

Celebrating 100 years of the BBC in Manchester

From Spring 2022, Revolution Manchester Gallery

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the BBC and the 40th anniversary of Channel 4. To celebrate we’re looking back at the last 100 years of broadcast and taking a glimpse into the what the future may hold. A bumper year of exhibitions, displays, online content and events across our museum and sister sites, the Science Museum in London and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford, will explore how trailblazers in broadcast technology have forced the industry to adapt, improve and make room for more voices.

The Science and Industry Museum will launch the season of celebrations of BBC 100 in Spring with an exhibition showcasing Manchester as a centre of innovation in broadcasting, from 1922 to the present, and looking to the future. This display will feature Science Museum Group objects and archive material relating to early BBC radio broadcasts in Manchester and the very first station to have a dedicated programme for children, 2ZY, which was founded by Metropolitan Vickers, one of the founding companies behind the original BBC consortium.

The exhibition will then look to the latest developments in broadcasting currently being developed by the BBC at Media City, showing new technologies that will change the way we watch and listen forever.

Black and white picture of clouds above trees
Archipel fluvial de Mariuâ. Rio Negro. Etat d’Amazonas. Brésil. 2019
Sebastiâo Salgado/nbpictures

Amazônia

From Spring 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery

Sebastião Salgado, winner of the 2021 Praemium Imperiale award for painting, presents Amazônia, a breath-taking photography exhibition that celebrates the indigenous peoples and varied landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest.

For seven years, Salgado worked with twelve different indigenous communities to create this magnificent photography exhibition. The result is over 200 powerful black-and-white photographs that uncover Salgado’s vision of the Amazon when the forest is approaching a crucial tipping point in the fight against climate change.

Delve into stunning portraits of indigenous leaders and their communities, dramatic landscapes taken from intrepid river boat journeys and sweeping aerial shots of the immense waterfalls and stormy skies. Feel immersed in the Amazon rainforest throughout this exhibition by the accompanying soundtrack by renowned composer Jean-Michel Jarre.

Amazônia is part of an international exhibition tour that began at the Philharmonie in Paris and includes the MAXXI in Rome, SESC in São Paulo, the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro and the Science Museum in London.

Professor Stephen Hawking in his office at the University of Cambridge
Professor Stephen Hawking in his office at the University of Cambridge
Credit: Sarah Lee

Stephen Hawking at work

From Summer 2022, Revolution Manchester Gallery

A new temporary display, Stephen Hawking at Work, will explore Hawking’s remarkable life as a scientist, science communicator and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease (MND).

The display will feature significant objects from his office, the extraordinary contents of which were acquired for the nation by the Science Museum Group in May 2021 through the UK Government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme. These important items will provide insights into a scientist who challenged perceptions of theoretical physics with a playful, imaginative and social approach to work.

In Stephen Hawking at Work, visitors can study Hawking’s rare PhD thesis, his spectacles adapted to aid communication and even an invitation to the time travellers’ party Hawking hosted—the first time the public will be able to see these fascinating items up close.

The display also explores Hawking’s experience of MND. Initially given a two-year prognosis, Hawking lived with MND for more than five decades. From the late 1960s he used a wheelchair and from 1986 Hawking used a voice synthesiser after an emergency tracheotomy meant he could no longer speak. On display will be the latest generation of wheelchair used by Hawking: the Permobil F3 model, which he used to communicate his ideas to the world, for ventilation support and as his mobile office. Also on display will be his earliest voice synthesiser, adapted to hang on the back of his wheelchair, and his spectacles, which had an analogue cheek sensor to control his voice software.

Stephen Hawking at Work is part of a Science Museum Group’s museum tour, which is expected to tour the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham, during 2023 and 2024. Global audiences will be able to explore hundreds of remarkable items from Hawking’s working life as this significant acquisition is catalogued, photographed and published to the Science Museum Group’s popular online collection in 2022.

The Musical Mind exhibition (title TBC)

From October 2022, Special Exhibitions Gallery

A major new exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.

Prepare to get hands on, with your ears and hearts open. Immerse yourself in music that is forged where creativity and human ingenuity collide and interact with extraordinary, unfamiliar and playful musical instruments and performances, created to explore the science of music and to push the boundaries of what’s musically possible.

This exhibition will showcase new music-making opportunities that science and technology have unlocked and the fresh perspectives they are revealing about how music affects our bodies and minds. Through incredible and intriguing objects, musical commissions and interactive experiences, discover how technological advancements continue to push the limits of music and to make playing music more accessible for everyone. This riotous, hands-on experience will encourage us all to feel, to remember and to reflect on what music means to us and the lives of others.

The exhibition will form part of the headline for Manchester Science Festival 2022. It will premier at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester before a national and international tour.

Distortions in Spacetime at the Manchester Science Festival 2018
Distortions in Spacetime at the Manchester Science Festival 2018

Manchester Science Festival

21–30 October 2022

The biennial Manchester Science Festival, a highlight of the city’s cultural calendar and one of the most popular science festivals in the UK, will be back with a bang in October 2022.

Produced by the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Science Festival 2022 will be exploring what makes us human and asking the question—what might the future hold for humankind?

Experiment Gallery updates

Ready Spring 2022

Our Experiment gallery, where you can get hands on with experiments and activities, is having a revamp to create a fresher, livelier space with even more interactivity and improved accessibility for visitors.

Look forward to new additions to the gallery, including a thermal image camera, large-scale shadow box, a buzz wire game and a collaborative ball run wall.

Revolution in progress

Throughout 2022

During 2022 there will be ongoing work throughout the Science and Industry Museum as improvements to multiple areas take place.

Through a multi-million pound restoration programme, we’re revealing inspirational new spaces and perspectives for all to enjoy, play and learn in. This includes carrying out crucial work to restore and tell the stories of the historic listed Power Hall and the 1830 Station and Warehouse; building awe-inspiring new indoor and outdoor experiences for families; bringing to life the story of the revolutionary railway; using our collections to create new galleries revealing the wonder of how Manchester’s past and present continues to shape the modern world; and decarbonising our site.

Our Revolution Manchester gallery will also be going through changes to ensure it brings to life highlights from 250 years of ideas and innovations developed by people on this site and in this city that have changed the world and continue to shape our lives.

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